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Modern Retro: Living with Mid-Century Modern Style (Compact Paperbacks) Paperback – May, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A paean to all things lovely from the 1930s to the 1970s. It has all the Eames, Jacobsen, and Aalto you could want, and advice on where to get it and put it. (The Guardian)

About the Author

Neil Bingham writes on architecture and contemporary culture. A former curator of drawings at the Royal Institute of British Architects, he is the author of "The New Boutique".

Andrew Weaving runs a gallery, Century, specializing in mid-century modern American design, focusing on originals, re-editions, and work by new designers.

Andrew Wood is a photographer specializing in interiors and fashion. He undertakes regular commissions for Elle Decoration and other prestigious magazines such as Vogue and The Sunday Telegraph Magazine. His previous books include Smart Storage, One Space Living, Living with Modern Classics: The Chair, and Modern Natural.
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Product Details

  • Series: Compact Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small (May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841728675
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841728674
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lee Roberson on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
I feel the other two reviews of this book on Amazon as of March, 2010 are inaccurate and unfair to this book, so I wanted to give it a very positive review and provide the potential reader with more information on this title. First, this book is not a treatise on pure 1950's design, and it doesn't claim to be. The jacket of the book spells out what this volume is about very clearly: "Modern Retro will inspire you to create a stylish, individual home that combines modern classics with thrift-store finds and the best of contemporary design."

Additionally, the inside jacket tells the reader this: "Modern Retro is not about slavishly recreating a period feel. Instead, it shows how to take the best designs of the 1920's through to the 1970's and use them in your home in a relaxed and individual way. Past and present can sit stylishly together - a 1930's Aalto stacking stool with Eames chairs from the 1950's, a modern chain-store sofa with a 1970's glass top table - allowing you to make the most of the gloriously eclectic forms, colors, and patterns available." The book definitely succeeds in its mission.

There are loads of excellent color photos with all the midcentury icons you could ask for - Eames surfboard cocktail tables, Bertoia diamond chairs, Nelson coconut chairs, Saarinen tulip tables, Kagan sofas, and on and on. And no, the book is not loaded with photos taken at weird angles, certainly no more than any other design book you would pick up. The book gives a solid overview of the evolution of modern design, touching on developments in each decade from the 1920's through the 1970's. There are then chapters on furniture, lighting, ceramics, accessories, kitchens, bathrooms, and much more.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful By EternalSeeker on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not helpful for people serious about getting into the Fifties' look. Maybe OK for those who view it as a fad and have lots of money to spend on repros and authentic pieces at high end antique shops. It gives very little sense of real Fifties decorating and "look"; replaces stylistic information with a lot of weird photography angles; and is depressingly short of useful ideas. If you want to intersperse one or two 50s pieces in an otherwise contempory decor, this book might be helpful. I found it pitifully inadequate.

For serious Fifties afficinados or those who want genuine inspiration, I suggest instead 'Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes', by Michelle Gringeri-Brown, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Layton, Utah, 2006.
Or 'Eichler: Modernism Rebuids the American Dream'.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Warren Mallett on June 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Not specific to the subject matter despite the title suggesting otherwise.
Get Atomic Ranch it is far superior.
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