It was the mid-twentieth century. The Depression
and World War II were over, and the economy was revving up. Tired of shortages and rationing, people were looking to put the past behind and move on. Post-war optimism spilled over into all aspects of everyday life, and this optimism was reflected in design … in the design of cities, of houses, of furniture and in the design of everyday objects. And no longer was good design limited to the privileged ... with the goal of creating a better life for all, good design was aimed at everyone. Scandinavian design and in particular Danish design was, arguably, the most notable of this movement, but the principles of modernism which were introduced in Europe some three decades earlier … minimalism, functionality and low-cost mass production … were now being embraced worldwide.
In North America, the new “suburbs” were springing up on the outskirts of big cities, and homes, like cars, were being built bigger and sleeker and more stylish. Interiors were being designed to accommodate the easier “modern” lifestyle, maximizing flexibility while minimizing clutter. Open floor plans united all family members in the same room while creating spaces for individuals and different activities. And with sleek, functional furniture, efficient space planning and harmony of style created a simple and stylish beauty. On the flip side, while the modernist aesthetic was lean and spare, there was also a place, particularly in the 1950s and ‘60s, for the playful, the odd, and the somewhat kooky … the “kitsch” - a German colloquialism for trash or rubbish. Kitschy accessories and decorations added colour and fun to any room in the home, complementing the sleek and minimalist lines of modern furnishings.