Design Trends

Mid-Century Design Is Gaining Traction in Today’s Housing Market

The clean and simple, momentous design style is what today’s homebuyers crave

By Michele Coseo 

Mid-century modern housing style is growing in popularity as one of the most preferable house designs in today’s era. Its enduring popularity has a lot to do with its simplicity – clean and simple, and eye-catching without being tumultuous.

Bombarded with so much visual information on social media and online, homeowners crave a rest. An atmosphere diffused with quiet lines and geometric simplicity provides just that. The philosophy that a clean home creates a clean mind has caught the attention of homebuilders, architects and interior designers as they embrace this momentum.

Baby boomers grew up with mid-century designs with parents putting the war years behind them and embracing the new and modern. Generation X gained exposure through art, old movies and television shows like Mad Men, The Jetsons and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This increase in interest in the mid-century helped revitalize the style in the 21st century, paving the way for retailers to market this period look to all generations including millennials.

Millennials are now entering the home-owning (and furnishing) stage of life. This demographic is partially responsible for the enduring appeal of mid-century modern designs. When it really comes down to it, one reason mid-century modern design endures is its high quality. The careful, sensible approach to design means mid-century modern objects last for ages. True mid-century items are adaptable and well-designed, with both function and simple beauty in mind. That thoughtful approach to design has let these vintage pieces stand the test of time. And they continue to feel fresh, modern, contemporary and stylish today.

This increase in interest in mid-century helped revitalize the style in the 21st century, paving the way for retailers to market this period look to all generations including millennials.”

Mid-century has a deep connection with nature and incorporates natural elements whenever possible.  The selection of appropriate materials is paramount in transforming the way an interior space makes you feel.

The right material combination of natural and man-made materials in mid-century design produces a variety of intangible emotions and feelings in an interior environment. Our perceptions, expectations and experiences are directly related to the materials we choose to surround ourselves with. The warm comforting feeling offered by wood balanced with the cool stable feeling offered by metals or concrete results in a balanced environment with universal appeal.

A mid-century modern interior is characteristically designed with simple, open spaces. Furniture strategically placed away from walls with minimal traffic hindrances offers flexible seating and gathering areas to meet any active lifestyle. Floorplans are designed so that every room has a purpose and anything unnecessary is omitted. Open and flowing spaces popularized in mid-century modern design have emerged as one of the key design trends of contemporary design by combining living, dining and kitchen spaces together for informal socialization.While sterile walls can help maintain a minimalist aesthetic, mid-century design commonly features a variety of options to create statements on focal walls. Geometric patterns are not just an integral part of modern furniture. Patterns of wood, stone and tile cover blank walls to take center stage in any room.

Light is very important and bright environments are key in mid-century modern design. The liberal use of windows and multiple outdoor views helps bring in natural light and acts as a connection to the outdoor world. These designs allow light to flow into rooms from a range of angles and reduce the need for artificial lighting that can clutter a minimalistic design.

Expansive panes of glass and sliding glass doors are ideal in mid-century modern design. Large rooms filled with natural light are proven to lower stress and increase productivity. There is a strong connection to nature with many modern homes featuring walls of glass, and large windows carefully placed to frame views to the outside, creating a calming feeling.

Earth-toned inspired color palettes are the bedrock of a mid-century modern interior. Keep accessories sparse and well-chosen, using glass elements and natural textiles results in a balanced sense of style that is comfortable and timeless.

The minimalist design of this era commonly relies on simple shapes, clean lines, lack of ornamentation, creative use of materials and geometric patterns. This liberation of interior décor is the essence of a mid-century home creating a new freedom of expression and why this classic style will not lose momentum anytime soon.

This article was written alongside Savannah Design Group Co-Founder and Chief of Operations John Coseo.

Michele Coseo is co-founder and design director of Savannah Design Group.