Midcentury modern design is often associated with furniture made during the mid-20th century. However, this style has continued to grow as a widely appreciated aesthetic that is commonly used in home renovations and new construction projects. Below you will find a list of midcentury modern furniture designers who have helped keep this trend going strong. If you love midcentury modern design, then you probably know it’s essentially anything produced from the 1940s through the 1960s. That being said, most pieces are from the 1950s and early 1960s — or “midcentury” for short. That also means these designers are mostly from that time period as well.
Gordon Van Tine
Gordon Van Tine is considered one of the top furniture designers of the ‘50s. He is known for his simple, clean lines and use of natural wood. He is also credited with the creation of the “contract line,” which is a midcentury modern furniture line that can be purchased through retailers such as Crate & Barrel. Van Tine is also well known for his interior design work and has even been featured in publications such as House Beautiful and Interiors. He is also the author of two books: “The Complete Book of Decoration” and “The Contemporary Book of Decorating.” Van Tine’s work is highly sought after. His pieces can be found at auction with estimates ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. It’s not uncommon for his pieces to sell for much more than the high estimate. Classic modern furniture designers design differs from furniture designers of the ‘50s.
Charles E. Roberts
Charles E. Roberts designed the “world’s most comfortable chair” as well as other furniture pieces using a combination of metal, wood and leather. His furniture has been featured in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian. Some of his most popular pieces include the “Cloud” chair, the “Geneva” chair, the “Drifter” sofa and the “Wall” coffee table. Roberts also had a successful career as an architect. He designed the American Embassy in New Delhi, India, as well as the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. He also had a major role in designing the Pentagon. In addition to these architectural projects, Roberts was also an interior designer and was hired to design the interiors of several yachts as well as the interiors of several buildings in Washington, D.C. He was also commissioned to design the interiors of several commercial buildings.
George Nakashima is considered to be one of the top furniture designers of the midcentury era. He is known for his use of natural materials and handcrafting. Nakashima was also known for using discarded logs from lumber yards to create his furniture. He is credited with creating the “Nakashima style” of American furniture. Nakashima, a Buddhist, was very focused on woodworking as a way to meditate and clear his mind. He had many other passions and interests as well, including gardening, hunting, music and art. He was an artist who created many sculptures out of wood, metal and other materials. While he was primarily known for furniture, Nakashima also designed houses as well as jewelry. He designed jewelry for several celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and Barbara Hutton. Nakashima was also commissioned to create wooden bowls, plates and other household items for the Japanese royal family.
Eero Saarinen is known for designing the “Womb Chair” as well as other furniture pieces that are still popular today. Some of his most well-known furniture designs include “Wheel,” “Guardian,” “Pedestal,” and “Womb.” Saarinen also had a successful career as an architect, designing buildings including the General Motors Technical Center, the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo. Saarinen also had a career as a furniture designer. In addition to furniture design, Saarinen also had a career as a landscape designer. He was hired to design the campus of his alma mater, the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Saarinen’s work was well-known and highly-regarded. He was even featured on the cover of Time Magazine. He also was awarded the American Institute of Architects Medal and the Gold Medal from the American Society of Interior Designers.
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