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(Episode 3) The Render Visual Companion: Why Is the World So Obsessed With Mid-Century Modern Design?

Welcome to the visual companion to the third episode of The Render. The Render is a podcast hosted by Modsy’s very own Alessandra Wood and Maddy Warner, and is all about the untold stories from the world of interior design.

In our third episode, Maddy and Alessandra are joined by special guest and Mid-Century Modern expert, Lark Morgenstern, as they unpack why the world is so obsessed with Mid-Century Modern design.

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The Render is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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If your dreams are filled with Shell chairs and Tulip tables, you’re probably a lover of Mid-Century Modern design. But even if the sight of an Eames lounge chair makes you roll your eyes, there’s no denying that this style has dominated the interior design landscape for the past 50 years. Why is the world so obsessed with Mid-Century Modern design?

Today, we’ll be joined by an expert in Mid-Century Modern design, Lark Morgenstern from 1st Dibs, to unpack the answer to that question. We’ll talk about the style’s rise to popularity, its resurgence in the 90s, some designers to know (beyond the Eames), where the trend is heading in the future, and we even get into the surprising connection between the Playboy mansion and Mid-Century Modern design.

Brazillian Mid-Century Design

Some amazing mid-century furniture designs came out of Brazil in the 1950s and 60s.

A part of furniture and design history that doesn’t get studied or celebrated as much in popular culture. But right now, Brazillian mid-century designs are having a moment in the spotlight.

Paulistano Chair

Alessandra is a proud owner of this baby.

The Dawn of Modernism

If you’ve studied design history or even know a little about furniture, you’ve likely heard the terms “Scandinavian design” or “Danish design” tossed around in conversations about interior design. But what exactly is Scandinavian or Danish design and how do these styles fit into the larger Mid-Century Modern story?

Scandinavian Design

What Lark calls a “self-created concept,” Scandinavian design really launched onto the design scene in the mid-50 with the 1954 Design in Scandinavia exhibition. This was a beautiful exhibit where designers from all over the Scandinavian countries showcased their work, and it toured the United States for three years.

1954 Design in Scandinavia exhibition

While this exhibit was touring, we were also in the middle of the Mid-Century Modern boom in the US. American consumers, who were already primed to be partial to notions of “good design,” loved their work and snapped these pieces up.

Learn more about the Mid-Century notion of “Good Design” in Episode 1 of The Render.

Scandinavian vs. Mid-Century Modern Design

While both styles fall under the larger umbrella of modernism, there are some subtle differences between Scandinavian and Mid-Century Modern design. More like close cousins than siblings, these styles are both very focused on geometric forms and came on to the scene at the same time.

Mid-Century Modern design focused on the use of new materials like plastics, fiberglass, wire, and aluminum. By contrast, Scandinavian design took a much more organic approach to the same modernist principles. These designs feature more natural materials like wood, specifically birch and ash varieties, which are native to the area. Scandinavian design also tends to be softer, and references the organic forms found in nature.

 

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Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase

An iconic Finnish design, the Savoy vase is a glass vessel with an organic, amoeba-like shape.

 

Cranbrook Academy of the Arts

How did Scandinavian design influence American mid-century design?

Of course, design doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And in fact, designers from these different movements were looking at each other’s work and there was some “cross-pollination” between their schools of thought.

So many of the designers that we associate with the movement—think Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, and George Nelson—studied at Cranbrook Academy of the Arts. This was a school founded by Eliel Saarinen (Eero Saarinen’s father) who was the school’s architect and president.

As such, a lot of the Scandinavian design principles trickled down through that and influenced many of these Mid-Century designers and is one of the reasons we think of Scandinavian design as inherent to Mid-Century Modern in so many ways.

The Re-Popularization of Mid-Century Modern Design

One of the big questions we’re trying to answer, is why is Mid-Century Modern design so popular again today? Over the past decade, we’ve seen Mid-Century Modern become the number one style, and it’s still our most-requested style here at Modsy.

Has Mid-Century Modern Ever Gone Out of Style?

Today it might seem like Mid-Century Modern style has always been popular, but there was a time when it was not such a popular style. In the 80s and early 90s, there was a short time period when Mid-Century Modern was equated with “grandparent’s style” in a dated, not trendy way.

