By Jessica Steinhoff
Midcentury modern and Scandinavian interiors are the heart and soul of The Century House, but this minimalist mecca was a destination before the “Mad Men” era came about.
Established in 1948, it was first known as a ceramics studio that made custom pieces for special occasions. It also sold gifts, as it still does today, in its building at 3029 University Ave. There you can find Marimekko scarves, Charley Harper puzzles and other treats for aesthetes. Across the parking lot from the gift store you’ll find their impeccably arranged home furnishings store, too.
Meanwhile, another showroom with home and office furnishings at 3420 University Ave. is a celebration of clean lines, natural materials and unfussy elegance in interior design. Though many people associate this look with the 1950s and ’60s, it has an enduring appeal. General manager Jacob Harlow chalks this up to a combination of tradition and innovation.
“Modern Scandinavian designers often focus on finding the essence of what a piece of furniture or decor needs to be, along with ways to keep it simple and elegant in both form and function. It’s common to find classic materials like wood and wool paired with a form or purpose that’s relatively new,“ he explains.
More than 60 modern and Scandinavian brands are represented, including Blu Dot, Herman Miller, Skovby and Umage. One of Harlow’s favorites is Carl Hansen, a Danish furniture manufacturer known for producing iconic pieces.
“Carl Hansen produced many great pieces designed by Hans Wegner, who is probably the best-known Scandinavian designer from the 1950s and ’60s. He pushed boundaries, created innovative forms and incorporated ideas that were new at the time, like ergonomics,” Harlow says.
3029 & 3420 University Ave., centuryhouseinc.com
The Lakeshore Living publications are published by Nei-Turner Media Group, a full-service agency located in Lake Geneva, WI. Our publication covers the picturesque Lake Geneva area.
NEI-TURNER MEDIA GROUP
400 Broad Street, Unit D
Lake Geneva, WI 53147