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5 Must-Have Mid-Century Modern Books

I’m always being asked which books to buy on mid-century modernism, so I’ve compiled a list of my current top 5 books under $50. Lushpad has a larger list of books over at Amazon if you want to have a look for some more great mid-mod books.

If you’ve got any suggestions to add to the list, let us know in the comments section, we’ll be sure to include them!

Vintage Furniture: Collecting and Living with Modern Design Classics

I love, love, love this book as an all-round primer for anyone interested in mid-century modern furniture. Fay Sweet highlights the most iconic pieces from each international design movement, exploring the key designers, details and materials that define the most influential and collectible furniture created since the turn of the twentieth century. This is definitely my number one book choice.

Our Price: $34.20 (only 3 left on Amazon)  Buy it Now!

Modern Retro: Living with Mid-Century Modern Style
Got this book as a Christmas present and think it’s absolutely great! Created by mid-century modern dealer Andrew Weaving and design commentator Neil Bingham, “Modern Retro” shows you how to take the best designs in furniture, glass, ceramics and textiles from the 1920s to the 1970s and use them throughout your home in a relaxed and individual way.

Our Price: $29.99 Buy it Now!


The Complete Case Study Houses Program

If you don’t know about the The Case Study House Program (1945-66) you’re in for a treat. This book showcases the 36 prototype homes designed by such great talents as Richard Neutra, Charles & Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen that re-defined the affordable, modern post-war home. The book contains beautiful photos, detailed floorplans and other documentation of all the homes. (there’s even a Jumbo Coffee Table version worth $229.49 if you’re feeling really flush).
Our Price: $44.09 Buy it Now!

Julius Shulman: Chicago Mid-Century Modernism

I can’t say I own this book yet, but I’ve pre-ordered it and can’t wait to get my hands on it. New and vintage photography of America’s modernist architectural mecca taken by legendary architectural photographer, Julius Shulman. The book features the elegantly modern Minsk House, designed by Keck & Keck in 1955; the 1960 Burton Frank House, a mid-century modern gem; architect Harry Weese’s inspired modernist home and studio of 1957; and many other modern masterpieces.

Our Price: $37.80 Pre-Order it Now!


Living Retro

Great interiors from around the world featuring classic mid-century modern pieces. Andrew Weaving celebrates retro style in all its guises with this multi-faceted book embracing many different decorative styles but always at its heart, a passion for vintage furniture and an understanding of the very best twentieth-century design. The interiors featured are varied in style, ranging from a slick, minimalist loft in London to an eclectic Parisian home full of found objects and a New York apartment that’s a cocktail of color and pattern.

Our Price: $19.77 Buy it Now!

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2 Comments

  1. MiD CeNtury GuYDecember 27, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I have the Living Retro Book. I think its a great resource for me. Thanks for the other recommendations.

  2. B2ModernNovember 2, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Some of these books I have seen but I saw a few I will need to hunt down. Thanks for the run down.

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  • Nico: The kitchen and audio gifts really inspire me, as Christmas is coming :). Thank you.
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  • Jan OConnell: Hard crowd to please...If he didn't use his name, would you still be making such hard comments? He's been drawing for a long time and his major in college was architecture. So hobby, no...second career yes. He has excellent taste in furniture and the homes he's designed. He's been into design since moving to LA and has spent most of his time in antique/vintage stores around the world. He has taste, I personally love the dining and cocktail tables...are they a play on another design, maybe...as artists, we all take from other designs. It's human and it's how we evolve as artists to become better artists.
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  • Linda Fougerousse: I like the tables, however, I agree I've seen the spring table in several collections already. Not lovin the bed. There is a reason they're showing it undressed!
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  • iris fingerhut: having good taste does not mean you are a designer. we have seen so many celebs turn to design as a way of expanding their "brand". macy's star line-up has made this practice legit. the donald trump collection? please... i find this furniture derivative on the whole and some things in particular, bad design. the bed, especially. that extension at the foot of the bed is a real knee slammer!. i guess being a wealthy,handsome, talented actor, father of 6, philanthropist is not quite enough to keep brad busy... i find this whole trend a terrible one. do what you do best, and leave it to designers to design. if it weren't for the name recognition and celebrity, most of these "collections" would never see the light of day.
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  • Brooke Richards: Hey, if Brad Pitt wants to try his hand at something new, he should go for it. Why not, there will always be purists, nay-sayers & critic's. The chair, in a sunny corner sitting with my back in the curve of the back & the arm, my legs thrown over the front of the opposite arm, feet dangling, reading a good book! By the way, see the resemblence to Batman's mask anyone? The tub, yep clearly the man knows bathtime playtime. Enough said! The side table, love it too. Looks like the physical expression of the motion of Samantha's wand on 'BeWitched'. The bed, cool, angular metal, smooth wood curves, platform beds aren't for everyone. Just give me the wild legged polished wood table/bench. What a lot of fun, the surprises in life, life does have it's crazy sharp turns......
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