AN ILLUSTRATED MID CENTURY OBSESSION

No logro recordar ese momento en el que el estilo Mid Century se instaló en mi cerebro. Probablemente fue cuando vi Mad Men (una de mis series preferidas) o tal vez se remonta a cuando veía The Powerpuff Girls o Los Supersónicos siendo un niño./ I can’t remember that moment when the Mid Century style settled in my brain. It was probably when I watched Mad Men (one of my favorite shows) or maybe it goes back to my childhood when I used to watch The Powerpuff Girls or The Jetsons.

La pureza de líneas, la combinación cromática naranja + rojo + verde oliva y las ganas de alcanzar un futuro más dinámico. El estilo Mid Century aparece en Europa a mediados del siglo XX (de ahí su nombre) como una respuesta innovadora al modernismo, del cual también soy fan pero no se caracterizaba por ser precisamente funcional ni reproducible. También influyeron otros sucesos como el final de la 2da Guerra Mundial cuando se necesitaban modelos de construcción rápidos, económicos y reproducibles./ The purity of lines, the orange + red + olive green chromatic combination and the desire to achieve a more dynamic future. The Mid Century style appears in Europe in the middle of the 20th century (hence its name) as an innovative response to modernism, of which I am also a fan but it was not characterized by being precisely functional or reproducible. Other events such as the end of the 2nd World War also influenced the movement when the industry required fast, cheap and reproducible construction models.

El impacto del estilo Mid Century tiene una sombra alargada, y probablemente y sin darte cuenta estés sentado en algún sofá de inspiración de medio siglo, o hayas visto algo en Ikea o en cualquier tienda de decoración que tenga sus raíces en este movimiento. A eso es lo que llamo yo un verdadero reinicio cultural./ The impact of this movement has a long shadow, and without realizing it, you are probably sitting on a mid-century-inspired sofa, or have seen something in Ikea or in any decoration store that has its roots in this movement. That’s what I call a true cultural reset.

Al final el Mid Century se extendió también a la arquitectura, a los productos y al diseño gráfico. Poco después terminó evolucionando al Mid Century Modern donde los acabados eran mucho más sencillos y destacaban las líneas geométricas y la belleza natural de la madera como característica estrella. Vínculos con lo naturaleza que de hecho se aprecian en el modo en que la arquitectura se mezcla con elementos vegetales para hacer los días más reconfortantes y los espacios más habitables.¿No es eso lo que seguimos buscando en el siglo XXI sobre todo después de una p*ndemia?/ In the end, the Mid Century also extended to architecture, products and graphic design. Shortly after, it ended up evolving into Mid Century Modern with highlighted geometric lines and the natural beauty of wood as a star feature. Links with nature that can actually be seen in the way architecture mixes with plant elements to make more comfortable days and more habitable spaces. Isn’t that what we continue to look for in the 21st century, especially after a p*ndemic?

Aquí una ilustración de mis iconos del Mid Century favoritos (de los cuales tengo algunos pero quiero expandir más mi colección). Elementos que considero perfectos para combinar con otras tendencias, colores y que seguro que resistirán el paso del tiempo. En pocas palabras el Mid Century apuesta por “función y forma”, funcionalidad y comodidad pero sin sacrificar la estética./ Here’s an illustration of my favorite Mid Century icons (of which I have a few but want to expand my collection more). Elements that I consider perfect to combine with other trends, colors and that will surely stand the test of time. In a few words, the Mid Century is committed to «function and form», functionality and comfort, but without sacrificing aesthetics.

 

In this illustration: 1. Eero Aarnio Ball Chair + 2. Vitra Eames House Bird + 3. Louis Poulsen PH 5 Mini Pendant + 4. AM Spejle Denmark Mirror + 5. Florence Knoll Sofa + 6. Vitra Coffee Table designed x Isamu Noguchi + 7. Artemide Nessino Lamp + 8. Vitra Ball Clock Designed x George Nelson & Associates + 9./10. Knoll Tulip Series by Eero Saarinen + 11. Wilh. Schauman Finland Bureau + 12. Slice Chair by Pierre Paulin

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  • Hi Pablo,

    I was not able to translate your scripture but looking at your post, it looks like you are very interested in vintage furniture and art deco. You have taken inspiration from the lines, colours and shapes. Your illustrations are brilliant. I especially love the hanging light shade and green lounge chair. I hope you have a great week ahead Pablo : ) xo

    http://www.juanitalikes.com

  • What a fun post, Pablo! I have come to enjoy the Mid-Century Modern look through my husband who is a fan. He belongs to a FB group on the subject. Your illustrations are perfect!

