Midcentury modern design just doesn’t seem to be going away. Popularized in 1998, midcentury modern is billed as the design trend of beauty and functionality. In its two-decade reign, The New York Times sought out insiders and experts in design to see if this trend is here to stay for two more decades.
Here are just some thoughts on the trend:
JILL SINGER, a founder of the design magazine Sight Unseen:“When this stuff was designed, it was specifically made to be democratic and to be lived with. It makes sense that it has a wide appeal. It’s beautiful materials, classic simple shapes that can seem timeless. It’s not like a blob chair from the early 2000s. It just kind of goes with everything, somehow.”
JIM BRETT, president, West Elm: “America is urbanizing again. The purpose this furniture served a long time ago is still a purpose it serves today: It’s intuitive to smaller spaces. I don’t know if there’s another time period with such a prolific amount of beautifully functional designs.”
Experts also voiced their boredom with midcentury design:
JILL SINGER: “Nobody wants to see a room that’s all midcentury. I don’t want to see that ‘Mad Men’ look that’s just a pastiche. And so many retailers capitalize on the popularity and make these knockoffs of midcentury. But when you have a beautiful, interesting piece, it doesn’t seem tired.”
MICHAEL BOODRO, editor in chief, Elle Decor: “Your eye does get bored. Twenty years ago, when midcentury was first being discovered, you could do a straight interior, and that was exciting. People want to go beyond the expected. You don’t have to show the Florence Knoll sofa in nubby beige like she did.”