| | Design Trends | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Is Mid Century Modern Alive and Well?


Some of us might not like to reflect on it too much, but the middle of the 21st century is steadily creeping closer (or we’re hurtling toward it, depending on how you feel about the passage of time). With that in mind, let’s think about one of the most popular design styles of the 20th century — mid-century modern. For the uninitiated, it’s a minimalist scheme that emerged at the beginning of World War Two and remained in vogue well into the late 1960s.

So, what is mid-century modern?

It’s characterized by numerous design elements that, when combined, produce a distinct, classic aesthetic. Mid-century modern’s flat planes and geometry make it unique when compared to more lavish styles like French country and Hollywood glamor. It’s distinguishable from many other design styles by its intriguing mixture of clean, simple lines with fluid, organic shapes. You’ll see round chairs and tables combined with stern square shelving and cabinets. Its color palette is fascinating and particularly unmistakable. Bright pops of bold shades are dotted throughout its otherwise neutral, often earthy hues.

Why do people still like it? Do they?

Despite how markedly different it is from other design styles, its combination of modern minimalism with luxurious and daring features lend it a sort of timelessness that has kept it highly favored among designers, architects and homeowners for almost 100 years. Millennials in particular love this brand of design. But, why? It’s rather retro, so one might think that makes it outdated or old fashioned at best, archaic at worst.

Well, there’s an old adage that says “everything old is new again,” and that certainly rings true for this style. Because mid century modern is somewhat vintage, it’s also enticing to younger folks who want to experience a bygone era without having lived in it except through television, music and art. At its heart, mid-century modern’s popularity is largely driven by nostalgia.

Function and form

There are a few reasons why mid-century modern has stayed well-liked and in demand. Firstly, the style has a large focus on functionality which appeals to today’s young people who prefer pieces that are both aesthetically pleasing and serve a purpose. This means people don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts on pieces that are purely decorative and, quite honestly, a little useless. The pieces mid-century modern incorporates are durable, comfortable and, most importantly, affordable.

This home office setup is easy on the eye and incredibly ergonomic.

Less is more

It’s also a type of design that works particularly well in smaller homes, which makes it appealing to people living in townhouses and apartments. Because it’s centered on creating a feeling of vast, airy spaces, it makes these little areas seem much larger than they actually are. This is accomplished through large windows with glass from the floor to the ceiling that let in tons of natural light, as well as open plan layouts.

The only limit is your imagination

As a result of its combination of sleek, classic lines and fun, bright colors and design elements, it also leaves a lot of room for creativity which is particularly agreeable to first-time homeowners. This complete creative freedom means that people can explore and apply their personal tastes while still maintaining an overall easily recognizable look and feel.

Back to nature

Another largely recognizable feature of mid-century modern design is its basis in a connection to nature and the great outdoors. Large sliding doors break down the separation between interior and exterior, creating a link between the building’s occupants and mother nature. Beyond this, the style also incorporates plenty of natural materials like stone and wood indoors, which make the inside of a mid-century modern home feel like part of the outside surrounding area, too.

Wooden rafters, beams and floors are a staple in mid-century modern design.

Because mid-century modern design includes more than a handful of natural materials, the style is also attractive to those interested in using recycled materials with a focus on sustainability. Homeowners looking to integrate this style can purchase wood, stone and glass that have been salvaged and transformed, ready to be used once again. Reduce, reuse and recycle is the order of the day.

Team up with Decorating Den Interiors

Interested in going back to the future but don’t know where to start? We know remodeling a home interior can be daunting undertaking, that’s why we’re here to help! Just give us a call and we’ll set up a meeting to chat about your vision. A designer will come take a look at your home and promptly begin planning, consulting with you every step of the way.

Contact Decorating Den Interiors to discover how we can transform your home.


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