Much of my design senses run deeply toward the Mid-Century Modern period. Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior and product design form that generally describes post-war developments in modern design from roughly 1945 to 1965.
Mid-century architecture was a further development of Frank Lloyd Wright's principles of organic architecture combined with many elements reflected in the International and Bauhaus movements. Mid-century modernism, however, was much more organic in form and less formal than the International Style.
Scandinavian designers and architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by simplicity in design and natural shapes. Like many of Wright's designs, Mid-Century architecture was frequently employed in residential structures with the goal of bringing modernism into America's post-war suburbs. This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor-plans with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in.
From this style, one of the easiest next-steps is the style we refer to as "modern contemporary". Its openness recalls that of Mid-Century, but it makes a few adjustments, moving to very cool color schemes, and keeps the simple lines of its predecessor. Mod-Contemp eschews the linear lines in architecture, favoring curves and non parallel interiors. Variations of this style are often seen in larger, custom designed homes - at least in this area.
I often wonder if my Scandinavian ancestry and genetics draw me toward this particular design style. Having spent time there many years ago exposed me to it early on, but I wasn't very in tune with this sort of thing then, so I don't know. I do know it was the first time I had ever seen Bang & Olufsen in person, and I do remember how I felt then.
Because Mid Century was meant as a means to bring contemporary ideals to the regular suburbs, it can be found in the most unassuming places. There are a couple of wonderful examples in my neighborhood, and if they were somewhere else in this valley, they would be worth several times more than they are where they sit.
Often, Mid Century homes are renovated and refurbed to the point that it takes some creativity to see the original potential in the design, and that's too bad.
Anyway, WAY TOO MUCH TALK, not enough pictures. And you want pictures. You know you do.
So, here are some. First two from two homes designed by Richard Neutra, one of the movement's greatest:
Here are some other random designs I've come across recently. The architect is Antonio Cardillo. The first three here are "The Ellipse House".
Take a look at that staircase... it's like taffy in one of those electric taffy pulling machines... wonderful.
Although neither of these homes is something I would find myself buying, they serve to represent the idea of what can be accomplished when one spends the energy to analyze space and truly make it different.