Pages

26 September 2014

Something New From Amidst Mod

Without saying what it is, I'd just like to give a heads up to all those blog viewers out there. Even though I've never lost my interest and love for Mid-Century/Retro/Vintage design, due to life, and trying to make a living in Chile S.A., I've not done the best job of keeping Amidstmod.com up to date with the awesome finds, artist, and galleries, that have made Amidstmod.com the place it is today. So, with that in mind, I am trying to do my best to push Amidstmod.com in a new and more interactive direction, while keeping the focus on what is the most important to all of us enthusiast. MCM design, art, and the preservation of it. So, please hang in there, and I promise to have some more info on how the project is going. Also, if you've been featured on Amidstmod.com before, watch out, you may be getting an email from me some time soon!

27 May 2014

Mid-Century In Video


Mid Century Modern / The Independent Magazine from Daniel Burdett on Vimeo.

I figured I'd try and give you folks some easy going, mindless Mid-Century Modern today. Now, I'm not so sure about the shoes. They seem just a bit to far out there to be original MCM. It's probable that none of what is featured in this video/commercial is real mid-century modern, but it is pleasant to look at anyway. They used colors well, picked good locations, added extra vintaged effects (not to much though), and selected a wardrobe that is definitely of MCM style. So, take a look, and I hope you enjoy the show.

26 May 2014

Mid-Century Danish Modern, Why So Popular...

Photo by: stiefelkombinat-berlin / TRUE VINTAGE NUSSBAUM SIDEBOARD 60er danish modern 70er


In complete honesty, I'm still learning about the Danish Modern Movement that took an unexpected leap in the early fifties. Yes, I know that Danish modern did exist as early as the 30's (from what I can find), but it really took the design world by storm in the 50's. 

Seemingly, the design professionals had taken note as early as the mid 40's, but with all the war stuff still having it's effect, it wasn't until the late 40's that people really could take it to heart, as to just how different it really was.

As you probably know, Mid-Century Danish Modern furniture is one of the most popular styles of furniture for people to look for and try and get their hands on. In the past 10-15 years, it, along with most other forms of mcm furniture have become highly valued once again. Why so?


Photo by: panda2008amanda /

Danish Modern Solid Teak Dinner Plate - Mid Century - Signed Wiggers - 1960's

High Quality Materials
One reason is materials used at that time are of very high quality. As is the case of most vintage/antique furniture, even the "knock-offs" (copies of the original manufactures) designs were made of better quality materials than most furniture today. Therefore, even with the pieces being quite old now, in terms of furniture age, you can generally get a good and sturdy piece for a decent price and a little repair work. 

Teak is possibly one of the most famous materials that were used in MCMDanish Modern furniture. It's traditionalism of being Danish, not to mention its strength, warmth, and beautiful tone made it a perfect material for ModernDanish furniture. Much of the materials used in American Mid-Century Modern Furniture were also used in MCM Danish Modern design as well. Woods such as Oak, Rosewood, and Walnut are also common to find. Even though many consider teak to be the more authentic or traditional material of Retro Danish Modern design

Other materials were commonly used as well. As is the case, Mid-Century Modern furniture borrowed heavily from the design concepts of it's predecessor, Bauhaus. Even though much of what was designed and developed during the Bauhaus movement was a bit weightier in form (not all, but most), Mid-Century DanishModern definitely borrowed from it in various ways. One such way was the designer’s use of metals, acrylics, leathers, and plastics. Still, almost every one of the materials used were of a better quality than those produced today for the mass market. 

Workmanship/Quality of Craftsmanship
Another reason that many people like the Mid-Century Danish Modern furniture is the quality of craftsmanship. Once again, the originals are of the best quality, but even the knock-offs of the time are generally worth their price. Quality of work in the late 40's- early 60's really meant something at that time. Therefore, it can be fairly easy to find a decently sturdy piece of furniture that can be used upon purchase or with the minimal of investment and work. 

Reparation
As mentioned above, typically the workmanship and material quality of Mid-century Modern Danish furniture was of a high quality, especially in comparison with that of today. Therefore, reparations of Danish Modern furniture is considerably more feasible and allows one to not only use, but maintain, and even restore these pieces to an almost brand new appearance. This allows for the owner to have a unique piece that lasts for a long period of time, and typically is more affordable in the long run. 


Photo by: lebensweyse / TRI O VINTAGE 

MID CENTURY MODERN CEILING LAMP ~ DANISH 

PLAFONNIERE POST ART DECO

Styling
While all of what is mentioned above is true, you may be thinking... Those are not the reasons that I want to buy, or that I got into Mid-Century Danish Modern Furniture. I know that too. However, I think that the aforementioned factors are equally as important to mention as the styling, so people should can be educated. 

Facts are... MCM Danish Modern Furniture is cool. It's sculpted, it's airy, and it's art that is truly functional. Due to its form and stance, DanishModern furniture tends to exude a more futuristic styling in the space that it's placed, but without it being harsh or creating a cold air in the ambient space. There are few notable design aspects to a "typically" Mid-Century Modern Danish piece, and we will investigate these in more detail in the following post.


