Inspired colour

I’ve been working on a little (or not so little actually) mid-century inspired project. And it got me all excited about the colour chaos of the period.

Back in my design student days, my favourite project of the entire four years was entitled “Zeitgeist”, which means “spirit of the time”. The assignment was to create ads for a chosen product in three different design decades. I did shoes in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is a little excerpt from the accompanying essay on Fifties Binge culture:

“The friction between the two vastly different cultures (*Casual American pop and NZ’s staunch God Save the Queen ideals) caused an explosion in the fifties of what is now known as binge.

This over-the-top culture embraced the new middle class affluence, caused by a booming economy, and introduced it to mass consumerism.

Relative to the period, the fifties brought huge technological advances. New, completely synthetic materials were developed, and alongside them, the ability to dye the material in a whole range of ‘new’ colours.”

This binge culture was the beginning of what is generally termed “mid-century modern”.

I love it.

In a world of such extravagant use of colour it can be a little hard to pick out a few that might work in a contemporary mid-century inspired interior. I had some fun giving it a go.

First up: Decadent Design. Starting with a cool hue of baby blue, add in rich layers of navy and dark magenta, and the obligatory wood tone in uber dark.

0611_MidCenturyColour1

Number two: Coastal Charm. Natural timber is a big deal, with lots of white and light, accented by a moody sea blue and some zesty lime green. 0611_MidCenturyColour2

Third on the list: Nearly Neutral. Grey, and a bit more grey, then some rich wood and golden brown to liven things up. 0611_MidCenturyColour3

Last but far from least: Pretty Pastel. Starting with a base of grey keeps this one from getting a little crazy, but as long as you get the balance right, you can add as many colours as you like. I’ll do flamingo pink, duck egg blue (of course) and lemon. Mmm mmm!0611_MidCenturyColour4

I think the last one is my favourite (I love a bit of colour) but I’d just as happily grab any of these and run with them, depending on the location and furnishings I was working with.

Interiors images via Pinterest.

Warning: I may not stop at one post on this. I had too much fun!

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