Bookmarks: 100 Midcentury Chairs

100 Midcentury Chairs book on a vintage Ercol stacking chair by the fireside | H is for Home

We’ve had a few cold, wet and windy days here in Todmorden recently – perhaps even some snow tonight. So it’s wood-burner lit, 6 Music radio on – and time to catch up with some recently arrived magazines and books.

100 Midcentury Chairs book cover by Lucy Ryder Richardson

This edition of Bookmarks comes courtesy of a lady we first featured on our blog five years ago.

Grass-seated chair designed by George Nakashima

Lucy Ryder Richardson is the co-founder of Modern Shows and is the author of this newly published book, 100 Midcentury Chairs.

Paimio chair designed by Alvar Aalto

As the title says, the author has chosen 100 chairs (and stools) from the era to highlight; some that are very famous – like Arne Jacobsen’s Ant and Egg chairs – and others that are less well known.

Chieftain Chair designed by Finn Juhl and executed by Niels Vodder

She interviewed the children and relatives of the designers to create unique portraits of each chair…

Danish furniture designer, Finn Juhl

…the designers’ personal profiles and back stories, their influences, any specific sites that chairs were intended for or functions of the furniture, production techniques & processes and so on.

Charles and Ray Eames designed DCW chair

We love snippets of information such as Alvar Aalto designing the Paimio Armchair specifically for the tuberculosis hospital in Paiomo, south west Finland. It’s form is designed to position the tuberculosis patient at just the right angle to help them breath as they rested & recuperated. He was actually commissioned to design the whole hospital, so it’s full of his genius work.

Furniture and product designer, Charles Eames

And how about, Bruno Mattheson, designer of the Eva Chair, “perfecting the art of sitting by studying the shape his body made when he fell back into a snowdrift at different angles”.

J16 chair designed by Hans Wegner

The pages are dotted with quotes from the designers themselves, including Hans J. Wegner, Xavier Pauchard, Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames.

JH550 Peacock Chair designed by Hans Wegner

Pieces are featured in chronological order, spanning 40 years from the early 1930s to the early 1970s.

Hans Wegner's top 10 chairs

Interesting and informative, you’ll expand your knowledge of furniture design no end, and with almost 200 pages of full colour photographs, you’ll be able to swoon at chair heaven all along the journey.

Stack of Hillestak chairs designed by Robin Day for S Hille and Co

And it’s not just furniture we learned about – the book is full of little anecdotes such as the fact that Ettore Sottsass’ red Valentine typewriter was launched on Valentines Day, 1970. Who knew?!

Ant Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen

The directory at the back of the book contains an extensive list of international midcentury modern furniture dealers, auctions, fairs and events.

International directory of Midcentury furniture dealers

It’s a new, must read resource for all modernist furniture fans and collectors.

Egg Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen

It’s one of those great books to dip in and out of – a few pages at a time with a cup of tea!

Cherner Armchair designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft

We do love a nice chair – in fact we’ve probably got about 10 more chairs than we actually need in our house. We’ve got another hundred now – but these can all fit neatly on a bookshelf!

UP5 Donna Chair designed by Gaetano Pesce for C&B Itaila

This wonderful book comes highly recommended indeed and will provide us with an invaluable reference in future.

Synthesis 45 Typist Chair, Z9/r designed by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti

Buy yourself a copy of 100 Midcentury Chairs by Saturday 19th November here, and get FREE entry to the following day’s Midcentury Modern Show at Dulwich College, London. You’ll even be able to get it signed by the author. Alternatively, you can find it available on AbeBooks, Amazon or Hive.

Lucy Ryder Richardson signing 100 Midcentury Chairs

[Many thanks to Pavilion Books for the review copy]

Get their look: Mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen

Mid-century-modern-inspired kitchencredit

This mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen merges vintage and brand new in just the right measure. The mint coloured cupboards, fridge and patterned wallpaper are very evocative of the period. The splashes of red and yellow give the space added impact.

The 1950s are associated with a post war optimism which influenced interior design greatly – and this kitchen is a suitably bright and cheerful space to reflect that spirit.

  1. Portfolio 9.45-in W chrome ceiling flush mount light
  2. Julia Rothmans Daydream (green) wallpaper tiles
  3. The Skylark shallow bowl stem mount light
  4. Smeg FAB28YV1 fridge A++ energy rating, 60cm wide, left-hand hinge, pastel green
  5. Eames moulded plastic side chair
  6. FairTrade red heera jute diamond 60cm x 150cm runner
  7. STENSTORP kitchen trolley, white/oak

Get their look: Mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen | H is for Home

Get their look: Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad

Mid-century Modern-inspired crash padcredit

We’ve chosen this Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad for our Get their look post this week.