This was the era of the “McMansion” and many people were looking to traditional and classic styles when furnishing their homes—think 90s sitcom style—while Mid-Century Modern felt dated.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Style

The traditional furnishings that were popular when Gen-Xers were growing up.

The Resurgence of Mid-Century Modern Style

At the end of the late 90s, we see Gen-X helping to create a resurgence in Mid-Century Modern design. At this time, Mid-Century Modern furniture wasn’t popular, which also meant that it was really affordable. You could find cool, well-designed furniture like an Eames lounge or Nakashima table (that today go for thousands of dollars) at crazy affordable prices.

 

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Wallpaper Magazine

The “bible” of the cool, urban Gen-Xers who all of a sudden have jobs and money and are ready to buy apartments and fill them with furniture. Instead of adopting the style of their parents, this generation is really defined by the Mid-Century Modern style. Wallpaper Magazine featured photo essays of cool, Mid-Century Modern houses and effectively made them the It style.

 

Tom Ford’s Mid-Century Modern Home

 

Men in Black Mid-Century Modern Set

Check out those Swan chairs, originally designed by Arne Jacobsen.

Mid-Century Modern Designers

One of the big differentiators between this time period and others was that you as a regular person can own something that was created or designed by a “genius.” This was also the era of the designer, and these people were considered almost celebrities so there was added allure to owning their pieces.

 

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Charles and Ray Eames

 

 

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Harry Bertoia

 

Eero Saarinen

 

George Nelson

 

1961 Designers Playboy Spread

 

Playboy Bachelor Pad

What’s In and What’s Out? The Mid-Century Modern Collector’s Market

Just like the stock market, in the collector’s market we see certain pieces of furniture, designers, or even design styles that go up and down in value. This is particularly evident in Mid-Century Modern designs, which are so widely copied and reproduced.

Designs Trending Down in Popularity

The pieces Lark says are losing steam in the collector’s market.

 

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Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair

Lark’s favorite example of the rise and fall of the collector’s market.

Once the market gets flooded with these widely-copied designs and the value of them drops.

 

 

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Eames Lounge Chair

Probably the most-copied design from the Mid-Century Modern era, you can get cheap knock-offs of the Eames Lounge design on sites like Amazon. After 30 years of popularity, we think these loungers are on their way out.

Designs That Hold Their Value

The pieces that have held their value for decades in the collector’s market.

Marshmallow Sofa

A piece that is definitive of the Mid-Century Modern era, Lark thinks this is a design that will never go out of style.

Mesa Coffee Table

More intricate designs tend to hold their value over time.

Designs Trending Up in Popularity

What’s trending right now in the collectors market?

 

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Cesca Chair

A design by Marcel Breuer, we’re calling the Cesca chair the new Eames shell chair.

 

Jeanneret Chair

A super chic, and cool looking chair design from India, get the scoop on the story behind this iconic design.

Mid-Century Modern Design in Pop Culture

Mid-Century Modern has always enjoyed a prominent place in our country’s popular culture. Here are a few of the ways it’s showing up on the scene in the 21st century.

 

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The Kardashians

Spotted on Kourtney Kardashian’s Instagram. It’s no wonder this chair is having a moment in the spotlight.

 

Mad Men

The show that introduced the general public to Mid-Century Modern design in the late 2000s, we couldn’t do an episode on this style without talking about the iconic interiors of AMC’s Mad Men.

The two main character’s offices are the perfect examples of two different takes on Mid-Century Modern.

Roger Sterling’s Office

A more feminine, chic take on Mid-Century Modern design. His office is much more youthful, poppy, and even fun and features pieces by designers like Eero Saarinen and Italian designers.

Don Draper’s Office

In contrast to Roger’s space, Don’s office features a much more masculine take on Mid-Century Modern design.

On Set With the Eames Lounge Chair

A piece of furniture associated with very “cool” people, we often see the Eames lounge chair in more masculine environments.

 

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Shark Tank Set

Even on the new set of Shark Tank, all the investors now sit in white leather Eames Loungers.

 

 

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Frasier Crane

Another TV character who owns a lounger.

What’s Next?

Some of Lark’s predictions on the designs that will soon be trending.

 

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Mel Smilow’s Designs

A new designer to take a look at.

