Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner! To encourage its arrival we’ve put together a bit of modern patio inspiration influenced by some of the most classic mid-century garden pieces.
Finding Your Own Mid Mod
Although refurbishing a classic mid-century piece is always our go-to for furnishing any living space, these items can be difficult to come across depending on your area and price range. While there is still plenty being sold online and at local markets, the condition can vary especially as some of these pieces have remained outside. If you do happen to come across a find you just can’t pass up, don’t be afraid of blemishes or imperfections. Many of these pieces were built to last, and the metalwork can likely be sandblasted and powder coated to mint condition.
For the rest of us who are not so lucky to score that vintage find – we’ve curated just a bit of modern patio inspiration influenced by some of the most classic mid-century outdoor furnishing designers – so you too can picnic in perfect mid mod style.
The style developments of renowned designers like Harry Bertoia for Knoll, led to the iconic wire framed furniture that is now a staple of mid-century patio furnishing. Advancements in material and manufacturing techniques allowed for new and improved durability to outdoor elements. Similarly, the versatility in design of classic wire frame furniture of the 1950s through 1960s proved to be just as lasting, with many of today’s designers fusing this mid-century style with current trends for a modern hybrid.
Whether you find yourself with a classic Bertoia design or a more understated rendition, these pieces can be incorporated into any style to create a one-of-a-kind backyard oasis. We’ve seen vintage wire framed chairs paired nicely with contemporary farm tables for a unique blend of old and new. Following the vision of mid-century designers for multi-purpose functionality, wire frame patio chairs are also a great option to use inside. Fill an empty corner or use in your home office, you’ll be glad to have a few extra stylish outdoor chairs handy the next time you host a neighborhood barbecue.
Stacking Patio Dining Chair
The Resonate patio chair is ideal for creating a mid-century modern outdoor retreat. This chair is weather resistant, comes in a black or white finish and is stackable for storage convenience. Reflecting the clean lines of 1950s and 1960s design, this chair is pleasing to look at and can complement other pieces you might already have.
Colored Wire Patio Dining Chair
Simple, lightweight and gorgeous! If you're looking for a patio chair with hints of mid-century style this casual chair is a great choice. Indoor/outdoor ready, the versatile design can be paired with almost any style for an eclectic look. This chair comes in 4 colors including red, blue, white and green.
Silver Wire Patio Dining Chair
Mixing metal finishes has been a popular design trend recently, especially with the industrial style taking rise. We're predicting this is how chrome is going to make its big comeback in 2018. Whether you've swapped all of your chrome for brushed nickel and matte black, the Sergio collection is sure to add mid mod flair to your mix.
Vinyl + Cord
Synonymous to classic poolside furniture design, vinyl patio pieces made a huge splash in mid-century backyard furnishing. Featuring a durable metal frame with elegant lines, casual vinyl strapping and a wide color selection, this style gained popularity through brands like Tropitone and Brown Jordan. Since the frame and vinyl could be manufactured independently of another, the color combinations were completely customizable between the two. Unfortunately, it seems in recent years the vinyl lace trend for poolside chairs has given way to other materials like textilene fabric and outdoor wicker forms.
Similar to vinyl strapping, cording also made an appearance in mid-century patio furniture design. Ames Aire was a major player for this design, with their zinc coated metal frame and woven plastic cord combination. Today, the cording technique has continued in popularity, however, the materials have evolved to include multicolor nylon rope and recyclable plastics, alongside traditional vinyl.
These backyard sets are still a great investment if you are lucky enough to get ahold of one. As your pieces become worn, the vinyl strapping or cording can be replaced while you can also refinish the metal frame for endless possibilities! Opt for neutral colors if you want a modern approach. For a more traditional mid-century take, pair bright tropical colors with white.
Vinyl Strap Stacking Patio Chair
The Kahana stacking patio chair is a Mid Mod Mango favorite offered by none other than the original manufacturer, Tropitone! Making patio furniture since 1954, Tropitone was a dominant force in this style of outdoor furniture when it was first released. Just as in the 50s and 60s, the Kahana chair comes in a wide variety of color options that are mixed and matched between vinyl and frame.
