The History of Mid-Century Modern Design

You see it all over Pinterest, in magazines, and of course, your favorite HomeStores. It’s Mid-Century Modern. This style has made a comeback, and for great reasons. It’s sleek, clean, and compliments so many styles of living. So, where did these clean lines and minimalistic design come from?

Photo by dreaming_of_rivers

Mid-Century Modern first surfaced in the mid-1930s but really gained popularity in the years following the end of World War II, between 1945 and 1950. New homeowners were searching for functional furniture for their homes, straying away from the ornate fabric-covered duds of past decades. Mid-Century Modern furniture also flaunted the fact that it used minimal resources to create, which was a plus, especially after coming out of such a resource-consuming war. The people of this era craved simplicity and a return to happier times. The clean lines, geometric patterns, and pops of bright color within Mid-Century Modern furniture and design brought that to them.

As the 1960s began, Mid-Century modern design began to fade. The slowing of the housing boom, changing technologies, and new architectural and interior designs were all factors in the change of trends and the fall of Mid-Century Modern style. But don’t worry, its story doesn’t stop there.

Photo by Ron Frazier

Mid-Century Modern made its resurgence in the 1980s and has maintained popularity since then. This was again fueled by hard times after a war, this time, the Vietnam War. It was another call for simpler times. Not only that but now this furniture had an air of nostalgia to it that brought people comfort, as it still does today. Now, what has caused this trend to last as long as it has? It can’t just be the nostalgia factor. The answer to this may surprise you. Take a look at your phone. If you have an iPhone, you may see some similarities between it and Mid-Century Modern Design. Both have a sleek and minimalistic design, with emphasis on simplicity. Technology can make our lives hectic and messy, so we crave simpler things, where everything is in its place, and wrapped up in one nice, minimalist package. This, like in past decades, leads us to gravitate towards simple, sleek designs like Mid-Century Modern.

Incorporating Mid-Century Modern design into the home is quite an exciting journey. Of course, there are still original pieces from 50-60 years ago that are still around, but most of those antiques are incredibly expensive. If you are looking for a more affordable way to achieve this look, go to your local Ashley HomeStore and check out our Contemporary Living Lifestyle and see what Mid-Century Modern pieces you can find. And no worries, your house doesn’t have to look straight out of the ’50s, you can mix some Mid-Century Modern pieces into your home along with the rest of your furniture and décor. Bring some nostalgia into your life, try Mid-Century Modern design!

For the Love of Living Coral

The color of the year according to Pantone® is here.

Every year, we take a moment to stop and recognize the fashion and design world’s precursor to color—the Pantone color of the year.

The queen of color for 2019 is *drumroll, pleeeease!* …Living Coral.

Pantone describes its peachy pigments as animating and life-affirming, with a golden undertone that energize and enliven with a soft edge.

The full, rather philosophical description is:

Vibrant, yet mellow, Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Representing the fusion of modern life, Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media. – Source pantone.com

All of that said, let’s talk about how to work with Living Coral in your home. It’s a beautiful accent color that offers a breath of fresh air for drab digs everywhere. Whether on a wall or an accent chair, or countless options for accessories, it can totally be the spark of color that changes the entire vibe of a space. With the long-living popularity of grays and blues, especially, Living Coral offers a way to add color while still sticking with stylish neutral backdrops.

Where to start?

Freshen up! Seeing a Living Coral swatch instantly inspires a bathroom makeover. Fresh, bright colors — towels, hand soaps, bath mats, and shower curtains would be stunning in Living Coral to brighten up where you clean up.

Welcome color. Your front door is the first glimpse of your home’s style. It’s very trendy right now to highlight doors, inside and out, with color. Alongside a neutral exterior paint, Living Coral would be a unique, fresh burst of color for your front door. What better way is there to welcome your guests with style? Not feeling that frisky? Try it inside first. Pop Living Coral on a bedroom door and pair it with off-white trim around the door frame. Et voilà! An instant transformation for your interior with a simple coat of paint.

Soften up. Fluff your way into the trend with some new pillows. So simple, yet such a dramatic difference. Adding Living Coral pillows to a tired sofa or chair will add lightyears of style, and freshen up how you feel about your furniture.

Accessorize and shine. Rugs, curtains, and comforters were made for Living Coral. Sprinkles of this hue in any accessory, in any room, are beautiful and versatile. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just enough to show off its shining shade. A little bit goes a long way to amp up the liveliness of any space.

So, the ‘coral’ of the story here is, a little bit of brightness goes a long way… and Pantone’s color of the year is where you will see the light, so go get your color on!

Little splashes of summer

There’s just something about summer that makes you crave new style.