*Please note that all links in this post, as well as the adds below the post are affiliate links that help amidstmod.com earn a meager sum so that we can continue to keep the site running. 

 

06 March 2014

Knowing Your Mid-Century Danish Modern.

Photo source: ebay/simply mod auctions
Have you every looked at a piece and thought, "I really like this, but I'm just not sure what, or who's it is?" I'm sure you have.

Even though I've been semi studying MCM design for many years now, I still find that I lack a lot of knowledge when it comes to what piece belongs to what designer, or who a designer is. Another lesser thought of question is, what copy of said designers piece is the one that I'm looking at? Is it an authentically approved piece from one of the original manufactures? Or is it a cheap knockoff from the vast number of cheaper quality companies that where riding on the skirt tails of the popular designers. These questions do really deserve to be answered before you buy. 

There are typically two reasons for wanting to know the designer/originality of any specific piece. One is: I want to know if the asking price is reasonable for the product I'm looking at. Unfortunately, the hay days of picking up unappreciated mcm treasures are close to gone. Even more unlikely, is that you will find any kind of stylized Danish mid-century furniture for a steal. In fact, you really need to watch out for your wallet. Many people today are sharks when it comes to Stylized Mid-Century Modern Furniture, and will try to over charge you for a decent, but not particularly special piece.

Second is: Quality. Ok, so as it goes for me personally, I'm not a big name dropper when it comes to furniture. I'm fairly shallow in the terms of furniture preferences (this only applies to my personality with furniture though). What I'm looking for in furniture are good looks and a quality build. Clearly the price matters, but only if the first two items are ticked off my list first. So, when I find a piece of furniture (Danish or not) I want to know that my money is going toward something of value. I need to know it's going to stand the test of time, and stand up to some use.


Really though, the only way to know if the piece that you are looking at is worth the price is by knowing who the designer was, but even more importantly, who the manufacturer is. Let me give you an example:
My wife's aunt, who is a big participant in an antiques mall in Georgia called Cobb Antique Mall, recently found a set of dining chairs. They're Breuer Cesca Chairs* and she wanted to know how to tell the originals from the knockoffs. So, I did a bit of research and found this link here. Thing being, depending on which manufacture made the chairs, you may be getting a well built quality seat, or you may be getting a cheaply made knockoff that's not going to last very long. Or, in fact, you may find on closer inspection that the piece has already started to come apart. Being quality or not has a direct effect on whether or not these chairs are going to be a good investment and TRULY BE VALUABLE. 

You can say the same about Danish/Danish styled Mid-century furniture*. Some are authentic and some are knockoffs. So before you start whipping out that lettuce and throwing it at the sales person to make sure no one else gets that... "Got To Have Piece", pull out the smart phone a do a little research. 

Photo source: ebay/arts-factory
Here's a couple of sites to help you with that research. One is www.danish-modern.co.uk and the other is www.danish-lights.com. At www.danish-modern.co.uk, you will find a listing of designers and manufactures, years promoted/sold, and companies that sold these pieces. 

At www.danish-lights.com you will find the same thing as www.danish-modern.co.uk, but for mid-century modern danish lighting*. Here the idea is that anyone can have a fairly quick reference guide to data on Danish modern furniture* and mid-century modern danish lighting* from the atomic era*, and still not loose that piece that just came in to the store, or was put up on the web for sale. Better yet though, is that you'll be able to make an educated decision as to whether or not the piece merits the price and if it will last for you and your family. 

Personally, I'm not starting a museum. However, I do want to know that if I need to sell my furniture and accessories, I'll be able to recoup some of what I've invested, and I'm sure you are the same. More important than resale though, is just knowing that the piece that I've just shelled out hard earned cash for will be able to endure my families use for many years to come.

While the reference sites listed in this post are not an all encompassing, they will help you to identify many of the most common Danish Modern pieces, and some of the lesser know pieces as well.

Please note that all links that have an asterisk (*) beside them are affiliate links. By purchasing thru these links, you are helping me to keep Amidstmod.com up and running. Thanks for your help and support.

03 November 2013

Compact Cabins by Simple Living



If you follow my facebook, you may have noticed that I put up a post about the Compact Cabins* book mentioned in the title.

Purely, by chance, I happened to see it while I was walking thru Lowes and was fairly impressed by it. However, I had no idea how cool it really was, until my loving in-laws gave it to me as a gift. So, lets go over the book a bit.



Honestly, the first thing that drew my attention to the book was a combination of factors. These where, that the cover illustration was a tonal architectural rendering of a cabin, and the second was... that the book is about cabins. While we all know that there are many books on architecture and so on, Cabin building is one of the most iconicly Mid-Century genres of architecture there is. (This is a topic for another time.)