 

Ernest Race’s Antelope Chair

Lina Bo Bardi

An Italian designer who moved to Brazil after WWII.

organic modernismOrganic Modernism

You heard it here first folks! The Mid-Century Modern trend is taking an organic turn. This style pulls in rustic elements to a Mid-Century framework and infuses the style with a sense of warmth and creature comforts—something we could all use right about now.

Take the Organic Modern home tour

Thanks again to Lark Morgenstern for Joining us!

Lark Morgenstern is a decorative art and design specialist. She has a B.B.A in Strategic Design + Management and an M.A in History of Design and Curatorial Studies from Parsons School of Design. Over her career, she has worked in furniture and fine art galleries. In 2016, she founded the 133 Design Collective, a network of artists, designers, and performers, and curated exhibitions showcasing young designer’s work.

She currently works as the Senior Business Associate for the 1stdibs Art + Design Research team where she acts as team lead for design specialists that review the 1stdibs marketplace and develops partnerships with archives, designers, and artist estates. This past year, she served on the vetting committee for the Salon Art + Design Fair. Prior to 1stdibs, she worked as a Curatorial Assistant at the Brooklyn Museum in the Decorative Arts and American Art Department.

Recently, she co-founded Coco + Morgenstern, a company geared to helping those at the entry and mid-career level find jobs in the art + design world.

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The Render (Episode 2): Are Antiques Making a Comeback? Everything You Need to Know About Grandma’s Furniture

Welcome to the visual companion to the second episode of The Render. The Render is a podcast hosted by Modsy’s very own Alessandra Wood and Maddy Warner, and is all about the untold stories from the world of interior design.

In the second episode, Maddy and Alessandra dive into the surprisingly-interesting topic of antiques. Alessandra predicts that antiques are making a comeback and will soon be on-trend. Learn more about the history of antiques, famous interior designers who popularized them, and some insider tips and tricks on how to shop and decorate with antique furniture.

Listen Now

The Render is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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For the past year, numerous top tier editorial outlets have suggested that antiques are making a comeback. Browsing through the pages of Architectural Digest and Veranda, and your never-ending Instagram scroll, you might have noticed a similar trend with designers.

And if you’re like Alessandra and love looking through dead people’s things, you might be familiar with the idea that there is something really special about antiques. These are things that have endured into the present carry an aura and a story. They conjure images of their past lives and owners and incite our imaginations.

But what even is an antique? What’s the difference between an antique, an heirloom, and something that is vintage? Where do antiques come from and how can you design with them today? We’re going to answer all those questions and more in this episode!

antiquesWhat is an antique?

The general definition of an antique is loosely something that is 100+ years old. They are objects that have been around for a while and have survived into the present.

And while you might think of antiques as a style of furniture or decor, we actually see a lot of styles encompassed by this definition of an “antique.” In other words, antiques are not defined by a style, so you’ll find pieces that are Victorian, Neoclassical, and even Art Deco, which is now hitting that 100-year mark.

But beyond its age, antiques are also things that are special from the past. “Special” might mean because it still survives—they don’t have to have been owned by famous historical figures, but can instead be possessions of regular people. Anything that has survived all these years and carries an aura, history, and that story with it can fall under this definition of an antique.

What’s the difference between an antique and vintage?

While antiques are usually around 100 years old (if it’s 95 years old, it still counts), vintage is typically something that has been around for 20 years or more. One of the key differences is that vintage pieces are usually things that you bought new and still own—you are the first generation of owners. In contrast, antiques are more about the second and third, even fourth, generation of owners. Think about your mom’s jeans from the 80s versus your great-grandmother’s side table.

What is “Brown Furniture?”

What comes to mind when you picture an “antique?” For many of us, it’s probably a large piece of furniture made of dark wood with ornate carvings. If so, you’re actually imagining “brown furniture,” which is a type of antique furniture.

We see a lot of darker stained woods in the world of antiques, usually, mahogany and walnut, which is where the term “brown furniture” comes from. While this seems like a layman’s term, it really is an industry term that refers to antique furniture made of these darker woods.

We also see lighter woods, namely made of pine, in Folk furniture. Pennsylvania Dutch furniture is an area where you’ll find a lot of lighter, painted furniture pieces. Same with 18th- and 19th-century Italian and French furniture.

Who is Thomas Chippendale?

Thomas Chippendale, in the world of antiques, was an English furniture maker who is famous because he was the first cabinet maker who created and distributed a pattern book called, The Gentleman Cabinet Maker’s Director (1854).