The itch for new home fashion tends to come seasonally, and summer is the time to splurge.

Here are a few ideas to help you get your summer style on:

Floor them with patterns.

Gone are the days of patterns galore, except for your floor. Surround yourself with tonal palettes with a minimalist approach to color for your furniture and walls. Add a flair to your floors with a patterned rug to elegantly offset the more muted tones around the room. For an added quick fix that will make your rug pop even more, swap out patterned curtains or throw pillows for something solid but textured, and stay within the same basic color family. You can’t go wrong with this little splash of summer.

Summer breeze makes your room fine.

Light walls combined with bold furniture in tertiary colors is a combo you want for a fresh, clean room. Blue brings a sense of serene, which brings a sense of cool on hot days. Tie the look together by adding metallic accents, and consider mixing brass, chrome or copper. The effect is clean and breezy without looking stagnant and cold.

Midcentury modest.

You don’t want to overdo it on retro, or you’ll risk looking outdated. That said, midcentury furniture has totally been making its way back into home fashion all year—but there’s a new twist for summer. Mix your mod furniture with bright, bohemian-inspired accent colors. It’s a great way to make a neutral room tastefully midcentury mod… without looking like you shopped in your grandma’s basement.

Checks. Check!

Nautical is so hot right now. You literally can’t get enough navy in your style. Classic buffalo check patterns make any room shine, but for summer you can go crazy with it, adding small pops of colors in unexpected ways. Splurge on fabulous fabrics for pillows and throws to compliment just about any style of furniture. Add some splashes of bright red, pink, or teal details to set sail to your own nautical style.

Outside is in.

This summer, it’s totally cool to fully embrace the season by bringing a bit of the outdoors inside your home. Making your indoor and outdoor spaces feel cohesive is awesome. You can do it with airy, sky blue walls with white accents, making the entire living space feel as if it could be outside. Natural tones for rugs and accessories are the finishing touch for your indoor outdoor vibe.

Check your style

Can you believe we’re nearing the “half way over” mark for 2018?

We predicted some home trends at the end of 2017, and it looks like our style was in check. Here’s a look at a few of the top trends that are holding up this year:

  1. Cluttered look – OUT!
Living rooms have long been a catch-all for everything from wide coffee tables and massive TV stands to fake flower arrangements and too many tchotchkes. Create a more relaxing space by kicking the clutter to the curb.
Replace the clutter with a minimalist fashion approach. You’ll be able to relax more with less in your way.

2. Matte light fixtures – IN!
An instant way to refresh any space is to ditch dated light fixtures. Bid farewell to brass and shiny metal. Say hello to matte metals and mixed-industrial textures.
3. Floor lamps – OUT!
While we’re on the subject of lighting, taller isn’t better. See above and rethink your lighting fixtures. Bolding replacing gaudy floor lamps with chic table lamps, tabletop candles, and wall-installed lighting will be on the radar of home fashionistas everywhere.
4. Retro-contemporary – IN!
Don’t be afraid to look back to move forward. Pulling inspiration from the past is cool with wooden accents, square sofas, tweed, and funky, angled pieces. To keep a retro look current, add industrial touches, like metal accessories. You can also warm it up with pops of color, patterned pillows, and accent rugs.
5. Over-teched-up spaces – OUT!
The future for flat screen TVs and computers isn’t so bright when it comes to the living room. Over tech-ing up every single room is swiftly becoming old news. Keep the TV to one or two smaller rooms, and don’t be afraid to leave a bedroom or living room completely tech-free. After all, relaxation is always in!
Replace focusing on tech with drawing attention to any unique or custom features of the room—like a fireplace, crown moulding, built-in shelves, etc. Accessorizing with books and magazines is a cool touch that inspires cozy living.
6. Chaise lounges – IN!
Comfort is all the rage… and so is the chaise. A chaise lounge is an elongated chair, with or without arms, that allows extending your legs for a relaxing place to lay. Replace bulky pieces with streamlined style. It’s easy on the eye, and makes it easy for you to relax.
We’ve enjoyed sitting back and watching the home trends happen. Here’s to living the rest of the year in style!

Embrace the entryway

The entryway to your home offers a glimpse into what lies ahead. It’s your personal stage to set the tone for how you want your home to feel. Making it your own with your unique style will make you feel great every time you get home. It’s a space to design in a way that makes you love walking through the door every day, while at the same time using design enhancements that make it a functional space to keep things organized.

With a blend of form and function, you will offer family and friends a warm welcome, while also providing your own must-haves, like storage and hanging space. Here are some great ways to achieve a balanced, welcoming, and functional entryway to your home.

