It’s the small things. I love wrapping my hands around a favorite ceramic mug I’ve had for years each morning, sipping my morning coffee while warming my hands around the ribbed teal mug that feels like it was made for me.
My name is Jolene, and once I’m done with that first mug of coffee, I’m the web content editor here at atomic-ranch.com. I love learning about and showcasing MCM and MCM-inspired designers like Eva Zeisel, Edith Heath, and George Nakashima, and the way the took inspiration from both organic textures and shapes with a clean-lined approach. Here’s a mix of retro and retro-inspired small things made with care and with an eye towards sparking moments of calm, comfort, and joy.
Atomic Ranch curates the best of Mid Century Modern Design to share with our readers. Some of the products you’ll see featured in this story are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, AR will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Ever since learning about Eva Zeisel when writing this article, I’ve loved the elegance, humor and organic approach of Zeisel’s designs. This biomorphic bowl is perfect for fall and winter entertaining or even to have on display.
There’s nothing wrong with clean lines, but it does get to feel a bit cold and masculine if it’s overdone. Zeisel’s work uses curvilinear and organic shapes, and the varying heights and designs of these candlestick holders gives them a sense of playfulness and variety while sharing a family resemblance.
Candlestick holders require candles! These beeswax tapers come in an assortment of earthy colors that will warm up any room, lit or unlit.
Bottle brush trees say Merry Christmas in a very vintage way! The variety of shapes, sizes and colors in this set makes for a cheerfully retro forest for your mantel or tabletop.
Ok, so this isn’t so small, but a coffee table is among the smallest of furniture pieces. And I couldn’t resist including the Conoid coffee table here for its organic shape, natural wood warmth and asymmetric base in the vein of George Nakashima’s craftsmanship and deep respect for the beauty of trees.
Handcrafted and locally sourced in Raleigh, North Carolina, this walnut and leather charcuterie board will suit a variety of styles and can make a great gift even for someone with more traditional taste. Or buy it for yourself and heap it high with crackers, cheese and grapes to warm up the feel of any gathering you’re hosting this season.
Scandinavian paper stars hung in a window always stop me in my tracks. This one is elegant, simple, and convey a sense of warmth and well-being in a calm, clutter-free way that speaks to an MCM lover’s sensibilities.
Speaking of minimalist, the simple textures of this Palomino table lamp is a sight for sore eyes. The combination of woven and smooth textures and neutrals have a calming effect befitting a nightstand or any room really.
As an aspiring minimalist, I only have one ring that I wear on a daily basis, a vintage one I inherited from my grandmother. That said, I’m not opposed to adding a couple more rings to the rotation. This minimalist garnet ring is perfect for those of us who prefer a vintage minimalist look to flashy bling.
The clean, rounded edges of this jewelry case makes for a sleek profile, and the top functions as both a lid and mirror. A minimalist’s jewelry case if ever there was one!
Wall hangings are a great way to add color and texture to your walls. The color blocked design of this abstract wall hanging lends itself well to a vintage-inspired Christmas palette and can work year-round. I recently hung two wall hangings in my bedroom, and that act alone is probably the best decor decision I’ve made all year!
Despite my minimalist aspirations, I am a sucker for color and for mosaic tile. These mid century mosaic ash trays check both boxes and honestly probably top the list for me!
Speaking of color and texture, this handmade Sunset Woven Rug is versatile in style and can suit a mid mod palette quite well with its playful use of line. It’s also fair trade and made of upcycled fiber!
This December marks five years that I’ve lived in Rain City, aka Vancouver. I’ve learned a whole new appreciation for sunlight when I can get it but also for the varying tempos and sizes of rain. These Danish Modern Drop It hooks evoke raindrops and can play double duty as decor when they’re not functioning as hooks for, say, raincoats.
An exhibition at the Vancouver Art Museum pairing the work of Edith Heath with painter Emily Carr reminded me of Edith Heath’s work and her legacy through Heath Ceramics. The exhibition focused on the two creative women’s connection to place, especially interesting that ceramics literally take earth as its material. Earthy and hefty, this bud vase in cool lava feels both expertly crafted and organic, as well as at home in a place like Vancouver.
As much as I love cool blues, as I’ve grown older and endured the upheaval of the past couple of years, I find myself gravitating more than ever towards warm colors as well. The Vintage Rust, Copper, and Blue Coasters‘ contrasting colors and geometric shapes lend themselves well to a Mid Mod palette.
For more mid century small things to inspire your gift giving (or wish list making), read on for Holiday Gifts for Every Mid Mod Fan on Your List.
To see more of what Atomic Ranch staff have on their wishlists, check out Staff Wish Lists: Mid Century Tunes and Record Players stay tuned in the coming weeks. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more MCM inspiration.