Lots of work went into transforming a rather staid 2 bedroom flat into this cool place which the owner uses 3 or 4 nights a week whilst working in Dublin. The whole family descends to stay from time to time too.

There’s a main open living, cooking, dining space – with separate bedrooms and bathroom. A small office/work area has also been incorporated into a recess. It’s quite masculine in style – pared back, clean lines, uncluttered. The colour scheme consists of layers of grey, black and walnut wood shades with pops of brighter colour.

It’s very functional, yet retains a relaxed feel – warm, secure & cosy too. We think that there’s quite a boutique hotel vibe going on. Ideal for a home away from home maybe.

  1. Edison Industrial Minaret Modern pendant light – amber
  2. Anthology Seri wallpaper, 110767
  3. Walnut and black faux leather barstools – Texas
  4. Chicago floor lamp, antique copper and gold
  5. The Cushion Factory pink & grey cushion 45×45
  6. Luigi sofa
  7. Chiva functional coffee table with storage

Get their look: Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad | H is for Home

Cutting Edge!

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Collection of boxed vintage Mills Moore cutlery

Anyone out there after some cutting-edge cutlery?

Collection of boxed vintage Mills Moore cutlery

We’ve just picked up five boxes of classic mid century modern flatware.

Collection of boxed vintage Mills Moore cutlery

There are six each of main course knives & forks, starter knives & forks – and spoons. That should cover lots of menu options!

Collection of boxed vintage Mills Moore cutlery

They’re stainless steel with walnut handles.

Collection of boxed vintage Mills Moore cutlery

 We love the handle shape and grain of the wood.

Vintage Mills Moore cutlery mark
It was produced in the 1960s by Mills Moore of Sheffield – the steel city and home to some great cutlery makers. Other names that spring to mind include Viners, Mappin & Webb, Joseph Rodgers, Sanderson and Wolstenholm.

Design Centre logo on boxed vintage Mills Moore cutlery

It’s a wonderful design in terms of both material & form – and was selected by The Design Centre – always a good sign when collecting pieces from the era. The boxes are tatty, but the contents are in good condition. We’ll try and get them into our web shop this week – alternatively, drop us a line if you’re keen to fill that cutlery drawer!

Bookmarks: Miller’s Mid-Century Modern

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'Mid-Century Modern' by Judith Miller surrounded by vintage Mid-century modern homewares including a West German fat lava vase, bright orange pedestal cigarette lighter, small Cathrineholm enamelware Lotus bowl and still life oil painting

In today’s Bookmarks post we’re taking a peek at Mid-Century Modern – living with mid-century modern design by Judith Miller.

title page of "Mid-Century Modern" by Judith Miller with a small Cathrineholm enamelware Lotus bowl

Well, a bit more of a peek really , as we linger over some of the wonderful pieces on display!

interior view of the mid-century modern design Kauffman House sitting room

Mid-century modern is one of our favourite eras for interior design, illustration, textiles and product design…

Arne Jacobsen "Ant" and "Swan" chairs

…so as the pages turned, there was a soundtrack of many oohs and ahhs!

selection of vintage Mid-Century Modern glassware including a kingfisher blue "Drunken Bricklayer" vase designed for Whitefriars by Geoffrey Baxter

Judith Miller is most famous for her all-encompassing antiques & collectables guides which are published annually.

collection of colourful West German "Fat Lava" pottery pots and vases

In recent years, they’ve include an ever-increasing number of 20th century pieces in response to interest & demand.

collection of GPlan furniture including a nest of pebble tables and "Butterfly" chairs designed by Lucian Ercolani

This book concentrates solely on mid-century modern – 1950s to the 1970s being the period generally accepted.

collection of vintage mid-century modern glass vases

A wonderful introductory chapter covers its evolution and influential designers.

collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs including examples designed by Charles and Ray Eames and Carlo di Carli

The movement perfectly encapsulated a new mood of optimism after the war years with revolutionary designs, materials & techniques.

collection of vintage mid-century modern pop art chairs including examples designed by Egon Eiermann and Günter Beltzig

The fresh ideas, and indeed disposable income, of a whole new generation began to soar.

vintage mid-century modern chair designed by Eero Saarinen and folding cube radio designed by Richard Sapper

There are examples of houses & interiors that encapsulate the era – less cluttered and designed for modern living.

vintage mid-century modern George Nelson "Spike" wall clock, Tommi Parzinger-designed sideboard and mahogany credenza and aluminium armchair designed by Harvey Probber

A broad array of objects are included, with chapters given over to furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, metalware & textiles.

collection of vintage mid-century modern glass vases produced by Riihimaki of Finland

In addition, an extensive section covers the people responsible for these wonderful & iconic designs.

collection of vintage mid-century modern fabric

There are about 200 familiar & not so familiar names who are given a short, individual write up.