    Michelle
    mbijm

  • Aahhhh I love this post! I close friend of mine loves the 50s/60s interior vibe and she has a lot of these influences in her apt with more contemporary pieces. Absolutely love her mix of modern and retro. It’s crazy how this style is 70-60 years old and yet it still works today. I wonder what we will think of all the crazy marble and all-white trends we’re seeing today. Or the newest trend of pastels, fun shapes and playfulness. Not sure it’s going to make sense in 10 years. Anyway, as always, such a great post and lovely with the illustrations! Xx

    • Thanks for checking it out Mia!

      I totally agree with you, not sure if many of the trends we are seeing today will make sense in a few years but only time will show us what features could survive and appears in other design movements 🙂

      Take care, xx

  • Hello Pablo,
    I always learn so much from you and it’s always a pleasure to view your beautiful illustrations. I have never known how to style mid-century furniture (or anything for that matter), but I did enjoy mid-century style in Mad Men. It was one of my favorite shows and I was really sad when it ended and how it ended lol.
    Have a lovely week!
    PerlaGiselle | iamperlita.com
    ♥ | INSTAGRAM

    • Hey Perlita, thank you so much for stopping by and for reading this new post❤️

      Mad Men is also one of my favorite shows ever!

  • You illustrate furniture and decor so well. I always love to see your illustrations and art, but I feel that with decor illustrations you really shine and manage to convey your love for decor. In this case, I love how you illustrated furniture inspired by the mid century style.
    I happen to love this style of interior design. It might be from watching Powerpuff girls:). I also loved Mad Man. I haven’t seen all the seasons of Mad Man, I’m not a very regular watcher of shows, I typically run from one seasons to another…but I’ve seen quite a few episodes across seasons and I really liked that show. The acting was wonderful and the decor was spot on. They really nailed the mid century interior designs on the offices and homes. Plus, the costumes in Mad Man were absolutely amazing.
    I think the reason why I feel nostalgic about this time is because it was a time of discoveries and developments in the science, it was a great time for writers as well. The late fifties and early sixties were filled with optimistic attitudes I think.
    Thank you for another inspiring post!

    • Hey Ivana,

      I really appreciate your compliments ❤️ I think decoration is one of my favorite subjects to illustrate and make compositions. If you have ideas for similar topics or styles feel free to let me know 🙂

      And Mad Men is one of my favorite shows ever, I think you’d enjoy the season finale if you ever want to watch it again 🙂 And all the things you mentioned related to art, costume and set design in the series are the cherry on top for this show!

      Take care, xx

  • Ah Pablo, as a big fan of Mid Century Modern design, I love this post and the icons you’ve chosen to illustrate are delightful! I think my first brush with this style was in Breakfast At Tiffany’s which is still one of my favorite movies. I also believe that good design is timeless and these pieces you’ve so finely illustrated would look right at home in most modern settings. And you’re correct about the far reaching influence this movement has had even down to Ikea furniture.

    • Thank you so much for checking out this blog post Rowena!

      You’re right! There a few pieces of this design movement in Breakfast At Tiffanys! I have to rewatch this movie to catch all the Mid Century details 😉

  • Hola Pablo! How you doin in this start of spring?
    I hope you’re enjoying these first long, warm, sunny days: this is definitely my fav moment of the year to go out and strollin around as much as possible!^^

    But I’m always happy even when I see that you’ve dropped a new post: your articles are truly unique and I totally love your illustrations!
    Plus when I’ve read Mad Men (and Powerpuff girls!!! OMG; you are so right), I’ve related to the core of the topic right away!
    How much I’ve loved that serie! In that period I was totally obsessed with that mid-century aestethic you’ve talked so well here!
    And right now I’m still an huge fan of that way to use the colors and those clean lines, especially when I see it declined in a modern way, maybe with golden or prints or materials in contrast: it’s a full world to experiment!
    Loved the way you’ve described and talked of this movement, brilliant and informative as usual!
    And looooved the illustrations, a trip between past and future, with a bit of nostalgic feeling, just genial!

