Mixing in Mid Century and Danish Modern

by George Schwab

Our living room is a mixed up collection of styles that works for us.

As time goes on our readers will discover that Barbara and I are not “true believers” when it comes to using our Danish Modern furniture in our house. By that I mean that we don’t have a Mid Century Modern house, it’s an Arts and Crafts house from the early 20s. And it’s not filled solely with Mid Century and Danish Modern furniture, lamps, accessories and fabrics, forgoing anything that hints of not being Mid Mod.

Early spring at our little bungalow in Jenkintown, PA.

We’ve lived here for 25 years and over that time we have acquired numerous styles of furniture. Early in our marriage we had hand-me-downs from the family, Salvation Army acquisitions, Ikea products and other low cost pieces as they were needed. When we began to grow up we started mixing in Arts and Crafts, Stickley and 19th Century rural Chinese furniture.

This mix of styles existed quite happily when we began to realize that many of our accessories were Mid Century Modern and Danish Modern. Curiously, we had a set of very early Eames DCM chairs that Barbara’s parents gave us and coincidentally, we found a Finn Juhl chair that fit in quite nice. The clean lines of the modern pieces seemed to blend in with the clean lines of the Stickley, transitional, the Arts and Crafts and even with the rural Chinese stuff that wasn’t overly ornate. As we became more and more enthusiastic about the Modern furniture, Danish and American, we began to realize that this combination really appealed to us.

A collection of Egyptian artifacts and reproductions in the dining room.

I think part of the reason it works so well is that both Barbara and I (ok, mostly me) are collectors of things and have avoided ornate pieces in the house. We have woven our collections in with the various styles of furniture to produce a visually exciting and entertaining ambience to our residence. We have Kilim rugs, Meso-American artifacts and reproductions, Native American artifacts, paintings and photographs and lots and lots of ceramics.

So as you consider what you like about Mid Century Modern and Danish Modern furniture and accessories, its clean lines, elegant proportions and livable scale, remember that these pieces will fit with your existing furniture if you choose what you really love.

Our dining room with the Eames chairs and a mix of art and collections.