Mid-Century Modern text

We’ll just scratch the surface by mentioning Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, Robert Welch, Stig Lindberg, Lucienne Day, Per Lutken, Charles & Ray Eames.

view of a sitting room with black Barcelona chairs and sofas

The book is packed with quality, full colour photographic references throughout…

vintage "Valentine" typewriter designed by Ettore Sottsass, Peter and Alison Smithson chair and Ronald Stennett-Wilson green glass candlestick

…and as with all Miller’s guides – estimated values to accompany each item image.

vintage mid-century modern Marcel Breuer reclining chair and Holmegaard "Gulvase" designed by Otto Brauer

There’s also a useful directory included of international dealers and their contact details – broken down into categories such as ceramics, glass, furniture, lighting etc.

collection of American-designed vintage mid-century modern furniture

As well as auctions & fairs and museums if you fancy going to see or sometimes handle wares in the flesh.

vintage mid-century modern posters by Saul Bass and Herbert Bayer

The book is well researched and accessible – a perfect coffee table browser or excellent source book for your library.

collection of vintage Scandinavian mid-century modern ceramic pots, vases and plaques

Mid-Century Modern – living with mid-century modern design is available from the publishers Octopus, Amazon and AbeBooks.

collection of vintage Scandinavian mid-century modern ceramics designed by Stig Lindberg

'Mid-Century Modern' by Judith Miller

[Many thanks to Octopus for the review copy]

Midcentury Mag

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image of the front cover of the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine pictured with a vintage Cathrineholm kettle and vintage harlequin china cup & saucer all on a piece of 1950s monochrome Crabtree fabric with milky way pattern

We have a regular book review feature on our blog, but today we’re looking at a magazine.

image of the 'Get the Look' feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

The biannual publication of Midcentury has recently been launched, so it’s especially nice to be able to cast our eye over edition number one.

image of Peggy Olsen in the Mad Men feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

It’s a subject close to our hearts too – namely Mid-Century Modernism.

image of Lucienne Day Olive Calyx pattern and Robin Day armchair from the Pallant House Gallery exhibition review in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

We’ve been reading our copy over the weekend and have been thoroughly enjoying it.

image of the 'image from the 'Directory' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

image of the 'image from the 'Directory' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine image of the 'image from the 'Directory' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Articles in this edition include an in-depth look at the ever-expanding Midcentury Modern Show and an interview with the founders & organisers, Petra Curtis & Lucy Ryder Richardson.

image of the 'image from the 'Dealers' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

The Festival of Britain features prominently – both details of the original spectacular exhibition and current events to mark this, its 60th anniversary.

image of the 'image from the 'Marriage Made in Heaven' feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

There’s a look at the hit TV show, Mad Men and its influence on the current Mid Century Modern renaissance.

image of the 'image of visitors to the MidMod Show in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Regular features are set to include the Buyer’s Guide to a design classic (the Eames rocker); Collector’s Perspective (the sculptures of Brian Willsher), Designer’s Eye (fashion designer, Margaret Howell‘s choice of 3 fave MCM pieces)’ Curator’s Choice which highlights a current exhibition (Robin & Lucienne Day at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester) and Mid Century Home, (in this edition, a tour of Cathy Spooner & Peter Walls’ house in Crystal Palace, London).

image of the 'image from the 'Festival of Britain' feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

There’s an excellent directory of specialist MCM stockists, designers & dealers.

image of the 'image of a bright yellow Eames rocking chair in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Format wise, it’s between A4 and A5 – and there are 66 pages in all. A subscription costs £6.95 per year for two issues, £10.95 in Europe and £13.95 to the rest of the world. The price includes postage.

image of close up of the front cover of the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Hopefully this is the start of something great – so get your hands on a copy, have a browse and let them know what you think.