So, not expecting much... I figured the photo on the cover was to pull you in, and then the rest would be glossy photos of contemporary cabins that no one could afford. I picked up the book (in the store before owning it), and looked briefly over the contents. To my surprise I found a really solid retro inspired looking cabin book. While I can't count it as completely Mid-Century Modern in design, I can guarantee that the author of this book was keeping in mind the original mid-century cabin books.



What I found inside is a really interesting and well balanced book. It takes on some of the more traditional styled cabin looks and simplifies the completion and construction of them with more current innovations.

One way that the book brings in current innovations into these retro styled cabins is by taking into consideration prefab and ready made units in the construction process. Some of these concepts are: using travel trailer and camper shower/bathroom units, using shipping containers, and using pre-made kitchen units to facilitate construction of the compact interiors while cutting your cost and time for design and install way down.



While some concepts may be a bit to contemporary for those of you who are reading this post, do not fear. This book has those contemporary concepts separated from the more traditional designs. However, it is good to remember that one of the big motivations in the MCM world was pushing design to incorporate new engineering concepts.

Compact Cabins* also gives very solid advice on modular units, and how they can be designed to construct the perfect cabin for your needs. Included in the book are 62 cabin plans, a number of tips on how to source materials (in todays world), how to find out about the building codes that exist, and a number of space saving concepts.



I do think it is very important for anyone reading this to understand that the maximum size of the cabins covered in this book is 1000 sf. Therefore, if you are looking for a book that covers larger cabins, this is not the book for you. Still, this book is incredibly practical, and will make you rethink the building of a larger more expensive cabin for the practicality of one of the ones shown in this book.

In conclusion, I would say that the content of this book is more than just interesting. I would say that is super practical and very inspiring. Being that I'm somewhat of a Mid-Century book snob (not just any old book gets in my collection), any book that I suggest must fit a few important criteria.
   First- Any book to be displayed must fit in with my other mid-century books. 
   Second- It must be practical and lend toward Mid-Century styled living.
   Third- It needs to be an easily understood book that is useful to anyone who may pick it up. 
Compact Cabins* is all of the above without a doubt. While it isn't suitable for Mid-Century Purist, it will be a great and wonderful addition to the average Mid-Century enthusiast. In fact, just looking at this book has inspired me to reconsider the possibility of building a cabin. Who knows, it could happen...


 

10 August 2013

OH...Oh...Oh... Mid-Century Modern Home Plans

Ok, so over the years I've seen all the cabin and ranch or vacation house plan's books out there. While they are all titled Mid-Century Modern home/house plans, it only takes a few seconds to see that they are only partly what they claim. In the end, buying them is more for collection than for need or a true fit. That though is no longer the case. Why? Let me show you.

I was just browsing my favorite mid-century modern book store on ebay*, Populuxe* books, and I happened to run across this awesome book.

 


This Sunset Books offering from the early 60's is not the typical, so it would seem, book that they put  out on, "mid-century modern", house plans. You know, the book I mentioned above, where there are two mid-century  modern styled houses buried in amongst a ton of plain and simple homes of the mid-century period, that are the furthest thing from modern. No, this book, at least from what Populuxe has posted on the photos portion of the sale, shows a true potential for being able to fufill our desires of having one book full of mcm house plans. 

Just to help you get an idea, check out the following photos. 

If you think these are cool, go check out the other photos Populuxe* has up. You won't be disappointed. While there take a gander at the other books and toys they have up on auction.  Who knows, they may just become your favorite Mid-Century Modern books store too. 

Please Note: Populuxe* Books has not compensated or encourage www.amidstmod.com in an manner to promote their books or products in this post. Also please note that links with an (*) beside them are affiliate links as are the product apps on this site. For more information on the how www.amidstmod.com receives it's income, please visit our income page.
 




11 July 2013

A bit of Danish in Books

*Note: I have choosen to feature Populuxe books on my own accord. Populuxe books is not rewarding me, nor paying me for featuring their material on Amidstmod.com.

I thought: "While my time is short for posting, I would put together a simple, but image/informational filled post for you nice folks." Also, while I'm not turning Amidstmod.com into a danish modern only site, I am doing double duty, trying to get my facebook group Mid-Century Danish Modern up and going. So stop by and check it out, and join.

My favorite online bookstore, Populuxe books, has just what I needed today for a bit of inspired staring. Today I looked up, in the search box, the topic Danish Modern. Below are some of the books and images that I came across. Hope you enjoy.

ARTS OF DENMARK VIKING TO MODERN (1960)

 


 

CONTEMPORARY DANISH ARCHITECTURE Monies 1958






VERNER PANTON BY VERNER PANTON Limited 1986


While these are just a few books that feature Danish design, there are a number more that have great interior design that incorporate Danish modern as well. So, stop by, look, and pick a book for the road. 

The Following links and apps. are affiliate apps. These links and apps help keep Amidst mod going. If you would like to know more about these links and how they work, please stop by the income page on amidstmod.com