The modern form of entertaining we practice today stems from the social and design shifts of the 1950s. Decadence and abundance were celebrated once again, in stark contrast to the rationing and modesty of the 1940s. Social gatherings at the home were extraordinary events filled with food, entertainment and glamour. Therefore, residential interior and architectural design needed to adjust accordingly to provide the best possible layout for hosting the modern party.
Designers and architects focused on creating dwellings that suited the social climate of the times. Mid-century modern homes were laid out with features and flow that made it easy to host a fabulous party.
The fireplace was often a design focal point featuring lots of surrounding seating. During a party, seating is often at a premium, and many guests end up going home complaining of sore feet. However, when you have long, open bench seating right next to a warm, glowing fire, your guests will be happier, more relaxed and less in need of a foot massage by the end of the night.
The eat-in kitchen of a mid-century modern home allowed for guests to mingle with the host and hostess as they prepared drinks. The kitchen was now a design feature of the home and therefore was open to the rest of the living area to “show off” its attractiveness and state-of-the-art appliances. The host was no longer confined to toiling in the kitchen all night but could take part in the conversation while working. With the space now open to guests, a beautiful buffet was easily served on the kitchen counter tops.
The mid-century modern home’s open floor plan kept guests in one another’s company. No one was ever stuck in the other room, away from the entertainment. Each and every guest was incorporated into the party as soon as they walked through the front door. The open space also made it easy for the host to pass around beverages and appetizers.
Glass walls are a common, beautiful component of MCM home design. They connect the outside with the inside. The glass separation seamlessly expands the home’s party space. Guests could enjoy the outdoor space and still be very much a part of the festivities indoors. Patio furniture was simply extra seating for partygoers. The barbeque chef may have been outside but he was still a part of the social engagement.
Mid-century modern home design incorporated subtle features that benefit entertaining, as well. These features have big impact on the appeal of the home but also enhance the partygoer’s experience in ways that guests may not even be aware of. One feature is the raised or exposed beam ceiling, often included in MCM residential design. The resulting airy-ness adds to the party’s grandeur while also making guests feel comfortable enough in the added space to laugh a little louder. Another feature that benefits the guest experience is the multitude of windows that let in natural light. A summer party would allow for sunlight to spill in during dinner and on into the evening.
A tenet of MCM home design was to better facilitate the social functions of the inhabitants, including the desire to entertain. Impressing your guests with your beautiful, well designed home was an added bonus, of course. If you are looking for your own mid-century modern residence in Southern California, get in touch with us today.