In both homes and furnishings, the modern look, known for its clean, spare lines and inventiveness, elicited strong opinions--which is exactly what classic designers like Ray and Charles Eames, George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe intended. Classic Modern: Midcentury Modern at Home celebrates the work of these innovators and the longevity of their designs as we move into a new millennium. Starting off with side-by-side photos, we see several modern houses when they were originally built and how they now appear. They look both futuristic and contemporary in the companion photos and are impressive in the way they integrate easily into the outdoors. The first section of the book concentrates on the "flexible system of elements tailored to the climate and topography of a certain site" and "interior spaces [which] flowed into one another, rather than being divided by separate boxes connected by hallways." The second section invites you to tour especially significant or evocative modern estates, some of which are inhabited and others which are showpieces. Particularly interesting is the curved glass Palm Springs home of Raymond Loewy, designer of the Coca-Cola bottle, which is arranged around a free-form pool lapping the desert. A subsequent chapter examines modern architecture in the suburbs where the midcentury influence can be seen on a smaller, less expensive--but not less impressive--scale.
The photos show the sophisticated appeal of midcentury modern and illustrate the careful placement furniture for the greatest effect. And for those who want to know more about the furniture and the architects, the author has included lists of "where to buy" and biographies in the back of the book. --Dana Van Nest
About the Author
Deborah K. Dietsch is a writer and editor who specializes in art, architecture, and design. The past editor-in-chief of Architecture magazine, she has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post and House Beautiful. She has been a guest curator at the National Building Museum and most recently was the art and architecture critic for the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A collector of midcentury modern furniture, she owns a 1953 house in Washington, D.C. read more
Midcentury modern is back. From the American classics of Charles and Ray Eames to the Scandinavian elegance of Arne Jacobsen, nothing is hotter today than the endlessly inventive, sophisticated work created by modern architects and designers in the 1940s and 1950s.
This beautifully illustrated book is an unparalleled look at the revolutionary design of the midtwentieth century -- a period that today reigns unchallenged among style setters and a new generation of homeowners and collectors. Filled with stunning photographs of landmark midcentury houses and exuberant collections of furniture and decorative arts, Classic Modern tells us why, where, and how midcentury modern design came about. It also shows how people are living with the brilliant work of such timeless figures as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Richard Neutra, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Marcel Breuer, not to mention the prodigious Eameses.
Showcasing the style's elegance, wit, and humanism, Deborah K. Dietsch introduces the basic tenets of midcentury modernism, walking us through the era's distinctive look and presenting influential homes by inventive European architects such as Neutra, Mies, Breuer, and Albert Frey. She then follows this dynamic style as it moved into mainstream American culture. When European sophistication met American invention, led by the charismatic polymaths Charles and Ray Eames, the result was dazzling. Recapturing the energy and optimism inherent at midcentury, the book concludes with a visit to outstanding collections that show how comfortably modern pieces fit into today's homes. And, for those who want to furnish their own residences with appropriate reproductions and the classic pieces still being made, an illustrated catalogue presents fifty items, from the Eameses' famed molded-plywood lounge chair and Nelson's whimsical marshmallow sofa to Saarinen's pedestal chairs and the sensuous ceramics of Eva Zeisel.
Classic Modern is a marvelous celebration of the twentieth century's most important contribution to design. Hipper than ever, midcentury modernism is here to stay -- an American classic.
It's the ultimate escape fantasy: Trade in the rat race for life on a tropical island and all the languid luxury that it evokes. For India Hicks and David Flint Wood, the dream became reality when, after high-profile careers-she as a fashion model, he as an advertising executive-the couple left the city behind for the Bahamas. Five years and three children later, the husband-and-wife team have impeccably restored three houses and one hotel. Fusing traditional European design with Asian, African, and Caribbean influences, the resulting interiors reflect their love of intense color and their keen sense of style-inherited on India's side from her father, the renown interior designer David Hicks, and further enhanced by the family's travels. In Island Life, the secrets of these sumptuous, unique homes-used as locations for Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, and Vogue magazine, among others-are revealed in intimate detail. With panoramic color photographs, David Loftus captures not only the eclectic combinations of antiques, flea market finds, and modern furnishings, but also the overall ambiance of the tropics. For those who share David and India's dream, this is where to start planning.