Essentially, he created a book of templates that helped popularize his designs and spread them across the globe. His furniture becomes synonymous with this 18th-century era and you’ll hear people refer to pieces of furniture as being Chippendale pieces.

History of Antiques

The first time in history when we see cultures and communities really interested in antiques, is in the 18th century when Pompeii was unearthed.

Pompeii

In case you skipped class the day your history teacher covered this one, Pompeii was a city that was buried by volcanic ash during the classical era. Mount Vesuvius, right outside the city we know as Naples today, erupted and covered the city of Pompeii in ash.

When Pompeii was unearthed in 1748, they found an entire city essentially preserved, frozen in time, and all of these really beautifully preserved pieces of furniture, art, design (even food!) came out of Pompeii. And this really inspired a Classical revival and people started to collect antique objects—essentially Pompeii created a “collector bug.”

Age of Antiquity

Even ancient Romans wanted to emulate the architecture and culture of ancient Greece.

Constantine, the first Christian Holy Roman Emperor, moved the capital to Constantinople (Istanbul) and brought many antique sculptures with him.

Antique Architecture

Even America’s Founding Fathers enlisted this same “visual vocabulary” to align this new democracy with the values of ancient Greece and Rome. Look at buildings like museums, banks, libraries, and the White House and you’ll see a very similar architectural style to structures like the Pantheon and Parthenon.

Interior Designers and Antiques

When do we start to see interior designers decorating with antiques?

 

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Elsie De Wolfe

A pioneering woman, Elsie De Wolfe is commonly thought of as the first female designer. She practiced in the early 20th century when interior design was a very new profession. She is quite famous for re-popularizing French antiques in her designs.

Elsie’s designs for the Colony Club

In 1900 Elsie De Wolfe designed the Colony Club, which was her first official commission. This was a club for elite women of New York. She designed it with a number of French antiques and really embraced a light-hearted, French styling that was in such opposition to what was popular at the time (dark and heavy Victoiran interiors).

The House in Good Taste

In 1913, Elsie wrote “The House in Good Taste,” which was a widely distributed book that introduced her approach to interior design at a more mass level. A real tips and tricks, dos and don’ts kind of book, this gave people a way to learn about interior design that they hadn’t had access to before.

 

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Dorothy Draper

Our queen of glam who designed the Greenbrier Hotel, Dorothy Draper was another designer who used antiques in her designs.

She was starkly in contrast to the Mid-Century design of the mid-20th century. She introduces French and European styles into her designs, but in a way that was more contemporary and theatrical.

Decorating is Fun: How to Be Your Own Decorator

In 1949, Dorothy also wrote a book called “Decorating is Fun: How to Be Your Own Decorator” where she introduced her eclectic style to her readership.

Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings

But not everyone was into antiques. A more modernist designer, Robsjohn-Gibbings (which is quite a name) was a British furniture designer who actively detested antiques and their use in interior design. In his book “Goodbye Mr. Chippendale” (1944) he advocated for the death of antiques and calls out “women designers” who are “setting us back” by introducing antiques into their designs.

Are Antiques Coming Back Into Style?

Alessandra and Maddy think that antiques are ripe to become the next big trend. Why? Among a host of reasons is their appeal to millennials, their sustainability, their affordability, and the cyclical nature of trends.

Antiques and Sustainability

In contrast to the “fast-furniture” marketplace, antiques are incredibly sustainable. The materials used to make these pieces, which are now antiques, are pretty raw and free of many of the chemicals found in today’s furniture. And they aren’t packaged and shipped across the country, but can be picked up at your local flea market.

Antiques are Affordable

Another major reason antiques are coming back into fashion is their affordability. Most of these pieces are incredibly well-made, meaning you can get solid wood dressers and beautiful-constructed sofas at a fraction of the cost of a new piece.

Antiques and Millennials

Despite the adage that Millennials are killing antiques, we actually think Millennials will become major players in the antique market.

Millennials want to be different and showcase their unique personalities and style. And what better way to curate a one-of-a-kind interior than with pieces that are the antithesis of mass-production.

The Mid-Century Modern trend has now become so saturated, almost “cookie-cutter,” that people are looking for new styles and design aesthetics to express their personal style. And like we said at the beginning, who doesn’t love a piece with a story and an aura.

