Mid Century Modern Table

by Robert William on Dec 10, 2015

Extendable dining table


Time-lapse taken with GoPro Hero 4, Dec 2015.

Building a 92/72" Santa monica extension table with 20" leaf for customer in California.

Mid Century Modern Table

Mid century modern design has gained significant popularity in recent years, and one element that stands out in this design movement is the mid century modern table. With its clean lines, timeless appeal, and functional design, the mid century modern table has become a sought-after piece of furniture for interior designers and homeowners alike. In this article, we will explore the origins, key features, popular styles, and ways to incorporate mid century modern tables into your interior design. We will also provide tips on how to choose the right table and care for it properly.

1. Introduction

Mid century modern design emerged in the mid-20th century, during the post-World War II era. It is characterized by its emphasis on simplicity, functionality, and the use of organic shapes and materials. The mid century modern table is a perfect embodiment of these design principles, offering both form and function in a single piece of furniture.

2. What is Mid Century Modern Design?

Mid century modern design is an influential design movement that originated in the mid-20th century and continues to be revered today. It is characterized by its clean lines, minimalistic approach, and a focus on functionality. The design style is often associated with the period between the 1940s and 1960s, when it gained widespread popularity. Mid century modern design encompasses various elements, including furniture, architecture, and interior design.

3. Origins and Influences of Mid Century Modern Design

The origins of mid century modern design can be traced back to the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which emphasized the fusion of art, craft, and technology. The principles of simplicity, functionality, and the use of new materials were central to the Bauhaus philosophy and served as a foundation for mid century modern design. The movement was further influenced by Scandinavian design, which promoted a human-centered approach and the use of natural materials.

4. Key Features of Mid Century Modern Tables

Clean Lines and Minimalistic Design

One of the defining features of mid century modern tables is their clean lines and minimalistic design. The emphasis is on simplicity and eliminating any unnecessary ornamentation. The clean lines create a sense of visual harmony and balance, making mid century modern tables suitable for various interior styles.

Natural Materials

Mid century modern tables often incorporate natural materials, such as wood, which was a popular choice during the mid-20th century. The use of natural materials adds warmth and character to the tables, making them visually appealing and durable.

Innovative Use of Materials

In addition to traditional materials like wood, mid century modern tables also embraced the use of innovative materials, such as fiberglass and molded plywood. These materials allowed designers to create unique shapes and forms, pushing the boundaries of traditional furniture design.

Functionality and Versatility

Mid century modern tables are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional. They are designed with the user in mind, offering practical features such as storage compartments, adjustable heights, and extendable surfaces. This versatility makes mid century modern tables suitable for various purposes and spaces.

5. Popular Mid Century Modern Table Styles

There are several iconic mid century modern table styles that have stood the test of time and continue to be highly sought after. Let's explore some of these popular styles:

Eames Molded Plywood Coffee Table

Designed by Charles and Ray Eames in the 1940s, the Eames Molded Plywood Coffee Table is a true mid century modern classic. It features a molded plywood top with elegantly curved edges and slender metal legs. The table's organic shape and innovative use of materials make it a timeless piece of furniture.

Noguchi Coffee Table

Isamu Noguchi's Noguchi Coffee Table is another iconic mid century modern design. This table features a glass top resting on two interlocking wooden base elements, creating a sculptural and visually captivating piece. The Noguchi Coffee Table is celebrated for its artistic aesthetic and seamless blend of form and function.

Saarinen Tulip Table

Designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1950s, the Saarinen Tulip Table is a true design icon. Its distinctive feature is the single pedestal base, which eliminates the need for legs and creates a sleek and clean look. The Saarinen Tulip Table is available in various sizes and finishes, making it a versatile choice for different spaces.

Wegner Wishbone Dining Table

Hans J. Wegner's Wishbone Dining Table showcases the craftsmanship and attention to detail characteristic of mid century modern design. The table features a solid wood top supported by elegantly curved wishbone-shaped legs. Its timeless design and quality construction make it a popular choice for dining rooms.

6. Incorporating Mid Century Modern Tables in Interior Design

Mid century modern tables can enhance the aesthetic appeal of various living spaces. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate them into your interior design:

Living Room

In the living room, a mid century modern coffee table can become a focal point. Pair it with a sleek sofa and armchairs, and accessorize with mid century modern-inspired decorative items to create a cohesive and stylish look.

