Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Mid-Century Modern Revival – Does it Still Have Legs?

Mid-century modern design came to fruition after World War II ended and remained a popular décor trend for several decades until the 1980s, which had its own oddities in furniture design. Once mid-century modern furniture returned in the 2000s, it made quite the splash with sofas with curved edges, tables with sleek finishes, and chairs that curved and were made to fit the human form. In 2023, however, there’s debate among experts and consumers as to whether this style is even, well, stylish anymore. 

If you ask a professional designer if mid-century modern furniture is still a hot trend, their answer will most likely depend on their own personal preferences. Some say the trend is slowly but surely fading, some say it’s here to stay, and some say it should only be used sparingly when creating an interior look. You might ask yourself, “Well, how do I know what’s right versus wrong? What will look good versus bad in my home? Do I have to return some pieces to the store now?” First, we will break down exactly what mid-century modern furniture looks like and delve into how you can use it in your home. Second, don’t return your pieces to the store — there are ways to incorporate furniture of various styles into your design while still maintaining a current and fresh style

What is Mid-Century Modern Furniture? 

As the name states, mid-century modern furniture started becoming a design style in the middle of the 20th century. Inspired by the works of different architects of that time, this design style has quite a few notable characteristics, such as simplicity, mixed materials, and a combination of indoor and outdoor living. To start, the furniture is quite minimalist — it usually has sleek designs supported by wooden or metal legs. In terms of material, you’ll often see pieces featuring plastic mixed in with solid wood and other natural materials. Lastly, mid-century modern combines indoor and outdoor living with the inclusion of large plants in a home, large windows, and furniture that could fit inside a living room or outside on a patio. 

Is Mid-Century Modern Going Out of Style? 

The answer is yes…and no. While there are some aspects of mid-century modern that are going out of style, some are here to stay. Experts agree that regardless of whether the trend ever goes completely out of style, it’s best if used sparingly. They suggest using mid-century modern accent pieces rather than decorating an entire room set in this style. This will give your home a timeless feel with long-lasting pieces that are eclectic. Some experts say that cane furniture, in particular, is going to continue trending in people’s homes. Cane furniture is similar to wicker and comes in natural, neutral colors that can fit in any room. Additionally, this furniture can go with any style or room — whether it be a contemporary living room or a beach-themed pool house. It can complement the bohemian motif of a bedroom while also coordinating well with strictly modern pieces without clashing at all. 

How to Incorporate the Trend in Your Home

The best way to use mid-century modern furniture in your home is to combine it with other trends. While mid-century will most likely never completely fade, other eras like the 1980s and 1990s are making a comeback in interior design as well. If you’re interested in designing a space with multiple trends, then you need to thoughtfully plan how you want each room to look. Plus, you’ll want to plan out what pieces you want to complement each other so nothing clashes. 

For example, if you’re combining trends, then maybe offset a mid-century modern couch with a sleek coffee table. The Bernhardt Colette Sofa is a great piece to incorporate in a room where you want to incorporate multiple styles because it’s a neutral tone and has curves, which are complementary to other accent pieces. Not to mention, it’s very comfortable!

The Bernhardt Colette Chair is also a great piece to pair with more contemporary styles of furniture and can even go with other accent chairs if you wanted to include the sofa as well.

Another great mid-century modern piece for combining styles is the Vanguard Furniture Cove Dining Table, which is sleek, charming, and shapely as an accent piece. Pair it with some simple contemporary chairs, and you have one trendy dining room that guests will love!  

The mid-century modern style can complement all sorts of styles, so don’t discount this one in your design journey. It’s great for accenting the room, incorporating indoor and outdoor elements into the space, and adding some cool elements into your space! For more information on pieces in this style, visit the Baer’s Furniture site to look through different options. Shop Baer’s today!

Monday, June 19, 2023

A Case for Accessories – How to Accessorize Your Space Without Burying Your Furniture

 Whether you’ve chosen a maximalist style, like Grandmillenial or Boho, or a less-is-more decorative motif, like modern or minimalism, you’re probably going to still want to use accessories.

But when is enough enough? We will provide you with tasteful accessory tips that won’t bury your décor or furniture. 

How the Pros Accessorize

You go to your friend’s house, and they immediately lead you to a large three-cushioned sofa in their living room and tell you to make “yourself comfortable” — but you can’t. There are so many toss pillows that you can’t find an open spot. And the patterns clash. You would sit on the pouf, but there’s a beautifully carved chess set on it. You decide to stand.

Professional decorators avoid these common mistakes by sticking to a theme and then knowing when to stop adding to it. Here are a few concepts that you can use to finish your space with accessories without overwhelming it. 


Knowing when it’s time to stop is key to accessorizing a space. For example, four throw pillows on a sofa might be the right amount, but that many can really crowd a loveseat. A single throw carelessly draped over the back of an armchair might add some much-needed color and texture, but pillows might make it unusable. Notice how these two sets of pillows complement the Bernhardt Joli Contemporary Sofa without detracting from the clever lines and warm fabric of the piece. 

Combining Shared Elements

When selecting accessories for one or more pieces of furniture, it’s helpful to identify shared elements that tie the pieces together. Color may be the most significant factor, but don’t forget that lines and shape are also important. Consider the Tommy Bahama Siesta Key Woven Headboard in this image. The white of the pillows and bedding matches the off-white woven bed frame, while the subtle gray stripe in the bed connects with the gray colors of the decorative pillows. 

Applying the 60-30-10 Rule

In case you’re unfamiliar with the 60-30-10 rule, it means that 60% of your space should be a primary color, 30% should be a secondary color from the same palette, and 10% can be a tertiary color. Adding accessories can affect the balance of colors. There are a few ways you can address this familiar decorator’s dilemma. 

