The resurgence of mid century modern design, particularly furniture, can be attributed partly to the immense popularity of the television show “Mad Men,” which first aired in 2007.
Set in the 1960s, the show featured a stylish and meticulously recreated mid century modern aesthetic that captivated viewers and rekindled an appreciation for the design movement. In this 1000-word essay, we will explore the factors contributing to the renewed popularity of mid century modern furniture since the airing of “Mad Men.”
Nostalgia and the appeal of a bygone era: “Mad Men” successfully evoked a sense of nostalgia for the 1960s, a time often perceived as more glamorous and optimistic. The show’s attention to detail in its set design and costumes allowed viewers to immerse themselves in the era, fostering a renewed appreciation for mid century modern aesthetics. This nostalgia for a bygone era and a desire for simplicity has made mid century modern furniture an attractive choice for many.
- Exposure and accessibility: The widespread popularity of “Mad Men” exposed a new generation of viewers to mid century modern furniture who might not have otherwise encountered it. The show’s influence reached beyond television, inspiring articles, blogs, and social media content dedicated to the design movement, further amplifying its reach. This increased exposure and accessibility have made mid century modern furniture more familiar and appealing to a broader audience.
- Aesthetic appeal: Mid century modern furniture is characterized by clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and an emphasis on form and function. This timeless aesthetic has a broad appeal, as it can blend seamlessly with various interior design styles. The stylish sets of “Mad Men” showcased the beauty and versatility of mid century modern furniture, inspiring viewers to incorporate these elements into their own homes.
- The connection between design and character: “Mad Men” effectively linked the mid century modern aesthetic to its characters, particularly the show’s protagonist, Don Draper. The furniture in Draper’s office and home was visually appealing and reflected aspects of his personality and lifestyle. This connection between design and character allowed viewers to develop a deeper appreciation for mid century modern furniture and its ability to express individuality.
- The influence of social media and digital platforms: The rise of social media and digital platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, has made it easier for people to discover and share design inspiration. The widespread sharing of mid century modern furniture images, often linked to “Mad Men,” has further popularized the style, encouraging more people to adopt it in their homes.
- The celebration of iconic designers: “Mad Men” showcased the work of iconic mid century modern furniture designers, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen. By highlighting these designers and their creations, the show fostered an appreciation for their innovative designs, inspiring contemporary designers and homeowners alike.
- The democratization of design: The renewed popularity of mid century modern furniture has led to an increased demand for pieces in this style. In response, high-end and budget-friendly retailers have begun offering mid century modern furniture, making the design movement more accessible to a broader audience. This democratization of design has further contributed to the popularity of mid century modern furniture.
- Environmental considerations: As sustainability becomes a more significant concern, many people are drawn to the durability and quality of mid century modern furniture. The craftsmanship and materials used in these pieces ensure they can withstand the test of time, making them an eco-friendly choice for those seeking to minimize waste and consumption.
- The appeal of open living spaces: The open living spaces often associated with mid century modern design reflect a desire for more flexible and functional living arrangements. As the way people live and work has evolved, there is a growing appreciation for furniture that can adapt to these changing needs. Mid century modern furniture, focusing on form and function, offers a versatile solution that complements open living spaces and supports modern lifestyles.
- The popularity of minimalist design: Minimalism has gained traction in recent years as people seek to declutter their living spaces and create a more serene environment. Mid century modern furniture, emphasizing clean lines and simplicity, aligns well with this design philosophy. The renewed popularity of “Mad Men” has helped to reinforce the connection between mid century modern design and minimalist sensibilities, making the furniture even more appealing to those who appreciate understated elegance.
- Connection to art and architecture: The mid century modern movement was not limited to furniture design; it also encompassed architecture, art, and graphic design. The renewed interest in midcentury modern furniture has led many to explore the broader context of the movement, uncovering the interconnectedness between various artistic disciplines. This holistic appreciation for mid century modern design has further cemented its popularity and relevance in contemporary culture.
- Investment potential: As mid century modern furniture has become more popular and sought-after, its value has increased. Many original pieces from the era are now considered collectibles, with some commanding high prices at auctions and in the vintage furniture market. This investment potential has attracted collectors and enthusiasts, further fueling the popularity of mid century modern furniture.
The popularity of mid century modern furniture since the airing of “Mad Men” can be attributed to a variety of factors, including nostalgia, exposure, aesthetic appeal, the connection between design and character, the influence of social media, the celebration of iconic designers, the democratization of design, environmental considerations, the appeal of open living spaces, the popularity of minimalist design, the connection to art and architecture, and the investment potential of these pieces. The show’s careful curation of mid century modern design elements, combined with the broader cultural trends, has played a significant role in the resurgence of this enduring and versatile furniture style.