    Have a great week ahead, my friend! 🙂
    Baci!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

    • Hola Silvia, I hope you’re enjoying these Spring days!
      Thank you so much for your kind wishes 🙂

      And thanks also for all these compliments about my illustrations ❤️ It is also impressive to see that the Mid Century style was also present in cartoons like The Powerpuff Girls right?

      Take care and happy Easter 🙂

  • Oh I LOVE Mad Men too, such a great show and I love looking at the fashions and the interior design and how they recreate the era. I recall watching an episode once that took place in Pete’s apartment with this wife and there was a green glass pitcher on the table that was EXACTLY like one my grandparents had it was so weird seeing it on MM as it was kind of unique design. With the mid century aesthetic I like when it is mixed with other styles. And LOVE your illustration!

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Hey Allie, thanks for checking out this blog post! I remember that episode and many of the exquisite details related to costume and interiors in the show! Now I want to rewatch the series haha 🙂

  • Hola Pablo!
    Me ha encantado el post, es verdad que últimamente veo muchas cositas de este estilo, pero no sabía el nombre exacto. Personalmente, prefiero las líneas rectas y los muebles sencillos, que no las casas que están decoradas como si fuera una iglesia barroca.
    NECESITO una ball chair urgentemente hahaha seguro que me paso el día ahí sentada dando vueltas. Y las mesas transparentes son geniales, dan una mayor sensación de amplitud y luminosidad a la sala

    Un beso enorme!!!

    • Hola Sofía, qué gusto verte de nuevo por aquí.

      Al igual que tú prefiero ese tipo de decoración con algunos acentos de color o detalles retro jeje 🙂

      Gracias por pasarte!

  • I love midcentury modern style so much! I love looking at midcentury inspo on pinterest when I’m exploring new ways to decorate my home. My favorite thing about it is how it’s classic and modern at the same time. I never realized how stylish the incredibles house was haha! I also enjoy Mad Men 🙂 These illustrations are amazing Pablo and this was such a fun post!

    Jill
    https://jilliancecilia.com/

    • So happy to see you here again, Jill 🙂 !

      I hope you found some interesting inspiration while looking for Mid Century decoration / furniture.

      Best, xx

  • Honestly I’m a big fan of mid century design! I’ve always have a thing with objects, songs, or movies from the 50s or 60s. Sometime I wonder if I am born at the wrong period? hahaha

    When i see this post, i totally fall in love with your explanation and illustration. It’s hard to pick a favourite object , but the florence knoll sofa could be my most favourite item from your list!

    • So happy to see you here once again, friend 🙂 I also think the same when it comes to think about the 60s, I really love many of the aesthetic things that this decade has haha!

  • Hey Fungi!

    I hope you have a comfortable day around mid-April! Love the article about mid century <3 It is difficult to draw mid century furniture with golden ratio for me. All of yours are perfect, cute, and beautiful!

    It was the first time I know that Eames House Birds, and I would love to decorate it in my home office:) It is also exciting collage of Mad Men and The Incredible. I also love the series.Thank you for always fantastic inspirations, Fungi<3

    akiko
    https://kimonosnack.blogspot.com

    • Hello Akiko,

      So happy to see your comment on this blog post since I know you are a big fan of decoration and mid century style! Happy to know that you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Hey Fungi!

    Hope you’re doing great and having an awesome spring!

    Love this post because recently I have gotten into decorating. Love having a vision and a theme when doing so. Didn’t think this is something I would get into. It’s another really cool form of art through which we get to express ourselves.

    Have a great day! Talk soon!

    http://www.fashionradi.com

    • Ooh Radi, so happy to see you here once again 🙂 I hope you’re having a lovely spring too!

      Good to know that you’re enjoying your decorating era, for me it is a really creative field and I hope you explore it as much as possible!

      Take care, xx