You can dedicate all of your 10% (the tertiary color) to one color family. However, this may give your place a “paint by numbers feel.” 

Another method involves trying to make the additions proportionate to the room. For example, 60% of the new accessories match the primary color, 30% match the secondary color, and 10% match the tertiary color. This will ensure that you maintain the balance, and it won’t seem quite as contrived as monochromatic accessories. 

Perhaps the most difficult approach to maintaining color balance is locating accessories with two or three colors in the approximate proportions you need. This can be extremely challenging, but online stores have made locating unique accessories much easier. 

Paying Attention to Size

Larger accessories are going to affect your room more. For example, curtains and area rugs will have a much bigger impact than a folded quilt or a lampshade. On a more granular level, consider the surface areas of throw pillows. If you have large throw pillows, you’ll need fewer of them than smaller ones. 

Accessorizing Minimalist Spaces 

If the whole point of minimalism is to reduce the clutter and celebrate empty space, why would you need to accessorize? While true, minimalist spaces completely devoid of accessories can come across as cold and unwelcoming.

Consider this living room featuring the Bernhardt Contemporary Leather Sofa. While the room does adhere to minimalist principles, the table surfaces are adorned with an adjustable lamp, a pair of metallic urns, and reading materials. The accessories augment the color palette without intruding into pathways or blocking the view of the major pieces in the room. Additionally, a crisp white rug adds texture and warmth to the space. 

Accessorizing Maximalist Spaces  

You might be thinking that if you choose maximalist décor, you can really go to town with the accessories, but you may require even more discipline to avoid a junky, overdone look.

Consider placing extra accessories in a curio cabinet or display cabinet to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of too many items intruding on your space. Accessories never looked better than when they’re displayed in a beautifully designed curio cabinet, like the Pulaski Cabinet from Pacific Heights. 

Return Unwanted Items 

Unlike most furniture, accessories are often returnable, so don’t be hesitant about taking risks. If you buy a rug or throw that ends up not looking so great, take it back. Just check the store’s return policy before making a purchase. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

When Less is More – How to Resist Gilding the Lily When Decorating


You've finished the floors, painted the room, and selected some beautiful high-quality furniture pieces from one of your favorite furniture store's 16 locations. If you're like most interior decorators, you're ready to start a round of accessory shopping. Or, you already have some accessories in place, but you want more. 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, "gilding the lily" means to "improve or decorate something that is already perfect and therefore spoil it." No one understands the compulsion to buy accessories better than the Baer's Furniture Design Team members. But how do you know when enough is enough? If you choose too many accessories or combine too many patterns, your room can go from a tasteful and comfortable living space to a busy, cluttered hodgepodge. We have some tips to help prevent you from gilding the lily. 

Purchase Functional Accessories First 

A functional accessory is anything in the room that is not solely for decorative purposes. Functional accessories include lamps and lampshades, curtains, area rugs, etc. Selecting these necessary accessories can help avoid over-purchasing and throwing off the room's balance. 

In this beautiful bedroom featuring the Sag Harbor Tufted Bed, functional accessories include the end-table lamps, curtains, bedspread, and the area rug. Additional decorative accessories include the throw on the bench, decorative pillows on the bed, and wall art. 

It's important to note that this is an extremely well-thought-out decorative space. While a toss pillows or wall art might not be necessary, they do make the room look great. 

Stick to the Plan

We are huge advocates of vision boards to help our customers plan their decorative themes. Vision boards are an accessible way to plan your space before purchasing. However, as your design vision comes to fruition and all of the major expenditures of time and money are behind you, you may be tempted to "take chances" with accessories that, for one reason or another, didn't make it to your original design concept. 

If you do decide to add or switch out accessories, avoid cluttering your space by observing the following rules :

  • Use replacement accessories of the same size. Or replace one accessory with two or more smaller accessories that combine to be the same size as the original one you had in mind. 
  • Replace accessories with similarly-colored items. If you decide the original color you picked was wrong for the space, choose from your existing color palette. 
  • Solids and patterns are not the same. Prints give the illusion of a busier space. 

Keep Minimalism Minimal

Minimalism does not mean "bereft of character." You can have accessories in a minimalist decorative space — just fewer than with maximalist themes. If you've selected a minimalist design, choose your accessories wisely. This living room features the Joli Collection Contemporary Sofa by Bernhardt, but it has a decidedly minimalist bent with its muted neutral colors and efficient lines. As you can imagine, adding a few accessories or colors to this sophisticated design would throw it out of balance. It's perfect in its simplicity. 

Not Everything Qualifies as an Accessory

You might have a patchwork quilt that you love because it's really cozy, but it just doesn't fit with your modern, contemporary, or Mid-century Modern décor. And electronic devices, remotes, charging cords, board games, etc., should never be considered an accessory. To solve this problem, we recommend storage furniture to eliminate clutter from non-accessories. 

The Sea Glass Buffet with Sand-blasted Doors in this space provides a surface for actual accessories while providing ample space for whatever items don't really go with the theme. Note the way the decorative pillow, glass bowl, and vases all pursue the same family of blue. 

Use Curio Cabinets to Control Decorative Sprawl 

You may have a few items that you'd like to proudly display, but don't actually fit with your living room or dining room's décor. However, a curio cabinet allows you to group together thematic or disparate items in one central location. Instead of each item having to act as its own accessory, the curio cabinet becomes an accent piece. For example, it would be difficult to find a place for the number of accessories contained in this Chocolate Cherry Curio by Pulaski Furniture. However, they all fit nicely in this lovely display cabinet. The design also discourages visitors from handling breakable objects. 

Accessories are an integral part of interior design and an option you should always have in your decorating arsenal. Just remember that having too many could be just as detrimental as having too few.