Here is a passport photo of me, aged 6, in 1974 !
Yes, I am proud to admit it: I was a child of the mid-century, if the late sixties and seventies count, which is when I grew up.
Is that why I feel comforted rather than affronted by an avocado bathroom suite? Why I can actually appreciate the jolly, stylized flowers of mid-century designs as opposed to 1980s toned down (but oh so boring and fogeyish) florals and bland 90s beiges?
Somehow the 90s and ‘Noughties’ became rather cold, predictable and what my own children would call ‘same-y’: that is, lacking in individual expression and depth. Clean-cut and impressive often, yes; an improvement on the 80s, maybe. But homely? Welcoming? Warm? Not so much.
And that is one of the things I love most about mid-century modern: less ornate and heavy than the styles which preceded it, and yet with its rich teaks and honeyed woods, far warmer than the Scandi and minimalistic latter-day trends - it finds an ideal middle ground somewhere between stylishness and homeliness, utility and beauty; quirkiness and practicality.
My own style aims to be a harmonious juxtaposition of mid-century and mid-century modern, with current-day elements comfortably mingled in; an eclectic mix of both vintage and modern furniture and effects from the era, with a bit of carefully curated kitsch for character. Including thoughtfully considered contemporary pieces is not just a practical necessity: it ensures an updated look which is at ease in its 21st century setting.
As for serving hatches through to the dining room? Why wouldn’t anyone want one? Wood on the walls? Why ever not? Quirky mid-century ceramics and bold patterned fabrics ? Indispensable! Cheese plants? Naturally!
And I can’t be alone in loving these things and wanting to be surrounded by them: mid-century modern has really taken off at the turn of this now 21st century, and as it lends itself to being timelessly reinvented and adapted, it looks as though it could be around for a good while yet. Could it be that the nostalgia for a more simple, uncomplicated yet more colourful way of life has created this craving? If so, it must be contagious, as its charms have seduced more than just the mid-centurians amongst us. As I write this in 2018, I approach my own literal ‘half-century’: so what better time than now for me to write my book?
[Extract from Mid-Century Modern on a Shoestring, © Jana Synek 2018 ]