Designers Who are Using Antiques Today

This is not your grandmother’s house. There are several interior designers today who are using antiques in their designs. Many of them have an amazingly effortless way of using antiques in a manner that makes them feel incredibly fresh and modern.

 

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Lauren Buxbaum Gordon

 

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Nate Berkus

Antiques in Popular Culture

There are many places where we see antiques used on the sets of some of our favorite movies and TV shows.

Gilmore Girls

Set in Connecticut, Gilmore Girls is a show that displays a number of approaches to designing with antiques.

Emily Gilmore’s Home

The full-throttle queen of antiques, Emily Gilmore has a very traditional approach to decorating with antiques and uses them to showcase her elite status in society.

Lorelai Gilmore’s Home

In contrast to her mother, Lorelai Gilmore still uses antique furniture in her space but styles them in a much more eclectic way.

See how we think the Gilmore Girls house would look today!

The Friends Apartment

In Monica and Rachel’s apartment, we see the use of antiques mixed in an eclectic way but mixed in with modern pieces.

The Titanic

Another set that was decked in antiques, these people were going down in good taste.

 

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Grandmilleniall Style

“I’m a millennial and I love antiques!” If that sounds like you then you might be what we call a “grandmillennial.” This is a style that looks back to “old lady things” like needlepoint and florals and styles them in a way that feels current.

Staffordshire Dogs

Maddy’s favorite antiques, learn more about Staffordshire dogs here.

Tips for Incorporating Antiques into Your Home

If you’re ready to incorporate antiques into your home, you might be wondering where to start.

Where can I buy antiques?

Some of Alessandra’s favorite places to shop for antiques are flea markets and local antique shops, but your options will vary depending on where you live (there are more antique shops in Connecticut than California).

There are also plenty of places to shop antiques online. Places like Etsy, 1st Dibs, Charish, EBTH (Everything But The House), and even Ebay let you shop antiques from the comfort of your own home.

traditional interior designHow to Incorporate Antiques into Modern Spaces?

Antiques are not always easy to use in modern or contemporary spaces. Here are a few of Alessandra and Maddy’s tips for making them work.

See how we’ve incorporated antique furniture into modern spaces here!

Start Small: Skip the mahogany armoire and go for smaller-scale antique furniture pieces. Things like accent tables, sewing tables, and even art are great ways to dip your toe into the antique world.

Pull in Natural Textures: Balance out the dark heavy woods with natural textures. Things like jute, rattan, linen, marble, and even lighter woods will help balance out the darkness. Think about lighter materials and colors that will help to lighten up your space.

Use Color: Saturated colors like blues, burgundies, and even reds can help temper out the darkness of those woods and help balance out your space.

 

Need help incorporating an antique piece into your space? With Modsy we can create a custom 3D model of your exact piece of furniture. Then our expert designers can show you how it will look with new furniture and decor in your exact room. It’s practically magic.

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The Render (Episode 1): Discovering Your Personal Interior Design Style and What It Says About You

Welcome to the visual companion to the first episode of Modsy’s new podcast, The Render. The Render is a podcast hosted by Modsy’s very own Alessandra Wood and Maddy Warner, and is all about the untold stories from the world of interior design.

Tune in to the very first episode where Maddy and Alessandra break down 9 popular interior design styles. Together, they’ll chat about how you can spot these different interior design styles in the wild, unpack the history behind them, and give you tips on how you can start to define your own personal style and bring it to life.

Listen Now

The Render is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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If you’ve ever taken an online style quiz, you’ve probably been told your style is Mid-Century Modern, Rustic, or maybe even Traditional. And while those descriptions are a great starting point, unless you’re on the design savvier side it can be difficult to translate that description into a cohesive design for your home.

Not to mention, a one-word style description doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room for your individuality. Can we really say that there are only a few styles to choose from and everyone fits perfectly into one? We don’t think so.

Instead, at Modsy we like to think about personal style as a recipe—you’ve got your ingredients but it’s up to you to mix and match them to suit your unique tastes. Read on for our complete tour of 9 pure interior design styles. Be sure to tune into the first episode of the Render for the complete behind the scenes take on each style!

classic formal designClassic Formal Design

In the words of Alessandra, if you grew up with a grandmother that wouldn’t let you go in the living room, it was probably decorated in classic style. A style that “is what it sounds like,” classic formal design is refined, formal, rich, and polished.

