In the world of design, there are many crossovers from graphic design to interiors to architecture. The mid century modern movement is a perfect example of that! Watch one episode of Mad Men from the first season, then one from the most recent season and you will see styles change and become the beautiful and simple mid century modern that so many of us love.
Following the European Bauhaus movement which was a paring down and simplification of lines, keeping things utilitarian and clean, the mid century movement came into America with those same themes. You see these same reactions in fine art. Think Mondrian, Henry Moore and Barnett Newman with simple lines and no fuss.
The Bauhaus movement influenced many graphic, architectural, and furniture designers to change their styles from more ornate early 20th century decoration to clean lines and functional pieces that had a totally new look. Art and design became more geometric while the mix of natural and man made materials added layers of organic over synthetic. The American response to Bauhaus was mid century modern.
Where Bauhaus focused on removing ornament, mid century adds geometric decoration in a new way, changing art, design, and architecture for the better. In mid century buildings you'll often find very long windows, rows of intricately laid stonework with a simple geometric pattern, repeated style elements in linear forms, and unexpected uses of space.
In Palm Springs, modern architecture is abundant! We are currently looking for a house with this sort of charm here in Atlanta. How I wish these homes were in Georgia, too! This area of Palm Springs is known as "Modern Palm Springs" because of its many excellent examples of midcentury architecture, specifically desert modern. Desert modern uses material and landscaping choices to marry the building with its surroundings.
One of my favorite things about mid century style is the use of bold colors. Why have a grey front door when you can have orange or chartreuse?! Bold colors used in small doses pack a punch when the style is simple and clean.
If you are ever visiting Palm Springs, California, go tour the Desert Modern area and soak in all of the beautifully thought out homes nestled among cacti, mountains, and palm trees.