Dallas, TX: Brian and KatherineMidcentury Living Room, Dallas
Photo: Sarah Greenman © 2013 Houzz
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Umbo ShelvingAlong a nearby wall stand shelves and an X-shaped magazine rack constructed from pieces of ABS plastic that snap together in combinations limited only by the imagination. U.S. designer Kay Leroy Ruggles created this modular Umbo shelving system for New York-based Directional Industries, which introduced it in 1970. It came in four colors — orange, yellow, white and brown — and had early success, especially among apartment dwellers. But rising oil prices contributed to the system’s downfall.A wrist-bangle radio and a space-helmet television of the era sit on top on the Umbo unit, along with a molecule-inspired lamp.Read more about this retro house and see its honeycomb-shaped cooktop
Darker, deeper hues can lean toward red and brown. The most saturated oranges will feel more muted when surrounded by cool grays and other neutrals.
Simple Times Call for Simple DesignsOK, so since the dawn of human civilization, we have looked to the past for inspiration. But that doesn’t explain an obsession over midcentury modern and not, say, whatever was going on in the 1980s. Or why more people don't have Sphinxes in front of their homes. Peteran points out that both the Bauhaus and the midcentury modern movements came about after two major world wars. “No money, no materials, accelerated rebuilding requirements — practical reasons that lead to an innovative use of minimal resources,” he says. In other words, tough times produce innovative designs out of necessity. During the 1950s much of the world was depleted financially and emotionally. But spirits were high. Good seemed to have triumphed over evil, and the opportunity to pave a new way of life presented itself. The designs that came about were simple and therefore timeless. There was "also an emotional rebellion to the ornament that was prevalent at the time,” Peteran says. In light of the tough economic years many countries have experienced just recently, many people have simplified their lives — much like people did after World War II. That's why fuss-free midcentury designs have made a strong comeback (and why the DIY movement is so strong).
A bright orange modular shelving system dominates the back wall of the living room. Chrome accents and geometric art pop against the gray wall. "Brian's addiction to the modular shelving is out of control," Katherine says. "He's been collecting them for years, and we have them all over the house in various colors."Wall paint: High Speed Steel, Valspar