Mid Century Modern Wall Art

If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve probably seen examples of the Mid Century Modern (MCM) style. The post-war style has made a comeback in a big way. Many major furniture retailers are incorporating MCM pieces into their inventory. Pinterest and Instagram flood with apartment inspiration images using the Mid Century style. This week on the blog, we’re going to look at Mid Century Modern style and decor. We’ll take a look at how the MCM movement started, where it’s going, and how you can stay on-trend by creating your own Mid Century Modern wall art.

What is Mid Century Modern?

Mid Century Modern refers to the style of furniture, architecture, and art that became popular after WWII. The design takes its influence from German Bauhaus styles, and the International architecture styles that were popular throughout Europe. However, the post-war economic expansion across North America required new styles of furniture and housing that could be easily mass produced, but still maintained a stylish aesthetic. Thus, Mid Century Modern furniture and homes came to fill the need. The style emphasizes functionality above all else. Designers added extra elements to their functional style. So, creations like the Eames Lounge Chair became staples of the Mid Century Modern movement. These creations brought together natural textures, like wood and leather, with manufactured components, like the metal feet. Additionally, the curves

As a piece of bar trivia, Charles and Ray Eames claimed they got the idea for the Eames Lounge Chair when thinking about the feeling of a worn out baseball mitt. They wanted their lounge chair to convey the same sense of comfort and familiarity as a baseball mitt.

mid century modern wall art example
The Eames Lounge Chair is a staple of Mid Century Modern furniture design. (Image from Wikipedia)

Mid Century Modern Wall Art

In terms of visual art, names like Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock dominated. Their art styles exemplified the stylistic movement. Andy Warhol, of course, interested himself in methods of mass production for his work. Mostly the art style of this period retained some of the freedom of the Modernist movement before it. However, artists incorporated more of the technology of the era, like mass printing, to really make a statement.

Today, Warhol, Rothko, and Pollock still remain household names, but the style of Mid Century Modern wall art has changed quite a bit. The emphasis now is on more abstract images that are softer, rounder, but still full of bold color. The Mid Century Modern style has shifted away from its roots to be a design option popular amongst millennials who are looking for a funky, yet professional image. The current style of wall art tends to be more minimal, usually consisting of one or two contrasting colors, with an emphasis on more organic, hand-drawn shapes. The style works beautifully in homes meant to be more subdued, or in businesses that want an eclectic vibe.

The popularity of this style, however, cannot be understated. In a generation where consumers are looking backwards for inspiration, rather than ahead, the Mid Century Modern style perfectly encapsulates what many consumers are looking for. Even stores like Ikea and Structube (in Canada only) – the epitomes of Scandinavian Minimalism – are moving towards furniture styles in a Mid Century Modern fashion to appeal to more consumers who are looking for a sophisticated, yet reasonably priced, aesthetic for their home.

Ideas & Inspiration

How to Create Your Own Mid Century Modern Wall Art

There’s a few ways to create your own Mid Century Modern Wall art. One way would be to commission an artist whose style you like. Another way would be to try and create your own very unique print! There are a number of web apps out there you can use to find and edit your photos. For example, I used Unsplash to find a simple stock photo of banana leaves. Then, I used BeFunky to edit the photo to create a cool Mid Century Modern banana leaf print.

There are a couple different mediums I would recommend for a piece like this. Part of the Mid Century Modern style is combining various textures. For that reason, I would recommend an acrylic with a frame or stand offs. A framed print, or a print with visible hanging hardware captures the essence of the style more so than the float-off-the-wall option, which is more minimalist. Additionally, acrylic prints add an excellent shine to the space, which means the other textures you use can be softer or more matte.

Conversely, a white metal print would look excellent with this style. The white metal displays bold colors beautifully, and the finish is matte. Plus white metal is versatile enough with the display options that you can also choose to display it with a frame, stand-offs, or even leaned against a ledge or shelf.

Finishing Thoughts

The important part, though, of creating Mid Century Modern wall art is to let your imagination soar while still maintaining function. What are you hoping to do with the piece of art you create? What space are you placing the art and what is the intended effect of placing the art there? While these may seem like heady questions to ask, they are important ones if you are trying to create an interior space that feels unified. You want to feel a certain way when you enter your space. So, figuring out exactly what you want from the art will go a long way in creating the perfect piece for you.

In short, the Mid Century style will be here to stay for a long while, especially as younger generations begin to settle down and buy their own houses. The style offers fun individuality, but it also offers practicality and affordability. It’s a timeless aesthetic that can always be riffed on to evolve to meet the needs of today’s trends in interior design.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this exploration into Mid Century Modern styles. We’re always on hand to help you create the art of your dreams, so don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us!