Modern furniture was cool in the 50s and 60s. Now people rediscover the furniture of that period and buy it on eBay or buy reproductions of classic designer items from the past.
Modern style became popular in the UK after the Festival of Britain in 1951. The festival gave leading British designers the opportunity to introduce new exciting designs to the audience looking for change. In the 1950s, people completely changed their tastes: they preferred traditional style and wanted modern design.
Today, what was considered the avant-garde in the 1950s and 1960s is retro. Retro style is a way to make your home different from the supermarket look that everyone else does.
Re-releases of classic 50-60s models are available in many stores. Habitat produces a number of classic Robin Day items, such as the 1964 Leather Sofa Forum. Fritz Hansen still makes the beautiful chair Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair 1958.
If you don’t want to pay for the design, original designs from the 50s and 60s are still available on eBay. Judge for yourself what good design is; all works made in the modern style, in the 50s and 60s was not.
Choose simple shapes, such as long and low dressers with minimal ornament. Overall, if it looks good, it’s a good design. If the proportions are wrong, ignore them. Scandinavian influence was strong in British furniture from the 50s to the 70s. Look for items decorated with a teak or a rose tree. The palisander has a striking, winding pattern of texture. Sellers on EBay often mistakenly call pieces of mahogany or sapel a rose tree. Both types of wood have a direct texture. In modern furniture they are less fashionable, so mahogany or sapel products are less valuable.
Some manufacturers of the 50s and 60s, which made well-designed furniture, include G-Plan, Stag, Ercol, Austinsuite and Nathan. G-Plan was a pioneer of modern design. Deer hired John and Sylvia Reed in the 1950s to create stunning minimalist things. Their most famous creation was “Menstrel” – a reimagining of 18th century elegance for the modern world. Ercol made simple modern furniture in Elma, England. Ercol is of high quality and has many followers. If you want to buy the best designers of the 50s and 60s, coins appear on eBay, but they are rarely cheap. Look for manufacturers like Gordon Russell or Archie Shine. Younger also made several high-quality teak and rosewood products from the late 1950s. They can be cheaper than some of the best designer products. Also look for Danish furniture on eBay.