Why Has Mid-Century Modern Made A Comeback?
For anyone who isn’t aware what mid-century modern is, it roughly describes the architecture, furniture and graphic design from roughly the 1930s-1960s. The term itself is hard to define due to its large timespan.
The designs are filled with simple yet sleek lines and geometric shapes, with ranging colours from the bold to contrasting black and white. The simplicity allowed the designs to be consumed by the masses- something that is still happening to this day.
Where The Interest For Mid-Century Modern Began
Most of the designs had gone out of fashion by the late 60’s, but in the early to mid eighties interests spiked in the period and began to return. This was the time that Cara Greenberg brought a book out about the design period, and was the first to coin the term “Mid-Century Modern”.
By the mid 90’s a lot of the products had gone out of production, this left a demand for products with no new source. The high demand and lack of products meant that the niche market of collectors had driven their prices up. Pieces were selling from $10,00 to even $66,000.
Some designs however, never went out of production, and for good reason. This includes the popular Eames Lounge Chair, that is one of the most iconic pieces from the mid-century, American design duo. The chair is often paired with its partner in design, the Eames Lounge Ottoman, making a complete and uncompromisable set. Its sleek leather design puts it right at home in any setting, providing the user with ultimate comfort.
Who Has Influenced The Demand
Media has played a big role within the mid-century modern design popularity. You can’t flip through fashion or interior magazines without seeing mid-century design pieces. You turn on the television and find shows featuring classic designs from the era. You dine in contemporary restaurants and will find yourself most likely to be seated on chairs designed by Eames, Bertoia or Saarinen.
Museums and exhibitions are held to honor the pieces designed during this time period, creating a space to admire and be inspired by the classic designs.
Why The Designs Are Still Loved
This doesn’t explain why a lot of people have such a big interest in these mid-century modern pieces. The simple answer is because they are well designed and have a timeless look. This means that they still feel as fresh and modern today as they did ten years ago. They have stood the test of time and sit well in a variety of home interior decors including contemporary homes.
Mid-century modern sets a standard and with it’s simple mantra, it is easy to update and interpret in your home, even today, 70 years later.
Is The Desirability Of The Designs Impacted By Being Old?
When looking at the popularity of mid-century modern furniture, it’s easy to see that the age of the designs have no real impact on how desirable they are. It truly is a multi-generational design style.
The Baby Boomer era feel familiarity with the designs after having a direct connection to their youth. Even the Generation X have interest in mid-century designs after being naturally exposed to them throughout their lives, invisible references from old movie and television shows have given this younger generation an acquired desire in the designs.
While it’s not possible to state whether or not the mid-century modern style will stay at the top, it is evident that the designs are evolving with the modern times. The clean lines and sleek styles are incorporated into more comfortable living furniture, combining the old and new. We believe the influence of this style will be seen for many more generations.
The Designs Even Fit A Style Of Living
Urban living also may have an impact on the design being so popular. The designs were made for post-war America, they were designed to be lightweight and mobile making them easy for residents who were moving about.
The upkeep on this style of furniture is also simple and not time consuming, which may not be the case for furniture designers that include a lot of wooden features or soft furnishings.
Will the designs still be popular in another 70 years to come? It is hard to tell, but the exposure they have today and how the designs fit the needs of people, this may mean the design stays popular. One thing we know for sure, is you can’t seem to go wrong with designing your home inspired by the mid-century modern movement.
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