Dining Room

A mid century modern dining table can add elegance and sophistication to your dining room. Combine it with modern dining chairs and a statement lighting fixture to create a harmonious and inviting space for family gatherings and entertaining guests.

Home Office

For a home office with a mid century modern vibe, opt for a desk with clean lines and minimalist design. Pair it with a comfortable chair and add some mid century modern-inspired shelving units for storage and display.

Outdoor Spaces

Mid century modern tables are not limited to indoor spaces. You can also incorporate them into your outdoor areas, such as a patio or garden. Choose tables made from weather-resistant materials like teak or metal, and pair them with mid century modern-inspired outdoor chairs for a stylish and inviting outdoor setup.

7. How to Choose the Right Mid Century Modern Table

When selecting a mid century modern table, consider the following factors to ensure it suits your needs and complements your space:

Size and Scale

Take measurements of the area where the table will be placed to determine the appropriate size and scale. Consider the proportions of the surrounding furniture and the available space for comfortable movement.

Materials and Finishes

Consider the materials and finishes that align with your design preferences and the overall aesthetic of your space. Wood, glass, and metal are common materials used in mid century modern tables, each with its unique characteristics.

Design and Style

Mid century modern design encompasses a range of styles, from organic and curvaceous to sleek and geometric. Choose a design that resonates with your personal taste and complements the existing elements in your space.

Budget Considerations

Set a budget for your mid century modern table and explore options within that range. Remember to prioritize quality and craftsmanship to ensure long-lasting durability.

8. Caring for Mid Century Modern Tables

Proper care and maintenance are essential to preserve the beauty and longevity of mid century modern tables. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Regularly dust your table using a soft, lint-free cloth to remove any surface dirt. For stubborn stains, use a mild soap solution or a recommended wood cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.

Protecting and Restoring the Finish

To protect the table's finish, use coasters and placemats to prevent scratches and heat damage. If the table's finish becomes worn or damaged over time, consider consulting a professional furniture restoration expert to restore its original beauty.

9. The Timeless Appeal of Mid Century Modern Tables

The enduring popularity of mid century modern tables can be attributed to their timeless appeal. Their clean lines, functional design, and use of natural materials continue to resonate with contemporary interior styles. Whether you're furnishing a mid century modern-inspired space or seeking a statement piece to complement a different design aesthetic, a mid century modern table can bring sophistication and character to your home.

10. Conclusion

Mid century modern tables are more than just functional pieces of furniture. They are iconic symbols of an influential design movement that continues to inspire and captivate. With their clean lines, innovative use of materials, and timeless appeal, mid century modern tables offer both style and functionality to any interior space. By carefully selecting the right table and incorporating it thoughtfully into your design, you can create a visually stunning and cohesive environment that reflects your personal style and appreciation for mid century modern design.

11. FAQs

1. Are mid century modern tables expensive? The price of mid century modern tables can vary depending on factors such as the brand, designer, materials used, and condition. While some high-end pieces can be quite expensive, there are also affordable options available, especially in the vintage and reproduction markets.

2. Can mid century modern tables fit into contemporary interiors? Absolutely! Mid century modern tables have a timeless quality that allows them to seamlessly blend into contemporary interiors. Their clean lines and minimalist design can add a touch of sophistication and character to any space.

3. How can I tell if a table is truly mid century modern? Authentic mid century modern tables are typically characterized by their clean lines, minimalist design, and use of natural materials. Look for craftsmanship details, labels or markings from well-known designers or manufacturers, and research the specific style and period to ensure the table aligns with the mid century modern aesthetic.

4. Can mid century modern tables be customized? Yes, mid century modern tables can be customized to a certain extent. You can choose from different materials, finishes, and sizes to suit your specific needs and preferences. Many furniture manufacturers and craftsmen offer customization options for mid century modern-inspired tables.

5. Where can I buy authentic mid century modern tables? Authentic mid century modern tables can be found in various places. Antique shops, vintage furniture stores, online marketplaces, and auctions are good places to start your search. Additionally, there are reputable furniture manufacturers and retailers that offer high-quality reproductions and modern interpretations of mid century modern tables.


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