Two of my favorite interior design elements are the "anti-decor" elements of French design and the warmth and subtle experimentation of midcentury modern design. Let's take a look at a few examples of both of these styles.
""The whole idea is anti-decor. To make it look like the owner did it himself — to make it look natural. Which is, of course, very French." - Jean-Louis Deniot
Anti-decor is a stylistic approach that you will find in the most tres chic of Parisian apartments. The idea is to embrace a hybrid of tradition and personality, which in turn creates a natural, though thoughtfully curated, aesthetic.
Notice in the above photograph that the arrangement appears to be not so much as designed as it is "collected". In anti-decor, the elements should combine in such a way that those who visit the room feel the owner placed the elements him/herself. It is also a sale that can be tastefully emulated.
"The architectural style is known for its use of expanses of glass, flat planes, and a strong connection to nature." - Sara Tardiff, Architectural Digest
What I most love about midcentury design is the combination of the Japanese minimalist and naturalistic tendencies and the stylistic statement pieces that are allowed to speak for themselves due to sparse surroundings.
My favorite midcentury home, Schaffer House, was designed by architect John Lautner. You might have fallen in love with Schaffer House while watching the Tom Ford masterpiece A Single Man.
There is an interactive openness that accompanies the greatest midcentury homes. Schaffer House, which is relatively small with 2 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, showcases the benefit of glass walls. The home appears infinitely spacious as the design opens itself up to nature.
Do you see a common thread between "anti-decor" and midcentury design? I believe that both concepts embrace personality. There is a certain juxtaposition of curating for the purpose of appearing "effortless". There is also a noticeable victory.