Mid Century Modern Design meets KC’s Plus Modern Design

Written and Photographed by Ingrid Keizer

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“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris, Textile Designer, Political Theorist and Philosopher

Mid-Century Modern Design’s popularity has made a huge resurgence and the evidence of this can be found in many of Kansas City’s newly renovated and newly built homes, offices and buildings. The design concept popular from roughly 1940 to 1965 can be seen in architecture, automobiles, graphic design, clothing and furniture. It can be defined by its functionality, clean lines, simplicity, with curves, polymorphic and geometric shapes. The design movement was motivated by post-war  economic growth resulting in technological and military advancement. The design world responded with its use of polymers, laminates, plywood, metals and plastics.

eamesThough many designers pioneered the concept, Ray and Charles Eames are synonymous with the mid-century modern movement.   The Eames style chair design is an iconic design that was molded from plywood which sometimes includes leather. Charles Eames a native Missourian, began his venture into design at Washington University in St. Louis where it is said he was dismissed for his “too modern” concept of design and his advocacy of Frank Lloyd-Wright. He partnered with Eiliel Saarinin, a Finnish architect and were recognized by the New York Museum of Modern Art. Eames also designed furniture and medical splints and stretchers for the US Navy. He is quoted as saying of his wife and design partner, Ray, “Anything I can do, she can do better”


Today’s Mid Century Modern Designs are warm, use jewel tones and are more easily combined with sleek, eclectic looking shelving and other modern contemporary decor. Think Don Draper in his signature, tight fitting Brooks Brothers suit combined with a colorful, contemporary clothing accessory. You have the beautiful classic framework, ageless style and flexibility. It is wildly sexy.

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Keith Wardlow has been dreaming of design concepts since childhood. By age twelve his parents took his interest seriously and bought him interior design software for his computer. After identifying an area of need for urban/modern furniture in the Kansas City area, Wardlow fulfilled the dream of starting his own business.

Keith Wardlow, Owner/Designer

Keith Wardlow, Owner/Designer

Plus Modern Design is a brilliant combination of custom furniture sales, residential and commercial design, space planning and organization and color consultation. He has a fabulous flair for the services he offers. His services are sought by homeowners, architects and project and construction managers. Most recently Wardlow was involved with the interior design of a Penthouse in the One Light Luxury Apartments.

Wardlow’s accomplishments however, shouldn’t intimidate shoppers who are looking for a piece of furniture or home decor. Though prices range, affordability is also of key importance to Wardlow. Prices won’t reflect those found at Ikea but neither will the quality. Plus Modern Design prides itself in providing US made furniture that will last a lifetime. Needless to say, unlike Ikea, money spent at Plus Modern Design goes back into the local economy.

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Plus Modern Design also specializes in closet designs and components that maximize the use of space. The elements used in the closet designs are made in Kansas City. Original artwork by Kansas City artists are also featured and offered for sale as are numerous other decorative accessories.

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Several times a years Plus Modern Design begins discounting floor models to make way for new inventory. That process is currently in place. Now is an excellent time to go to Plus Modern Design to purchase existing items!

To learn more about Plus Modern Design, please visit – https://www.google.com/search?q=plus+modern+design&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

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