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Mid-Century Modern's Popularity Has Snowballed Over Time

Many of the exact pieces created in the 1950s and 60s continue to be reproduced today through companies like Design Within Reach, Herman Miller, and Knoll. In some cases, they're even more popular now than they were 60 years ago. Even modern retailers like West Elm are reimagining mid-century styles. So how have these designs been so resilient over the years? “They were designed for a way of living that is still, essentially, our way of living: We want chairs to curl up in, tons of storage, portable pieces—everything on a smaller scale,” Frances notes.

Given how many millennials are flocking to major cities, living in postage-size apartments, this should come as no surprise. Cara Greenberg—who literally wrote the book on mid-century modern and is credited with coining the term—agrees: “it seems to appeal anew to each rising generation of young people. Mid-century design hasn’t been bested by any other movement since, so it remains the style of our own time, not of some antique past. And it still looks cool!”


What’s clear is that mid-century modern remains part of the current zeitgeist, as witnessed in the popularity of Mad Men or the countless films, advertisements, and magazine spreads shot at Koenig’s Stahl House overlooking Los Angeles or David Netto’s Neutra-designed home in Silver Lake.

Perhaps, even though we're in the age of iPhones and drones (what a time to be alive!), the continuing allure and popularity of mid-century modern lies in ability to simultaneously take us back to the past while also propelling us to dream of the infinite possibilities of the future.

Keywords in the article: mid-century modern, eames lounge chair

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