by Rosa Colucci


March 2, 2021

Spring is right around the corner and with it, rebirth.

But this last year has given many a sense of nostalgia and that mood is popping up in design with the explosion of Mid-Century Modern design.

From major retailers, thrift stores and resale shops, the appeal of making over our spaces with pops of color and clean lines is not only smart, it’s a whole lot of fun. And who doesn’t need that right now?

This distinctively American design movement covers the period from 1945-1969. Borne at the end of WWII the influence was broad and far encompassing interior and exterior design; architecture, graphic design and urban development.

As the spring catalogs land in our mailboxes (please recycleJ) and images fill our social feeds, it’s tempting to just start shopping. After all, who doesn’t love a Tulip Chair?



But let’s do some homework first.

Check out a few podcasts. “The MidModcast” covers everything from popular culture, arts, food and more. It’s fun and gives you great insight into the “why” behind the movement. On the design front, “Next Up! MidCentury Home” takes a deep dive into the design influences behind the homes themselves.

Take a look around your home and plan your design, see what you can use and decide if you want an eclectic mix with just a few pieces or want to go all in.

Here’s where the fun begins. There are a lot of great pieces to be had second-hand, and a lot of it is right under your nose, in your relative’s attic, garages and available online at digital marketplaces. Now that spring yard-sale season is coming, grab some coffee and get out there. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Also, check out any number of small, family-owned businesses that are around town. Upcycled retailer Pittsburgh Furniture Company is loaded with hairpin leg tables and vinyl-covered accent chairs. Looking for more upscale? Check out Perlora on the South Side or and my personal fave Construction Junction.

If you are going the retail route, shop responsibility. Ikea features lots of seating, lighting inspiration in natural materials such as rattan that are stylish and look great for a small investment. They have commitments to sustainability and we like that too! 

Retailers Crate & Barrel and West Elm are committed, responsible partners with great looking pieces that will last for years to come. And make sure when you buy paint, you purchase a high-quality, zeroVOC product to start with.

What are your favorite places to shop? Leave some links below so we can share them with others.


Rosa Colucci writes about eco-friendly design for The Green Voice. She is a certified color educator and consultant with PPG Paints and writes a weekly real estate column for Pittsburgh Magazine.