This design style is based on French and European antiques and you’ll find a strong emphasis on symmetry and proportion along with decorative elements like toile and chinoiserie patterns, furniture with ball and claw feet, dark woods, gilded materials, and pieces in perfect, pristine condition.

Explore Classic Design Ideas

 

 

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Chinoiserie Pattern

A look that was inspired by Asian patterns including pagodas and pastoral scenes. Beginning during the Rococo era, French people were looking toward China and getting inspired by their textiles and pottery.

 

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Toile Pattern

Similar to chinoiserie, toile is a pattern that showcases pastoral vignettes. You’ve probably seen it in wallpaper or fabric designs, or even in an IKEA shower curtain!

Classic formal design in popular culture

Have you seen classic formal style used to decorate the homes of your favorite movie or TV characters? Chances are those people are high-powered, wealthy, and aligned with more “traditional” values. Here are some of the places we see classic formal style in popular culture!

downton abbey interior designDownton Abbey

A great example of classic formal style in period, Downton Abbey, showcases the color palette, shapes and silhouettes, and the overall vibe of how a space designed in classic formal style makes us feel.

Olivia Pope’s Apartment, Scandal

Learn more on how to get Olivia’s look from Scandal. And don’t forget to check out that valance!

Charlotte York’s Apartment, Sex and The City

See how we think Charlotte might have designed Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment.

traditional interior designTraditional Design

Not to be confused with classic formal, traditional style is rooted in early American design and is a less formal and more livable design style. In these interiors you’ll find an emphasis on the beauty of raw materials (mostly dark woods like mahogany and walnut) and excellent craftsmanship.

This style is synonymous with the White House and George Washington, and the greatest difference between classic and traditional design lies in their motives. Our Founding Fathers wanted to align themselves with “the people” and they used this design style, which was inspired by the puritan roots of America, to differentiate themselves from the regimes of Europe (think Marie Antoinette).

Explore Traditional Design Ideas

Traditional design in popular culture

Calling all Hamilton fans, this is the style that would have made Alexander proud. But where else do we see traditional design in TV shows and movies? This style is rooted in comfort and to us is synonymous with the designs of the 90s—think all your favorite 90s sitcoms!

Ross’ Apartment, Friends

Ross’s apartment from Friends was chock-full of traditional design. Peek how we think his space might look today!

Minimalist Design

Ever heard the adage “form follows function?” Or how about “less is more.” Both of those ideas were born out of the Minimalist Movement! Another style that is exactly what it sounds like, minimalist design is understated, not superfluous, and all about committing to this idea of how do we design and create things that give you just what you need?

In these spaces you’ll find little ornamentation, lots of sleek and streamlined forms, and raw materials. The Minimalist designers were reacting to a cluttered life and wanted to bring “good design” (something that was beautiful and useful) to masses of people through industrial production.

Explore Minimalist Design Ideas

Minimalist design in popular culture

Funnily enough, minimalist design is commonly used to decorate interiors of futuristic spaces and the homes of serial killers.

Patrick Bateman’s Apartment, American Psycho

What he lacks in moral conscience, he makes up for in style. Just look at those Barcelona chairs, which were an iconic design of the Minimalist Movement. GQ even agrees with our theory that serial killers love minimalism.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick’s vision of the future is all about less is more!

Marie Kondo

We’ve all heard the idea of sparking joy! Marie Kondo has put minimalism back on trend with her popular book (and Netflix series) on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

mid-century modern designMid-Century Modern Design

The style we hear people asking for the most, mid-century modern has been the “It” style that people want in their homes for a number of years. But what is this style? Mid-Century Modern is referencing a specific time period (generally from the 40s to the 60s) that was known for a specific form of modernism.

In these spaces you’ll find a lot of blonde and teak woods, primary colors, tapered legs, hairpins, an organic approach to forms and shapes, and a strong emphasis on geometry. During this time period, we see designers taking principles of the Minimalist Movement and rethinking them in a way that puts comfort more front and center.

Explore Mid-Century Modern Design Ideas

Mid-century modern design in popular culture

These days you can’t throw a stick without hitting an Eames lounge chair in pop culture. Probably more than any other style, mid-century modern is the star of many movies and TV shows. Here are a few of our favorites that showcase this iconic style!

