Perhaps one of the most iconic design periods of the last century, with its warm wood tones, bold colours and, nowadays, an undeniably retro edge, Mid-century Modern design has endured long beyond its associated decades. Furniture staples like the Eames lounger and Jeanneret’s Chandigarh chairs (both seen in the homes of celebrities and on the silver screen) have been elevated to icon status with cult followings of their own. In fact, many Mid-century Modern designs are some of the most recognisable pieces of furniture of all time. They and the equally celebrated architecture of the era have established the look as one for those in the know for decades.
Today, Mid-century Modern still embraces the rich, polished walnuts, figured woods and terrazzo accents as it did in the 50s, but novelty and modernity—what the style was built on—are never too far away. Showcasing a new approach to this beloved style, the Mid-century Modern Lookbook embraces a contemporary, light-filled and open-plan take on the iconic design style.
We step inside LuxDeco 100 designers Humbert & Poyet’s perfectly situated Cannes project, Villa Odaya. Taking a summery turn, the vast expanse of glass that overlooks the Lérins Islands lets the light in and the true stars of this space—the furniture—shine through. From rattan armchairs to architectural sofas and a geometric chaise lounge, the open living space brings a fresh new perspective to mid-century design and its ability to furnish even the most remarkable of spaces.
Low-lying furniture invites guests to sink, quite literally, into deep conversation; brass accents and rounded corners offer a soft edge alongside statuesque artwork and decor; and lighting takes on a larger-than-life personality, becoming veritable sculptures in their own right.
And though the style breathes best in plenty of open space, this is not the time for minimalism. Instead, each floor surface is noteworthy for a unique pattern and, drawing inspiration from the work of yet another mid-century great, Italian architect Gio Ponti, geometric patterns feature in abundance. Blue hues—inspired by the Mediterranean landscape that surrounds the property—swim throughout with the design duo leaning into a predominantly azure colour palette.
Like Humbert & Poyet, fellow LuxDeco 100 designer Greg Natale also has a penchant for the vintage, and so, unsurprisingly, his use of mid-century influences are prevalent throughout his illustrious portfolio. From his love of Ponti’s Parco dei Principi hotel in Sorrento to his affection for the “homely” appeal that only mid-century design can provide, the Australian-born designer reveals to LuxDeco why and how he channels this inviting style into the spaces he creates. Approaching the look from a more maximalist perspective, Natale’s projects are a kaleidoscope of colourful stone, statement woodwork and eye-catching artwork, proving once more that this quintessential style has more versatility than might initially meet the eye.
And when it comes to which pieces to invest in to nail the look, turn to our Mid-century Modern furniture guide for a deeper understanding of what sets these pieces apart, the characteristics to look out for and the modern twists on classic styles. Expect a meeting point between functionality and design, velvets, woods and rattan, and plenty of curves. From what to opt for in a coffee table to the unique elements of a mid-century bookcase, let this be your guide to crafting a Mid-century Modern home of your own. Complete the space with eye-catching mirrors, spherical light fixtures, and a scattering of geometric cushions.
The final touch for a thoroughly authentic experience? Our curated Bossa Nova playlist. João Gilberto and Nara Leão will be heard throughout the house just in time for a pre-dinner cocktail. Vol-au-vents at the ready.