What Is Mid-Century Modern, Anyway?
By Lydia Geisel
It’s an undeniable fact that “mid-century modern” has become an essential part of our everyday design vocabulary. But what would you do if an acquaintance at a cocktail party asked you for a minute-something description of the style? Could you do it?
Despite our obvious and enduring obsession, the term “mid-century modern” (first coined by Cara Greenberg in 1983) has taken on a new life as an acceptable, design-world buzzword for anything and everything that even slightly resemble this signature, Mad Men-approved aesthetic. When it comes down to it, very few of us probably have the knowledge—or the confidence—to unpack the basics.
In search of direction (and a little more clarity), we took our most pressing questions to the experts. Ahead, interior designer and mid-century enthusiast, Jessica Hansen of Tandem Design, and Dr. Barbara Lamprecht, an architectural historian who specializes in the rehabilitation of modern buildings and the work and designs of Richard Neutra, break down the basics of the beloved style.
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