Woven Vinyl Stacking Patio Chair
We've been disappointed to see that this style of vinyl chair is not as popular as it once was in household patio furniture. This outdoor lounger is part of the Kahana set, manufactured by the original mid-century brand Tropitone. The woven vinyl comes in 10 different finishes, all featuring modern neutral tones.
Blue Cord Armless Patio Chair
In the spirit of corded mid-century patio furniture, the Fisher outdoor collection features a unique metal frame with navy vinyl cording. Complete the set with the matching patio bench or style around a table for the perfect backyard dining experience. These chairs are stackable for easy storage and weather ready with power-coated frame.
30″ Corded Bar Stool
Does your patio bar need an update? The clean lines and woven texture of the Barclay bar stool makes this a great solution to refresh your space. There are 9 different color options to choose from for the vinyl cording, all are woven around the standard black powder-coated frame. A matching 26" bar stool version is also available as well as standard height stacking chair.
Vinyl Corded Couch with Cushion
Clean lines, neutral tones and mid-century flair. What more could you ask for in a patio sofa? This Acapulco sofa has it all, showcasing retro-modern design with unique multi -colored cording. Complete the collection with the matching club chair for the perfect backyard conversation set.
Corded Stacking Patio Chair
Taking reference to Acapulco and clamshell designs, the Ehrlich chair is a modern hybrid of mid-century classics. This casual lawn chair can be stacked, perfect for extra seating that is stored away until the next neighborhood party. It also comes in three iconic colors – white, black and blue.
6pc Corded Patio Dining Chair Set
The Standish patio collection emphasizes comfort with included cushions and its unique mid-century inspired rope sling design. The deep seats leave extra room to add a touch of personalized style with an accent pillow. This outdoor set can be purchased in many options, and a matching dining table, love seat and coffee table are also available.
3pc Sling Rope Patio Set
The Carag outdoor collection features a mix of modern materials with steel frame and rope cording, set to a mid-century tone. The two-colored weave of gray and beige rope make for a unique design. There are 3 pieces to this patio set including 2 lounge chairs and a glass-top side table.
Perhaps one of the most iconic staples to mid-century patio furniture, the artistic mesh forms created by designers like Maurizio Tempestini for Salterini and the Woodard company brought a new dimension to outdoor living. While the concept of wire mesh was by no means a new technology, the technique of application saw bold and exciting advancements in the designs of the 50s and 60s. Renditions of classics like Salterini’s Clamshell line and Woodard’s Sculptura collection can still be easily found today.
The innovative spirit of mid-century patio furniture design has not faded with time. Modern mesh outdoor pieces now come in materials like plastic, are incorporated with other textures such as wood, and have evolved beyond the traditional mesh structure to include more intricate patterning. The opportunities are endless in defining and coordinating outdoor living spaces with so many color, material and style combinations. Many of these courtyard pieces are also indoor-outdoor ready for ultimate versatility.
Creating an intimate backyard conversation area is simple with a pair of wire mesh lounge chairs. These sculptural furniture pieces appear as works of art tucked among the trees, while not so dominating to detract from the natural beauty of their surroundings. Complement or correspond with other outdoor living spaces by accessorizing with a colored cushion or patterned accent pillow.
3pc Metal Mesh & Faux Wood Patio Set
Equipped with a sturdy steel mesh frame and faux wood arm rests, the Bangor chat set is sure to last for many summer seasons to come. This 3 piece package comes with 2 lounge chairs (plus cushions!) and a side table. Complete the patio collection with matching love seat and coffee table.
Modern Mesh Stacking Patio Lounge Chair
If you are looking for an ultra durable outdoor set, the Curnutt collection is for you! This modern design still retains hints of mid-century inspiration with its sculpture form and mesh design. It is made with commercial grade plastic and comes in 7 colors.
Hot Mesh Patio Dining Chair
This modern chair updates classic mid-century mesh with a sleek geometric pattern and linear form. The Hot Mesh design is offered in a range of 7 tropical colors and is also available in two barstool heights. Mix and match colors throughout your patio area for a fun, mid-century inspired outdoor living space.
