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Midcentury Mitzi

The MCM Theme in Mitzi's Latest

June 08, 2019
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Midcentury Mitzi

The MCM Theme in Mitzi's Latest

June 08, 2019

It was Cara Greenberg who coined the term Mid-Century Modern, in her book of the same name, published in 1984. The furniture and other useful decorative items that adorned the homes of the fifties and sixties had never really gone out of style,* always attracting collectors, new homeowners, and design enthusiasts. 

How is Mid-Century Modern still alive and kicking?

According to 1stdibs, "Organically-shaped, clean-lined, and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe Mid-Century Modern American furniture."  As this House Beautiful article on Mid-Century Modern puts it, designers and architects of the time honed in on a populist message: "Design should not only be beautifully constructed, functional, and efficient, but attainable." 

When you look at it that way, it's no more suprising that it still features widely in tastefully eclectic, curated decor than it is that certain MCM elements have begun to appear in Mitzi. Organic shapes, clean lines, and elegant simplicity are three driving design principles behind what we do at Mitzi, with the end goal of being attainable always in mind.

There's just something so pleasing about its hallmarks: neat design, clean lines, organic contours, wood and metal. Greenberg put it best, naturally, describing that particular curve you see in so much MCM as "the relaxed parabola that describes the trajectory of a rocket." We've explored the Mid-Century Modern phenomenon of starburst and sputnik chandeliers twice before, if that's a topic you're interested in, so no more rockets for us today. Let's explore another couple Mid-Century Modern motifs today, and see how they apply to new Mitzi fixtures. 

 


Remi, a new family by Mitzi, adapts the beloved Sputnik style into something elegant and timeless.

One of the things that really took off in Mid-Century Modern design was the proliferation of cone shades, especially on wall sconces.

Form-meets-function thinking from the Bauhaus (1919-1933) was immediately influential, informing Mid-Century Modern. (Some date the beginning of MCM, not coincidentally, at 1933, like a passing of the baton.) 

In pendants, sconces, and lamps with cone-shaped shades, form meets function perfectly, and they never lose their aesthetic appeal. Cones control the light, shaping it with the shade to fall on a specific place, in the case of something like a pendant over the kitchen island, or, providing a pleasing splash of accent light on the wall, in the case of the sconce. Lamps follow this same idea.   

 

 


Lupe sconce in Aged Brass by Mitzi, one of several new fixtures featuring a cone-shaped shade

We especially drifted toward using the cone motif in ways that felt fresh. No slavish pastiches here. Rather, we sought to use MCM thinking and forms in novel ways to make fixtures as effortlessly contemporary as the rest our Mitzi by HVL line. 

Scope out the below new fixtures and use the + More Info button from the Quick View to read their product descriptions if you're interested in learning more about them and how MCM influenced their design.

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Mitzi®
27"W x 72.50"H
$550.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
27"W x 72.50"H
$550.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 24"H
$298.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 24"H
$298.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
12.25"W x 24.25"H
$276.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
12.25"W x 24.25"H
$276.00
On the way! Arriving on 6/8/2020
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 12.50"H
$108.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 12.50"H
$108.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 12"H
$154.00
In Stock
3 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 12"H
$154.00
In Stock
3 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
6.25"W x 12"H
$154.00
In Stock
3 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
7"W x 20.50"H
$218.00
Limited Stock
3 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
7"W x 20.50"H
$218.00
In Stock
3 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
7"W x 20.50"H
$218.00
In Stock
3 Finishes Available

It wasn't all just cones, though. Colette and Dakota use clean lines and symmetry while bearing bulbs above and below. 

 


Colette in Polished Nickel /Black by Mitzi


Dakota chandelier in Aged Brass/Black by Mitzi

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Mitzi®
28.75"W x 27.25"H
$870.00
In Stock
2 Finishes Available

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Mitzi®
28.75"W x 27.25"H
$870.00
Limited Stock
2 Finishes Available


Remi flush mount, bringing those MCM starburst vibes to your lower ceilings.

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Mitzi®
4.75"W x 14.50"H
$108.00
In Stock
1 Finish Available

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Mitzi®
20"W x 18.75"H
$350.00
In Stock
1 Finish Available

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Mitzi®
26.25"W x 21.50"H
In Stock
1 Finish Available

For a while, between things like Mad Men and Tom Ford's A Single Man, people were doing spot-on recreations of MCM environments. In 2019, Mid-Century Modern elements hold their own and play their part in tastefully eclectic spaces united by sensibility while mixing styles from several design epochs and areas. These new pieces by Mitzi are sure to do the same. 

Made for the masses and for the future, MCM's popularity and longevity have fulfilled its intention.


Liza, a floor lamp by Mitzi with character and a touch of MCM

*It's been observed many times that mid-century modern has seldom gone out of style. What the press was eager to call modern in the fifties has actually been kicking around, finding its form since the thirties. The New York Times interviewed a bunch of interior designers a few years ago to get their thoughts on the trend that is not a trend because it stays relevant and widely used year-in year-out decade after decade. Lots of fun opinions to be had.