8 Contemporary Midcentury Livi

8 Contemporary Midcentury Living Room Staples Worth Investing In
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8 Contemporary Midcentury Living Room Staples Worth Investing In

8 Contemporary Midcentury Living Room Staples Worth Investing In

Often referred to as ‘MCM’, Midcentury modern interior design brings back the key characteristics of furniture trends during the mid-20th century. For obvious reasons, the post-war era was a time of optimism, which is reflected in the playful ways architects began to apply their knowledge of superior structures to collections of furniture. A few iconic examples include the Eames chair by Charles and Ray Eames, the Florence Knoll Sofa by Florence Knoll and Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair.

In terms of materials, the most common were chrome, vinyl and solid teak, which is known for its delicious deep hues and durable density. Here in the UK, teak G-Plan furniture soared in popularity during the sixties, when Victor B Wilkins designed the iconic Fresco Range, and the company released their own Danish range to compete with authentic Scandinavian imports. The enduring beauty of MCM furniture means that it has a timelessness to it. These iconic pieces can transcend the particular era in which they became popular, working well in eclectic, minimalist, Scandinavian and contemporary interior themes.

What are the key characteristics of Midcentury furniture?

MCM furniture is essentially stripped of all frills and unnecessary decor, instead favouring clean lines and sharp silhouettes. That’s not to say that this era of furniture was without flair - it just had an architectural finesse about it, which is why it works so well in spaces of industrial, contemporary and minimalist style. It’s such a unique, identifiable style and yet probably the most versatile of all.

Our 8 Contemporary Midcentury Living Room Staples

We get it, deciding on a statement piece of furniture can seem overwhelming, particularly if you happen to be indecisive or prone to changing your entire home aesthetic every six months. However, the beauty of a MCM staple is that it will remain relevant and appealing in any environment or theme. We’ve rounded up our top eight Midcentury furniture staples for the living room (and beyond!)

Serenity Table

The Serenity Table seamlessly blends art with furniture. Carefully composed by hand using solid mango wood, this circular coffee table has the same sculptural feel as the iconic Noguchi Table designed by Isamu Noguchi, but in solid wood instead of wood and glass. Conceptualised in 1948, the Noguchi Table went on to be produced by furniture giant Herman Miller and quickly became one of the brand’s most successful pieces. 

Our homage to this singular style, the Serenity, is perfect for placing at the centre of a statement lounge between low-profile armchairs and sofas. We picture it topped with either a statement sculpture or a small stack of coffee table art and travel books.


Noura Lounge Chair

The Midcentury was a big time for leather accent chairs, which is why our Noura Lounge Chair ticks all the boxes. Supported by a teak structure, this luxuriously smooth leather number has an air of Charles Pollock for Knoll, but is softer in style without the chrome frame and severe lines. Demonstrating exceptional woodworking skills and craftsmanship, the Noura should be placed within reach of natural light, so that the glorious woodgrain can be highlighted and admired.

In terms of palette, the earthen hues and relaxed style give the chair a safari-type feel which would work exceptionally well in bohemian-inspired spaces. We’d love to see the Noura in a cosy reading nook or placed as a pair in the lounge.


Paul Armchair

Another combination of art and function in Midcentury furniture came when Austrian native and Berlin Polytechnic alumni Paul T Frankl introduced his designs to the American market via his New York-baed company, Skyscraper Furniture. Following a later relocation to Los Angeles, Frankl quickly became the designer of choice for the Hollywood elite. Undoubtedly influenced by the breezy, sun-bleached style of California, he released a rattan lounge collection, the statement pieces of which went on to appear in blockbuster hits such as The Godfather and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Synonymous with Beverly Hills style, his works provided much of the inspiration for our Paul Chair, which recreates the ‘pretzel’ style armrests and natural rattan composition. Ideal for sundrenched spaces, we picture the Paul sitting pretty in a sunroom, pool room or spa-like zen area.

Destiny Coffee Table

You could say this coffee table is your Destiny. The statement silhouette hints ever so subtly at Eero Saarinen’s synonymous table, with a presiding sculptural feel crafted from lime-washed mango. Smooth, circular and expansive, this Midcentury modern dining table belongs beneath a honey-hued pendant light where warm tones of orange and ochre can be admired.

Uniquely versatile, this table also works well with an array of different dining chairs - opt for our Kenny Chair for an all-out industrial Midcentury mood, or the Olson for a soft, serene Scandinavian aesthetic.


Obsidian Side Table

Once again echoing the rounded yet structural forms of the Noguchi table, our Obsidian Side Table makes an attractive smaller sibling to a statement armchair or sofa. Effortlessly structural thanks to its mismatched, column-style base, the table is a perfect perch for a statement table lamp

Sporting a solid mango wood composition, the Obsidian features a subtle lime wash which still allows the woodgrain to be admired - this earthen effect will work wonders in bohemian, Scandinavian and light-filled contemporary spaces.


Lorenzo Boucle Accent Chair

A certified WSG favourite, the Lorenzo needs no introduction. Merging Jeanneret angles with beautiful boucle upholstery, this Midcentury accent chair is an archetypal example of why the MCM movement is just so versatile. Unparalleled woodworking provides a sturdy, solid base of limewashed dark oak, while comfortable cushioning boasts sumptuous boucle upholstery with piped edges.

The best part? It’s available in several different colours.


London Bar Stool

Nothing says ‘Mad Men’ quite like an open-concept kitchen-diner intersected by a glamorous home bar. The only option for your bar seating is the London Bar Stool. This woven leather Midcentury bar stool is a nod to the 1956 Mel Smilow design that was reintroduced in 2016. Supported by smooth legs of solid teak, the chair boasts an artisan composition using only the finest buffalo leather.

Forming part of the larger London collection, this design-led bar stool is perfect for pairing with the statement lounge and dining chairs in the same range. 


Adele Vase Distinct Glass

We couldn’t possibly round up our favourite Midcentury accents without throwing in an accessory. The Adele Distinct Glass Vase in Chocolate uses the sculptural style of the era with one of its favourite materials (glass) and colours (brown) to create the ultimate MCM accessory. Place this at the centre of a coffee table with statement stems, or instead stand it solo on the shelf of an etagere.