I’m a little bit obsessive about design; besides graphic design, I have a special affinity for what are, in my opinion, well designed furniture and housewares. Any object I bring into my life has to be both beautiful and functional; stylish but unfussy. I can obsess over the smallest details, like the shape and depth of the bowl of a spoon, or the legs of a table, or just the right shaped water pitcher. Many modern designers of the 50s and 60s felt this way as well, which is why I am so drawn to designs from that era. Much that falls under the umbrella of mid century modern is both bold and minimal, softened by the use organic shapes, and is often made of a brilliant mix of man-made and natural materials. Care was taken to beautifully shape everyday items into graceful objects of beauty. Because of this restrained but beautiful aesthetic, many of the designs still look fresh today.

While I have many favorite examples from the period, here are a few selections that exemplify this aesthetic. From top left: Bubble lamp by George Nelson; Dansk Fjord flatware by Jens Quisgaard; Knoll ad of the Pollock chair circa late 1960s; Copco pan by Michael Lax; Mid century modern book cover (designer unknown); Lounge chair by Jens Risom.

Examples from the 50s and 60s