mid century modern–a recap on interesting furniture…

Oh boy, I think Hubby may be planning an intervention to try and curb my obsession with furniture……. I freely admit it’s getting a little out of hand – I should probably sell some stuff.

But not today – I HAD to have this chair from the minute I saw it…. This beauty  is a ‘mid century modern’, Leather and Oak frame chair. It has horizontal metal rails that support the leather cushioned squabs that are so, so comfy.

It’s a rare day indeed to see anything from this design movement or style in a second hand shop, but today on our way out, we happened by it in a ‘Habitat for Humanity’ store.


What is Mid Century Modern???

Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement. Wiki

During this ‘post war time’ there were advancements in science (atomic age), moon landings, and general excitement about the future to come. Designers, architects and creators were busy predicting the shape and vision of that future with the style of their products.

Mid Cen Modern style is currently experiencing a renaissance today with a demand sky-rocketing  for the kitsch clean style of the 40’s through to 70’s…. The twist being most of the ‘real deal’ items can now only be sourced through auctions, specialist fairs – second hand at astronomical prices…..

and that  is only if you are extremely lucky… Or, you can fake it with modern reproductions but they  are never as good and often are made cheaply.

The real pieces are so hard to come by because they are so clever in design and comfort that they fit into any interior decor, they are unassuming, not typical of an era – so hard to date, minimalist and clean in visual lines and above all they are made to last, so why, if you owned one, would you ever need to part with it?

Great mid century modern design examples are:


Who can forget Frank Lloyd Wrights contribution to this artistic movement through his amazing architecture. (click on the image of ‘Falling Water’ to be redirected to a site devoted to Wright architectural masterpieces)


Mid-Century Modern Design Flash Card Set by Jen Renninger – This I thought was cool enough to get a side note mention – school-up your kids on design – Yuuusss – Brilliant!

Below are the BEFORE clean-up Pics



There is evidence that a little creature with claws has loved this chair, very, very much.

Quick deduction of the damage and evidence left and I am pretty certain the culprit resembled this:

Luckily the scratches were all minor surface abrasions, nothing to serious and easily fixed.


Let the clean-up commence!


I stripped the components away – *shrug* super easy…. gave them a good brush down, nothing to dramatic.


For the restore of the leather I used the smallest amount of black shoe restore/polish. I applied it with a soft brush and worked it into the scratches and nicks, left it for a bit to do it’s magic and then buffed it until it almost shined back a reflection…….. Then I applied a layer of ‘Dubbin’ which is a traditional waterproofing agent. I swear by dubbin – it’s a great product for restoring and protecting any leather items – I use it on our red leather chesterfields every few months to ensure the leather is kept supple and in top shape. Think of it as moisturiser for your old leather items.


Next step was to give the frame a quick oil and rub down. The varnish I suspect was a shellac based sealer. It’s is dry in condition and a little flaky in some patches but over all condition is fantastic for it’s age, and the style is still very much current. I used a soft cloth and C O Original Polishing Oil which is linseed based.



and the results…….



Now that’s done, my next priority is to vacuum the floor rug. Haha, Priorities……. right?

The artwork at the top of the page is by Donna Mibus, click on it to be redirected to her facebook page. She creates gorgeous art works in the mid century modern style that are super cool – check them out here https://www.facebook.com/donnamibus. She also has a esty store if you would like to see whats available to purchase.


  1. Pingback: the cat chair. |
  2. Wow! I can’t believe how excellent the chair looks after. I think I may have to track down some dubbin to use on my Plycraft chair – it’s seen a similar clawed creature prior to moving into our home, and the plywood frame needs some love. (Not to mention a missing button I need to figure out how to replace and that the seller so conveniently forgot to mention.)


      1. Hi Donna,

        Thanks so much for dropping by and letting us know who you are, I have added a link from your image to your facebook page and also gave you a special plug at the end of the post with an additional link to your etsy store. I picked your image up of someone elses blog post and thought it encaptulated mid century modern style perfectly – I am even more impressed by other your works! I am so glad you dropped by. If you want me to add any other detail to promote your work – please let me know. I am only too happy to help other creatives! 🙂

        Yours kindly Peppermia


  3. Sorry to be so late with this, Pepper…doing ‘catch ’em up’ here!

    Marvelous chair–what a great find! Once again, your and hubby’s excellent craftsmanship has brought about a minor miracle! I agree w/you re: Dubbin–it’s fantastic, and nothing is better for conditioning leathergoods.

    Kudos, and it sure looks comfy, too!


    1. Thanks for the comment Another Thousand Words… But Hubby had zero input on this chair apart from trying to persuade me not to buy it……… Luckily I have selective hearing.


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