White Mesh Lounge Chair
Designed by Javier Cristiani, the Altamira lounge chair possesses a timeless elegance that is sure to complement any outdoor space. With an all stainless steel structure that has been powder-coated and topped with a polyurethane finish, this chair is both durable and low-maintenance.
If you love natural texture, rattan is likely your go-to mid-century patio style. Influenced by the classic elegance of Danny Ho Fong’s Tropi-Cal designs, these mid-century modern pieces are sure to endure the changing seasons of weather and style. We’ve certainly seen a bit of mid-century inspired wicker and rattan featured alongside some of the modern farmhouse-industrial trends that have been popping up in 2018. True to the 1950s concept of indoor-outdoor function, rattan patio furniture is versatile in nature and can flow seamlessly from space to space. For outdoor use, style with neutral cushions to channel a modern California vibe. When you decide it’s time to take it inside, pair with a chunky throw or bold pillow for a more cozy effect.
Now you might be wondering what’s the difference between wicker and rattan? As you’ll notice, some of the pieces we’ve pulled are actually wicker and not rattan. The main difference is in the material used. Rattan is a type of fast-growing jungle vine that is harvested and manufactured into a very durable material. Wicker refers to the technique of weaving any type of material to create a form, which can be rattan, willow, rush and more. Although Danny Ho Fong’s original pieces were primarily rattan, wicker pieces have taken on a similar mid mod style, featuring a mix of woven material with an industrial steel frame.
Low Arm Patio Dining Chair
Out of Stock
The Ludovic Low arm patio chair is a beautiful update to traditional mid-century rattan design. True to the original form, this indoor-outdoor ready piece features an elegant metal base with a modern take on woven rattan.
Hand Woven Stacking Patio Dining Chair
Out of Stock
The Ormond patio dining chair showcases handwoven rattan and a sturdy cross frame metal base for beautifully crafted mid-century style. As with all natural rattan, care should be taken to limit outdoor exposure when not in use. Luckily, this design conveniently stacks for an easy storage solution.
3pc Outdoor Wicker Bistro Set
Although the Prewitt 3 piece set isn't completely true to mid-century patio originals, the contemporary style is perfect for small outdoor spaces. The lightweight chair and table set features a durable year-round wicker atop a hairpin metal base.
3pc All-Weather Wicker Patio Chat Set
The Latigo 3 piece outdoor conversation set is a great option for a true mid-century modern aesthetic. Durability meets sophisticated beauty with the handwoven, all-weather resin wicker. Cushions are also included making for a truly perfect patio set!
3pc Wicker Motion Patio Chat Set
Versatile and elegant, this three piece set is a great selection to update your indoor or outdoor space with mid-century inspired charm. Whether you are going for the industrial farmhouse feel or a more contemporary California vibe, the Southport set can be accented to blend well with any design. Maintenance is minimal with outdoor ready resin and steel frame.
Alumaloy + Wrought Iron
Compared to other mid-century patio furniture designs, aluminum and wrought iron sets may seem more traditional in style. However, despite their lack of modern appeal, this variety of backyard furniture was very much in fashion during the 1950s and well into the 1960s. Brands such as Bouyer Scott, Molla, Woodard, Meadowcraft and Salterini popularized the classic post-war metal furniture with their intricate designs inspired by nature and neoclassical motifs. Advancements in technology allowed these backyard conversation sets to be even more durable and resistant to outdoor elements, resulting in an especially attractive option for East Coast and seaside residents.
This style of mid-century furniture has retained its popularity throughout the decades, and many renditions of the originals are still available today. For a modern take on this mid-century classic, go for a more geometric design with clean lines and angular details. Pair with neutral linen cushions for extra comfort, and accessorize your space with concrete planters and lush greenery for your own vintage inspired resort.
Delphi Aluminum Patio Dining Chair
The Delphi patio dining chair is offered by Woodard, an original mid-century manufacturer. With 16 finishes to select from, this chair would fit well in any backyard scene. This outdoor design is also offered in armless version, perfect for a great mid-century inspired outdoor dining set. Pair with neutral cushions for a modern look or accent with bright pillows for a fun patio centerpiece.
