'Work from home.’ It’s the phrase that has defined the last ten months or so of our lives. Whether or not home has always been the natural habitat for your work, many have rushed to transform part of their house into a workspace. The Lorfords collection is full of unique pieces that will bring your dream Mid Century Modern home office to life.
Studies show that the more personal control we have over our office space, the happier we are. The ability to get creative with our workspace and have our favourite furnishings close at hand is a silver lining of the current circumstances.
One of the biggest challenges of staying at home has been drawing a line between work time and our personal lives. This gives you all the more reason to invest in your office space and create an environment you want to spend all day in, before returning to those parts of your home that you associate with relaxing.
Calm, uncluttered surroundings encourage efficiency and productivity. This can be difficult to achieve at home, but by dedicating a space for work you are halfway there, and Mid Century Modern design will do the rest.
It can be easy to feel as though you are ‘playing office’ whilst working from home, so it’s important to get creative with your space and invest in it. Stylish and useful furniture is conducive to your productivity, as well as your happiness.
Media and popular culture have made Mid Century design an object of fascination. From the smooth teak and glass of the Mad Men office to the contemporary prints and low chairs of Miranda Priestley’s office in The Devil Wears Prada, the understated glamour of a Mid Century Modern office is well-known.
The post-war period was a new age of prosperity, and many migrated to urban and suburban areas. After the horrors of war, there was a desire for more human, organic and natural design. Inspiration was sought from America and Scandinavia, and designers eagerly embraced new materials like plywood and plastic. Manufacturers had machinery and mass production at their disposal, so luckily many fantastic pieces survive today.
Furnishing newly built homes and smaller living spaces saw design take on new priorities, and functionality was a top priority. Designers didn’t skimp on style, however, and the iconic designs they brought to life have timeless appeal.
Designers of the Mid Century Modern period wanted to make furniture accessible to everyone, not just the very wealthy. The contributors to this new democratic style were many, including Arne Jacobsen and Harry Bertoia. Ray and Charles Eames were the design power couple of their day, and it's their executive desk that graces Don Draper's office in Mad Men.
Far from dull, design in this period was full of juxtapositions. Designs were extremely varied, and you might struggle to spot what a marshmallow sofa and a teak sideboard have in common. However, there were certain principles that united these designers in their plight: fine craftsmanship, quality, and chic style.
The straight-lined silhouettes of Mid Century Modern furniture make it the perfect choice for an office. Manufacturers of the period, such as Herman Miller, focussed in on office furniture and produced desks, chairs, and savvy storage solutions. George Nelson was a key mover and shaker in Mid Century Modern design. His iconic Storagewall design captured attention far and wide and he is credited with designing the first L-Shaped desk.
There’s more to working life than a desk and a chair. Nobody wants to work amongst empty cups of tea and a teetering stack of paperwork, but many of us do. It may be a cliché, but it’s difficult to argue with the concept of ‘tidy desk, tidy mind.’
It's often unrealistic to reimagine a whole room of the home in one style, but a few key pieces will transform a space. Credenzas and sideboards were already furniture stalwarts, but they were revolutionised in this period. Fitting unobtrusively against the wall, they provide storage and a surface for display. Most importantly, a sideboard or low cabinet means you can keep stress-inducing clutter out of sight.
When it comes to designing an office space, the mood can tend towards the clinical. Mid Century Modern is the perfect antidote to monotony because designers reinterpreted basic furniture with innovation and creative flair. Designers made chairs that were lower and broader, often supported on splayed UFO-style legs. They made many office-style chairs, with reclining and swivel functions. You've got your pick when it comes to desk chairs and should indulge in a big upholstered armchair for when you need a break.
Lighting was the major triumph of Mid Century design, and designs are famous and sought-after today. From practical floor lamps to Sciolari's spectacular sputnik light, lighting is the ultimate flourish for a 20th Century home office. Maison Charles’ iconic palm standard lamps demonstrate how natural forms were embraced in this period, and they make a great statement in an office setting.
20th Century design was far from solely utilitarian. Designs from this period were full of creative flair, and this should be reflected in a Mid Century Modern office. This was the heyday of faux tortoiseshell, glass, contrasting woods, bright colour, and abstract art. Adorn a brass and glass coffee table with a lucite magazine holder, or fabulous colourful glasswork by Val Saint Lambert.
There’s no point in working in a space that won’t inspire creativity and progress. Surround yourself with fabulous contemporary art and sculpture that makes you feel content and calm. Colour and character are key to boosting your mood in a long working day. This was an age of bold and pioneering design, and by surrounding yourself with examples of it you encourage the same in your work endeavours.
Whatever your personal style, there is something to love in this spectacular period of design. Mid Century Modern pieces have the power to transform a space into the perfect home office. For further inspiration, have a browse of our lookbook: Office Envy.