Mid-Century Modern inspiration – George Nelson


I’ve finally found it. The finishing touch to my Mid-Century Modern living room. It’s been on my radar for years and I’ve lusted after similar designs for months. From past experience, I know that just waiting long enough and not rushing into a purchase will ultimately bring the item to me, rather than the other way around. And thankfully, without needing to search for hours on end, I’ve found the perfect retro clock online. And now that it’s hanging proudly on my wall I can breathe a sign of relief. So I want to share a little background information on the designer of my new clock and add to my knowledge of MCM designers at the same time.mid century modern interior design starburst clock-2mid century modern interior design starburst clock-4 mid century modern interior design starburst clock-3Modernist designer George Nelson was one of the founding fathers of American Modernism, along with Charles and Ray Eames, Vico Magistretti and co. As a passionate collector of all things Mid-Century and Googie, I’ve been researching Nelson for a while now and have been keeping my eyes open for a starburst-style clock for a couple of years. I think that this style of clock is the only option for a mid-century styled room and any other clocks that I’ve tried in my living room just look a bit wrong.

mid century modern interior design starburst clock-7 mid century modern interior design starburst clockmid century modern interior design starburst clock-5The clock was first made in 1949 and kick-started the American fascination with Modernism; the contemporary design was so far removed from the traditional clock shapes of the era and it injected colour into basic 40s interiors. Nelson was famed for turning everyday objects into surreal works of art and every modern household studied his book Tomorrow’s House, striving to be modern and forward-thinking.George-Nelson-designer

Modernist designer George Nelson

I was thrilled when I found this starburst clock from Vita Interiors. It’s a reproduction of George Nelson’s original design and is crafted to the highest standard, yet it’s brought up-to-date with the colourful spokes; which co-ordinates well with the green, blue and orange accent colours that I’ve included in my living room to break up the expanse of teak!

I’m especially pleased with the quality of the clock. It’s a really sturdy construction and you don’t feel like the spikes would snap off! It was easy to hang with just one nail and looks great against the retro patterned wallpaper I’d chosen for the feature wall. And did you spot those Googie hands? I love the design of the atomic shapes at the ends of the clock hands, and you’ll understand why if you’ve read my fan-post on Googie design!

What do you think of the latest addition to my Mid-Century Modern living room? Would you hang this type of MCM design in your own home? Are you a Googie fan too? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me, I’d love to chat about this more!

Author: Cassiefairy

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.


  1. Hi Sue, oh wow that’s a big difference in price! Here there are “official” reproductions of an original design and unofficial copies eg Vitra has the license to produce official Eames chairs that cost around £250 so any other cheaper ones (can find them from £30+) won’t be official so don’t hold any value. Still look really similar though! I’ve owned both types and the quality is much better in the official reproductions. I recommend searching for the original designer of the product such as George Nelson and look up what company hold the official license to create reproductions. The quality will be much better 🙂 hope this helps!

  2. Clocks, that is.

  3. In the US. How can I tell the difference between reproductions that cost $500 or $100? See on eBay and regular shopping websites, but don’t know how to determine which one to buy! Obviously, I’d rather spend less than more… But don’t want junk. Any help would be great!

  4. Pingback: Monochrome interior design inspiration for a hallway makeover

  5. Oh yeah, really go for it Natalie! Thanks so much, I’m pleased you liked it 🙂

  6. Ooooh I am really loving your living room! One day when I buy my own place again I aspire to go crazy with the decor, and it’ll need to have some Eames and MCM inspired pieces in it!

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