Let there be LIGHT

So much can be said with a carefully chosen light fixture or two. Start with a stylish overhead light, like a dramatic pendant, to drape the entryway with warm, glowing light. If there’s room for a table, add a lamp or set of lamps to provide another layer of light.

get smart with your art

Every entryway should have an artsy mirror. Not only are they pretty, but they’re practical in a couple of different ways. First, they offer an opportunity for that last-minute glance before dashing out the door. Second, they open up your entryway, reflecting light and space for a more inviting feel. Once you hang the perfect mirror, opt for artwork you love – it’s the first thing you and guests see when entering your home, so it should reflect your taste and sense of style. It’s nice to offer a glimpse of what’s to come in the rest of your home’s design.

HAVE A SEAT

If there’s enough space, having a place where you can unpack your day is a great option for any entryway. Whether it’s a seat to remove shoes, a table to place your everyday essentials, or just a small stool, let the size of your entry determine your choices. As a hidden space-saving bonus, opt for a bench or stool that lifts open to be a storage unit. For another bonus space-saver, adding a matching coat rack can save on closet space.

floor them with color

Placing a rug on the floor is one of the best ways to add color and texture—but choose carefully. You need a rug that can withstand foot traffic. When choosing your rug, consider the vertical clearance space between the bottom of your door and the floor. You don’t want your door to rub on the rug every time it opens and closes. Most of all, don’t be afraid of color. It’s the perfect way to add a pop of warmth and style, making every homecoming a happy one.

Green is the new gray

Whether you’re an urban dweller or comfy in the country, green is the new go-to shade for relaxed living everywhere.

Green is a great color for bringing a little bit of the outdoors to your indoors.

It helps to create an open and inviting feeling for your home, that’s anything but boring. Gray walls, although easy to design around, are quickly moving into a style of yesteryear. Cooler colors that have dominated contemporary homes, trendy cocktail bars, and industrial office spaces, are giving way to more fresh shades of green that can evoke feelings of comfort, all within your comfort zone.

Picking the right green for your walls, your furniture, and accessories isn’t always easy, so here are some tips for “going green” in 2018.

Know the right shade for your design goals.

Green is a gloriously flexible color option. It’s easy to go bold or tone it down. Not all colors can go both ways like that.

Source: Pinterest

For a bolder design, go with bright greens. If you want the color to speak for itself, don’t be shy. Let your wall be the burst of color you want by using a minimalist approach to how you accessorize to let it shine.

On the other hand, if neutrals are your jam, sage green is your BFF. A more neutral green is an awesome alternative to neutral colors of the past (move over whites, off whites, and grays) — and is a wonderful way to transition from a more neutrally painted room. Accessorize it up to liven up any “sage-iated“ space.

Source: Pinterest

Go green with your furniture.

You don’t have to paint to go green.

Swapping neutral-colored furniture can do the job, too! Whether it’s a chair, a sofa, or just an accent, a green piece of furniture is always pleasantly unexpected to create a truly unique room.

Look for the perfect piece and pair it with the things you love.

White… out.

The white trend is beautiful, no doubt; but, in reality it’s not as functional for real life as other design choices. You can trade the all-white look for just hints of white, surrounded by endless pops of funky freshness. Add a green wall, but maintain classic neutral whites in your trim color selection. Then throw in a colorful pair of chairs or eclectically mix up your pillows. With green, the contrast options are endless (and stunning)… not to mention whole lot easier to keep the entire room looking new (and clean)!

Don’t be afraid of patterns and textures.

A great way to introduce green into your home is by choosing furniture in different patterns of the same hue, contrasting bolder prints with more subtle shades of green and accessories.

Add other natural textures, like bamboo and lemongrass to really tie a green concept together.

With all of the options, it might not seem easy to go green, but with a few basics to get you started, the style possibilities are endless once you move beyond thinking in gray and white.

 

PANTONE® Purple

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? Well, first, the end of 2017; second, time for the release of 2018’s PANTONE®  color of the year.

The world authority on color, PANTONE® is an organization with the primary function of communicating color across a variety of industries. Pretty cool gig, huh?

Needless to say, when PANTONE® names its pick for color of the year, we listen. The yearly proclamation ultimately drives interior design trends, runway fashion, graphic design, and more.

The future is purple! 

With a bold, imaginative spirit, Ultra Violet (18-3838) will reign supreme in 2018.

The inspiration for this color choice is both philosophical and fascinating…

Photo credit: pantone.com

Thinking about such a beautiful color can certainly inspire your home fashion choices, as you imagine what is yet to come by way of your style. Simply put, It’s time to start thinking about how to work some purple vibes into your living space for 2018!

