With a demand for nostalgia (thank you, Mad Men) and a recent surge in popularity, mid-century modern design is most assuredly in vogue. FormDecor president and owner Fritz Williams makes it a priority to scour the Los Angeles landscape of auctions, antique dealers, and contemporary furniture manufacturers to find iconic pieces that exemplify the mid-century design aesthetic, around which you can build an environment.
“We look for items that have a cultural impact and can stand the test of time. When you have a strongly designed piece of furniture, by the likes of Warren Platner, George Nelson, or Mies van der Rohe, then you can begin to easily craft a concept around it. It’s about simplicity,” Williams says.
In many ways, sourcing the furniture from across the globe or from Los Angeles becomes a bit of an Indiana Jones experience for the scouts at FormDecor. Does it belong in a museum? Is it worth salvaging or restoring? Is it representative of mid-century modern design? Does an ancient curse come with it? In addition to asking the right questions, knowing whether or not a designer can utilize a piece of furniture is imperative. Can an entire vision be created around one Milo Baughman sofa? Their answer is a resounding yes.
Mid-century modern furniture tends to evoke a certain feeling or tone. It’s not the over-the-top glamour of Hollywood Regency, but it also isn’t a kitsch retro vibe. As Charles Eames once described, it’s about connections: “Eventually everything connects—people, ideas, objects. ... The quality of the connections is the key to quality.” An event designer capturing those connections and capitalizing on them can lead to a well-received and successful event.
A classic mid-century design can be used everywhere and for a myriad of events, from a trade show to a wedding. FormDecor strives to make a designer's role easier and provides unforgettable furnishings and accents that produce mental and physical connections, whether it's a sense of nostalgia or acute design sensibilities. The modern masters were able to create timeless art that combined form, function, and understated elegance that invites interaction. That’s what FormDecor works to curate throughout its inventory. “We want a designer to have the freedom to create with history and, moreover, with historically accurate furniture that reflects an era but doesn’t stifle creativity,” Williams says.