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Why mid-century modern design is never going out of style

Iconic, timeless, streamlined - there are so many reasons to love 20th century design.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or two, really - the mid-century renaissance won’t have escaped you. Mid-century modernism is everywhere - from flea markets and vintage stores, to magazines and nearly every high-street home décor retailer.

Mad Men helped push the era’s slick, minimalist aesthetic into the mainstream, says David Rosenblatt from 1stdibs. Thanks to architects like Philip Johnson and Richard Neutra, the design is timelessly iconic. Mid-century modern homes are easily identified by their large statement windows and clean, squarish shape.

Mid-century modern is a difficult term to define in itself, over the past two decades it’s become the marketing descriptor du jour. The architecture, furniture and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century falls into this category. This period is a modifier for a larger modernist movement after the Industrial Revolution and post-World War I. Cara Greenberg, the author of ‘Mid-century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s’ (1984) was the first to coin the term.

According to interior designer Elizabeth Roth there are so many different facets of the term mid-century. American; synonymous with Eames and Saarinen, Scandinavian and Danish designers such as Poul Kjaerholm and Poul Henningsen, and French 20th century designers like Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand.

With the resurgence of minimalism rooted in global economics, environmental concerns, as well as a desire to simplify and streamline, it’s hardly surprising that mid mod appeals to a wide audience. Although nodding to a certain period, 20th century designs don’t look fussy or dated, the timeless clean lines lend a contemporary feel, no matter the setting. The bottom line is that mid-century design is still popular because it works.


In recent years Scandinavian design has gained a loyal following with its minimal understated aesthetic and functional, utilitarian edge - a quality much revered by 20th century designers. At Bemz we are proud to offer a selection of prints and fabrics to cover your IKEA furniture from some of the most iconic mid-century Scandinavian designers.

The offering ranges from Stig Lindberg’s classic stylised mid-century prints, and painter and scenographer Stellan Mörner’s avant-garde patterns, to functionalist Sven Markelius’ bold Pythagoras graphics. 1940s textile designer Viola Gråsten, and textile and costume designer Göta Trädgårdh’s signature 50s and 60s aesthetic are as stylish today as they were then. Textile designer Annika Malmström was one of Göta Trädgårdhs pupils, she counted Strömma and IKEA amongst her clients - a series of happy coincidences for us, as all of these fabrics are available to cover your favourite IKEA furniture, cushions, curtains and so much more.