Pro-design tip: Fix smiling cushions

If your cushions are smiling, it’s not as cute as it sounds.

Cozy as they may be, all sofa and chair cushions are subject to sagging as they are used over time.

With two side-by-side cushions drooping downward, they look like they’re coming together in the shape of a smile; but when it happens, we’re really just frowning on the inside.

The good news is, there’s a simple fix to whip sagging cushions right back into just-like-new shape. Our designer, Matthew, demonstrates how to get the job done right:

Cheers to seasonal decorating!

When it comes to holiday decorating, there are two types of people: those who live for the holidays and those who aren’t looking forward to the extra work. Here are a few ideas to kick start your holiday decorating spirit, no matter how into it you are this year.

Warm your door.

The first impression is the best impression. What better place than your front door to make a cheerful one?

Adding a simple wreath adds instant personality and a welcoming vibe for guests. If you’re making your own, let your imagination run wild—or, swap the wreath for a seasonal door hanger.

Don’t forget the floor.

There are so many cute, seasonal floor mats out there. Pick one that coordinates with your door décor to take it to the next level. Add some personality by choosing one that says something about you and your home.

Santa’s Helper rug – $36

Cool style.

If it stays warm long enough, cuddling by a backyard fire pit is awesome in the late fall and early winter months. Add music and cold drinks and you’ve got yourself a party. Chilling your drinks in style will help make your guests’ holiday happiness even happier. This rustic, scrapped metal look, for instance, makes it a great conversation piece as you select your next beverage among friends.

Reindeer cooler – $192

Fluff it up.

Bringing the cheer inside can be easy as 1-2-3. Holiday-themed and colorful pillows, that is. Adding a single pillows, or groups of two and three pillows, atop your furniture is an easy way to instantly add seasonal charm to your interior design. Mix and match as much as you want to enhance the style you already have in your home.

Renegade gold pillow – $17.99

 

Accessorize and shine.

Accessories that are on the neutral side are the perfect way to add holiday sheen without having to go all out. There’s sophistication in subtlety, and these accents show it. Aaaand, if you let them stay up a little past the actual holidays, no problem.

Trees with star finial set of 3 – $89.99

It doesn’t have to take a miracle to make your home shine for the holidays. Adding little bits here and there can make a big difference in the coziness of your home. So… have at it with your holiday cheer!

2018 Home Trends: What’s In and What’s Out

The holiday season is officially upon us… and 2018 will be here before we know it.

As the new year rolls in, some home trends are on the way out. This little heads up on what’s going out of style will help you know what better styles you can use to replace the old and outdated.

  1. Cluttered look – OUT!
Living rooms have long been a catch-all for everything from wide coffee tables and massive TV stands to fake flower arrangements and too many tchotchkes. Create a more relaxing space by kicking the clutter to the curb in 2018.
Replace the clutter with a minimalist fashion approach. You’ll be able to relax more with less in your way.

2. Matte light fixtures – IN!
An instant way to refresh any space is to ditch dated light fixtures. Bid farewell to brass and shiny metal. Say hello to matte metals and mixed-industrial textures.
3. Floor lamps – OUT!
While we’re on the subject of lighting, taller isn’t better for 2018. See above and rethink your lighting fixtures. Bolding replacing gaudy floor lamps with chic table lamps, tabletop candles, and wall-installed lighting will be on the radar of home fashionistas everywhere.
4. Retro-contemporary – IN!
Don’t be afraid to look back to move forward in 2018. Pulling inspiration from the past is cool with wooden accents, square sofas, tweed, and funky, angled pieces. To keep a retro look current, add industrial touches, like metal accessories. You can also warm it up with pops of color, patterned pillows, and accent rugs.
5. Over-teched-up spaces – OUT!
In 2018, flat screen TVs and computers are commodities in many homes. Hence, over tech-ing up every single room is swiftly becoming old news. Keep the TV to one or two rooms, and don’t be afraid to leave a bedroom or lounge completely tech-free. After all, relaxation is always in!
Replace focusing on tech with drawing attention to any unique or custom features of the room—like a fireplace, crown moulding, built-in shelves, etc. Accessorizing with books and magazines is a cool touch that inspires cozy living.
6. Chaise lounges – IN!
Comfort is all the rage… and so is the chaise. A chaise lounge is an elongated chair, with or without arms, that allows extending your legs for a relaxing place to lay. Replace bulky pieces with streamlined style. It’s easy on the eye, and makes it easy for you to relax.
Enjoy kicking out the old and welcoming the new as you ring in 2018!