We just bought a new book called Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965 — the accompaniment to the exhibition at the LA County Museum of Art (which closes June 3). For those of us who can’t make it to southern California within the next 2 days, this is the next best thing.

The book presents a comprehensive study of mid-century modern California design — furniture, architecture, textiles, graphic design, and more. The book states that “the California modern look was one of studied informality, sophisticated simplicity, and carefully considered casualness.”
Quincy Jones house, 1955, photo by Julius Shulman

There are many pictures showing the indoor-outdoor living idea that was popular in the 1950s. We love this house — the red beams, red Eames chairs, and the sliding glass doors. The book also explores product design and graphic design of those times.

Greta Magnusson Grossman for Glenn of California screen, 1952

This screen looks fresh even 60 years after its creation. We’d love to have this in our homes!

These book jackets designed in 1944-1945 by Alvin Lustig showcase his belief that “well-designed objects would function as art in everyday life.” We couldn’t agree more, and if we could get our hands on these they would be framed and hung on our walls!

Check out Living in a Modern Way for a great dose of mid-century design, in all its fabulous facets.

All photos from Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965, edited by Wendy Kaplan, published by The MIT press

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