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A Mid-Century Marvel

How the Popular Trend Has Lived Up to Its Modern Status

When some people think of mid-century modern, the first thing that comes to mind is vibrant colors, irregular shapes, and maybe yes, even their grandparents’ house. But today, those core characteristics have been honed, refined and elevated, giving rise to mid-century modern popularity in home decór and high end interior design. But why are people so obsessed with the trend, and what exactly is it anyway? 

What Is Mid-Century Modern? 

According to The Spruce, mid-century modern popularity is due in part to its clean lines, gentle geometric shapes, and interesting materials. Furthermore, they distill this style into several distinct features—perfect for those of us who have a hard time putting it into words: 

 

  • Functional & fuss-free 
  • Organic & sleek 
  • Traditional & exploratory 
  • Contradictory & Complimentary 

That last point is particularly interesting to explore. Mid-century modern designs are notorious for juxtaposing two seemingly unrelated materials or colors, and somehow turning them into something you can’t take your eyes off of. For example, it’s difficult to visualize a plush layer of bright velvet set atop dark wood—but we think the Carlton Side Chair is just stunning. You can learn more about textured furniture on our blog for more examples. 

Why Is It So Popular? 

Nearly every design retailer now offers a suite of offerings dubbed as “mid-century modern.” That alone contributes to why it’s been so popular—but, it goes deeper than that. According to Laura Fenton’s article published in Curbed, most of this style had tapered off by the late 1960s before gaining interest again in the early- to mid-80s. By the 90s, groups of elite collectors had driven demand for nearly obsolete mid-century pieces, causing prices to skyrocket. Soon, the style was viewed as high end, or a status of good taste and wealth. However, in 1993, Knoll, a large manufacturer of mid-century designs, began ramping up production and deploying a direct-to-consumer strategy, foregoing their former to-the-trade business model. Since then, it seems that mid-century modern popularity has risen for two reasons—it is now easily accessible, and it still carries a sense of sophistication that other designs simply can’t compete with.    

 

Aside from deep seated history and socioeconomic reasons, mid-century modern popularity can be attributed to the obvious as well. With award-winning shows like Mad Men showcasing gorgeous period pieces, to lighthearted late night programs like The Daily Show staging mid-century set furniture, it’s no surprise that it’s top of mind for consumers. After all, everyone wants a slice of Hollywood in their home, right? 

 

Where Will It Go Next? 

As with any trend, mid-century modern popularity has waxed and waned over the decades, following the Zeitgeist wherever it leads. But one thing remains certain—consumers, designers, and collectors alike love items that are bespoke and stir a good conversation. That’s something that mid-century offers regardless of trends and fads. 

 

Whether you’re looking for functional and sleek seating, geometric chests and bedsides, or unique dining table options, there’s something for everyone on the mid-century spectrum. Where you choose to incorporate it in your design is up to you. If you need more inspiration and product recommendations, we encourage you to peruse our latest catalog. Or, explore our wide range of collections with mid-century flair to find something that complements your space. 

 

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