Dogwood Wrought Iron Patio Chair
Another mid-century original, the Dogwood collection by Meadowcraft is a timeless classic. These chairs are made in the USA, with outdoor-ready wrought iron metal, and comes as a standard, swivel, or rocker style chair. The 20 year warranty is an added bonus, and a testament to Meadowcraft's craftsmanship and durability.
4pc Rounded Back Stacking Patio Chair
Reminiscent of the clamshell style popularized in mid-century outdoor furniture, the Oxford chair could easily be mistaken for a 1950s original. Comfort and style are emphasized in the curved back and floral scroll details. This collection comes in a set of four, just add a coffee table and cushions for an ideal conversation set.
3pc Cast Aluminum Conversation Seating Set
This charming 3 piece set is part of the Sedona collection, which comes with a lounge chair, love seat and coffee table. Emulating the essence of many mid-century patio designs, the beautiful cast aluminum metalwork features a modern lattice framework with natural leaf motifs.
3pc Iron Bar Height Patio Bistro Furniture Set
The Mandalay bistro set carries a modern likeness to Arthur Umanoff's mid-century Granada Collection. With intricate scroll motifs and durable iron work, this decorative bar height set is well suited for a small balcony space.
Bright Colors + Patterns
Sometimes finding the perfect balance of color, texture and style can be difficult to achieve in your outdoor living space. Incorporating these elements into patio furniture is key for those of us who live in an area where our blossoms aren’t always in bloom. Whether you live in an arid climate or are confined by budget or space, adding a splash of color and personalizing with texture can do wonders to a neglected patio.
Taking a cue from mid-century courtyard furniture design, mix natural texture with color, clean lines and bright patterns to liven your outdoor room. For large spaces, create multiple living areas with complementary conversation sets. Try adding a few pieces with brightly patterned cushions to fill in your backyard space. If you’re limited to a smaller area, go with a lighter wireframe design with multi-purpose function for both indoor and outdoor use.
Traditional mid-century modern colors reference a tropical palette such as shades of orange, avocado, pineapple yellow, and turquoise. If you prefer a more timeless look, purchase your main pieces in a neutral black or white and accessorize with colorful pillows and vibrant greenery.
3pc Blue Bistro Set
With clean lines, tapered legs and elegant simplicity, the Bainbridge Collection is the perfect addition to any small patio space. This 3 piece set features a durable metal material with a protective outdoor finish, and is light weight and easy to maintain. For a pop of color, blue is the go-to! Otherwise, choose white for a timeless look.
3pc Cherry Pie Bistro Set
Comfort, convenience and color are key features of the Helena 3 piece bistro set. Choose from cherry pie or keylime green for a bold accent to your patio space. Reminiscent of mid-century lawn furniture forms, the mesh construction is weather resistant and stackable for easy storage.
2pc Outdoor Toss Pillow Set
Reminiscent of vintage Homecrest patterns, these pillows are the perfect accent with a modern hint of mid-century flair. This product is durable and made to last with weather-proof polyester that is resistant to mildew / fading. This tropical pattern comes in all shapes and sizes for added comfort to any patio set!
We hope you’ve found a new addition to your mid-century inspired patio from our picks for this season! Just a brief word on maintenance to keep your set looking fresh and lasting even longer. Although advancements in materials and technology have made outdoor furniture more durable than ever before, remember to winterize properly and store your lawn furniture accordingly at the end of the season.
Depending on your climate you might want to consider certain materials over others if you’re looking for lower maintenance. Keep in mind that even though metals are treated to prevent rust, an especially wet or humid climate will accelerate corrosion damage. Wicker, rattan and wood are sensitive to snow, rain and ice which can lead to splitting and mildew. Plastics are quite durable, but are susceptible to cracking and fading from hot temperatures and sun damage. However, with just a bit of care and maintenance, don’t let these issues prevent you from choosing a set you’ll be able to enjoy for many seasons to come.
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