How to recreate the mid-century modern look with bouclé
Our homes are a sensory experience, filled with favourite treasures that we want to reach out and feel. We explore so much of the world through our sense of touch, it only seems right that we would bring this back into our homes. With supple velvet sofas, smooth timber sideboards, cool stone floors, each one evokes a different sensation and makes us feel calm and comforted. Nothing however, comes close to the relaxing strokability of bouclé; the ultimate ASMR of interiors.
Not familiar with bouclé? Allow us to introduce you to G&G’s favourite textured material that’s been gracing homes across the globe since the middle of the 20th century.
WHAT IS BOUCLÉ?
Bouclé originates from the French word meaning ‘curled’ or ‘looped’. The process involves at least two yarns, one is tightly twisted while the other is held loose. As they weave together, it creates that nubbly knotted texture which we all love.
WHO STARTED THE BOUCLÉ TREND?
In 1940, Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and furniture designer Charles Eames won first prize for the large, lounge chair that they designed for the Museum of Modern Art competition. Saarinen, who studied both sculpture and architecture, was a champion of organic modernism; an artistic movement that blended natural, tactile materials with clean lines and simple shapes.
When Saarinen met Florence Knoll, an American furniture designer, she encouraged him to further develop the award-winning lounge chair to create one that she could ‘really curl up in’.
The result? Model 70, otherwise known as the iconic ‘Womb Chair’, named for its organic and enveloping shape that was crafted from a fibreglass shell and upholstered in our favourite cosy, curly bouclé weave. Never before had bouclé been used in furniture design and, after World War II, its popularity soared and people were clamouring for the kind of comfort it could provide.
Designers and brands continue to be influenced by Saarinen’s sculptural mid-century designs, including us here at G&G where we enjoy experimenting with unusual textures and silhouettes just like he did.
To pay homage to the creator, choose a mid-century style bouclé armchair that trades sharp corners for shapely curves. Add a footstool and matching cushions to create a cosy reading nook.
Or be bold with a matching bouclé furniture set that really captures that mid-century silhouette. Having both sofa and chairs in the room also means you won’t have to compromise on space when your furry friends join you for a snuggle!
Because of its mid-century upbringing, bouclé lends itself really well to a touch of opulence. Framed against moody hues of paint and perched on gold tapered legs, a sofa or set of bouclé dining chairs becomes an Art Deco masterpiece. Style with a gold and marble cocktail trolley and you’ll be ready for your Martini.
For those who love the subtlety of natural aesthetics, like Scandinavian or Japandi styles, where the look is all about pared back colour mixed with plenty of texture, bouclé is a fitting choice. Set a curved bouclé bench or chair against rustic wood floors and a Japanese-inspired rattan screen for a sense of serenity.
CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH
But don’t stop at bouclé for your textural fix. Sheepskins, shearling, and chenille will all add that comforting feeling to your home, too. Layer your bouclé chair with a sheepskin throw or introduce a textured pouffe and a woven rug to dial up the cosy mid-century look.
Give a subtle nod to bouclé by introducing curled details on accent accessories too, like this plant pot that features looped handles and our circular candle holders.
We hope you’ve enjoyed recreating the mid-century modern look with us. For more inspiration, discover your artistic side with our guide to the Sculptural Trend or explore more ways to add texture throughout your home.