Why Mid Century Furniture Design Remains So Popular
Let’s face it; many furniture styles have come and disappeared into oblivion like smoke. But why is mid-century modern so resilient? This iconic design style of the 1950s and the 1960s has enjoyed many bouts of popularity that it’s now being referred to as “the skinny jeans” or “the pumpkin spice” of interior design.
The current mid-century modern trend that took off in the early 2000’s has lasted nearly two decades, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. It’s now found in pretty much any retail channel, from eBay to IKEA to Target. So, what’s the allure behind this design trend and why has it managed to withstand the test of time?
In today’s world of the individual and consumerism, it isn’t enough for a product or design to be great or functional; it also has to be new. It’s in this spirit of newness that companies are always trying to come up with the Next Big Thing. Isn’t that the reason why we ditch our perfectly functional iPhone 7 for an iPhone 8 or the next iteration of iPhone that Apple whips up?
But furniture isn’t a phone or an outfit – it’s a long-term investment. You see, it might make some sense to cough up $100 for a new dress you’ll hate after a few months, but furniture should be able to last a lifetime, or at least for a decade or so. Oftentimes that means consumers, particularly those on a budget, go for classic designs when shopping for furniture. They want something that’ll look and feel appealing 20 years to come. In other words, they want a furniture design that has been time-tested. And that’s where mid-century modern comes in handy. It has proven to be the king of timeless appeal!
Minimalist Living + MCM Furniture = A Match Made in Heaven
The staying power of mid-century modern can be attributed to one thing: people love it! But that isn’t always enough. MCM furniture also tends to be simple and the shapes are classic. More importantly, these pieces of furniture can marry perfectly into small spaces and goes with every color palette and interior decor. It’s no wonder the style saw a huge come back when the real estate shifted away from mansions and towards minimalist urban layouts like studio apartments.
At some point between the 1960s and now, the MCM went from being “a style to the style.” And the TV show Mad Men played a role in this. They are responsible for the widespread recognition of MCM design style. Of course, the affordability and ubiquity of IKEA allowed this style to penetrate into just about any household in America and beyond.
Some credit also goes to niche collectors of vintage-ware. By around 1996, they’d driven the prices of authentic mid-century furniture to prohibitive highs. For example, to buy a genuine Eames molded plywood folding screen for your collection in 1994, you’d have to part with a whopping $10,000!
When all’s said and done, the continued popularity of mid-century modern design is owed to the fact that they offer a timeless appeal that cuts across different generations of shoppers. It helps that it’s versatile, elegant, and superbly flexible.