April 12, 2015 Mid-Century Modern

The ‘Mad Men’ Legacy: Look to the Furniture


With the second of the last seven “Mad Men” episodes airing now, I wanted to make sure everyone saw this interesting piece by Andrew Romano,  the West Coast Correspondent for Yahoo News who lives with his wife in a 1946 Alvin Lustig-designed mid-century modern home in Los Angeles. He says the show’s true legacy will focus on the promotion and celebration of mid-century modern furniture and design. (You should follow him on Instagram here.)

“‘Mad Men’s’ influence on design preferences may well outlast its influence on menswear and cocktail menus. Sure, hard-core design types have already moved on — to 1970s decadence or 1980s Memphis,” Romano writes. “But normal human beings still prefer the Design Within Reach look, and this doesn’t seem to be changing. Enter the hashtag #modern on Instagram, and 2.45 million photos pop up. With more than 325,000 subscribers, Dwell, a monthly love letter to modernist design, is one of the most popular shelter magazines in the country.

“It’s a short leap from retro to retrograde, and surrounding ourselves with artifacts from an earlier age could easily seem weird, or suffocating, or just plain pretentious. I don’t want to ignore new design just because it’s new, and I don’t want my living room to look like a set. But true modernism protects against that. At its best, it doesn’t get old. That’s because it isn’t a historical style — a fad, a trend — like French provincial or Mission revival; it isn’t a predetermined look, even though certain forms and materials eventually came to embody it.”

Enjoy the last few episodes. At least, we will still have the furniture.