Inspiration: Mid-Century Design

Aida Mollenkamp Mid-Century design gift ideas

I’ve been inspired by California Design every since my recent trip to LACMA latest exhibit. If you live in the Southern California area, I highly recommend checking it out, but even if you can’t make it, you can still embrace the aesthetic. Here are a few of my favorite finds — some more affordable than others — that scream mid-century design (and would make great holiday gifts too).
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California Style


Let’s talk design for a second.

I didn’t grow up knowing much about design, because I hail from a family where sciences and math reign supreme. Fortunately, I had an art history teacher in high school who fixed that all when he took us on on tours of Los Angeles art, architecture, and design.

Years later, once I started working in editorial, design became my job as I’d collaborate with the art team to plan photo shoots, analyze layouts, and make mood boards to visually flesh out stories. Through it all, the design eras that resonate with me most are art deco and mid-century, which coincidentally are the two most prevalent styles in Los Angeles.

Mid-century design is most celebrated in Los Angeles through the Case Houses — a series of concept homes conceived by the mid-century magazine, Arts & Architecture. My sister lives across from Case Study House No. 22, which happens to be my favorite of all the houses and is the home in the above picture. From architecture, I’ve come to admire other designers from this era, so I was jazzed to see LACMA bring it all together in their latest exhibit, California Design.
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You Art What You Eat

eat lacma

I found myself at the crossroads of eat and art when I attended EatLACMA (curated by Fallen Fruit) wherein 50 artists took over LACMA’s grounds with installations, activities, and talks all centered around edible stuff. It was a festival of whimsically weird meets deliciously innovative and an inspired event to say the least. Here are the pieces that got both my creativity and my salivary glands flowing:
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