Mad Men

Our favorite mid-century bachelor, Don Draper’s office from the AMC hit show Mad Men sure had style. Bonus points if you can hit the Eames lounge chair with a stick!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The elegant interiors of Amazon’s original series are almost as marvelous as the main character, Midge Maisel.

The Incredibles

One of our favorite Pixar film series, The Incredibles 2 features an iconic mid-century home complete with a sputnik chandelier and conversation pit that would make Don Draper jealous.

Hollywood Glam Design

Traveling west to the golden coast, we find the style Hollywood Glam. Also known as glam, Hollywood regency, or even chic, this style is bold, dramatic, and over the top. And while this style couldn’t look any different from the retro interiors of mid-century modern spaces, this style actually came on to the scene during the same era!

In these spaces you’ll find a lot of gold, brass, velvet, furs, mirrored surfaces, and animal prints galore. It’s a luxurious, quirky, and fun style that mixes different elements in a way that adds surprise and delight to a space.

Explore Hollywood Glam Design Ideas

 

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Dorothy Draper’s Greenbrier Hotel

Iconic designer, Dorothy Draper, is considered to be “the mother of Hollywood glam style.” Her designs for the Greenbrier hotel (what Maddy calls the “original Instagram museum”) showcase this love of eccentric patterns, bright colors, and all around over-the-top designs.

Hollywood glam in popular culture

A style meant to be photographed and filmed, this look loves the spotlight! So it’s no surprise we see it in the interiors of some of our favorite pop culture interiors.

Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antionette

Talk about luxury, Sofia Coppola’s 2006 depiction of Marie Antionette’s life is full of glamorous style fit for a queen.

 

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Blanche’s Bedroom, The Golden Girls

Some of our favorite style icons, see how we reimagined the interior of The Golden Girls’ house for today!

Global Eclectic Design

The word “eclectic” can mean multiple things. In one sense it describes an approach to style that’s about mixing different elements together. But in regards to a style type, eclectic (or bohemian/boho) is all about a collected, globally-inspired space that is informal and approachable.

This is the look for the world traveler and the flea market lover. In this style, you’ll find a mix of colors, patterns, furniture styles, asymmetrical layouts, and unexpected decorative touches. Out of all these styles, it’s the absolute least formal and all about breaking the rules of traditional interior design.

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Global eclectic design in popular culture

A popular style for creating a relaxed vibe or for a young person’s space, here are a few places we’re seeing eclectic design used in movies and TV shows.

The Bachelor Mansion

Ever notice the design of ABC’s The Bachelor mansion? There are colors, patterns, and plants galore, along with design choices that create a relaxed and informal vibe like casual layouts, floor poufs, and daybeds.

 

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Lara Jean’s Bedroom, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

A youthful take on eclectic style, we’re obsessed with Lara Jean’s wall mural.

 

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Nancy Meyers’ Home Again

In contrast to Lara Jean’s bedroom, the interior of Alice Kinney’s (played by Reese Witherspoon) home is the adult version of eclectic style.

transitional interior designTransitional Design

A timeless style, transitional interior design (also sometimes called contemporary) is unfussy and approachable. In these interiors, you’ll find a lot of neutral upholstery, dark woods, streamlined shapes, chrome finishes, and a strong emphasis on comfort.

Transitional is a great base style that you can layer other design aesthetics on top of. It’s definitely a “safer” style that’s hard to dislike because, as Alessandra notes, it’s a “style-less” style that’s really the bread and butter of so many homes.

Explore Transitional Design Ideas

Hotel furniture

The quintessential example of transitional style? Furniture in hotels. Nothing to be offended by here!

Transitional design in popular culture

Since this style is such a chameleon it can be hard to spot in the wild. Here are a few places we see it crop up in popular culture.

Amanda Woods’ Home, The Holiday

Amanda’s house from The Holiday is a great example of transitional design mixed with traditional influences. Peek our designs for the two homes featured in The Holiday and learn how to get the looks!

rustic interior designRustic Design

Another incredibly popular style, rustic design is a look that is comfortable, warm, and inviting. Inside rustic spaces you’ll find lots of texturous materials, like reclaimed wood, leather with a patina, sheepskins, sisal and jute, architectural fragments, and unfinished metals.

This is a style that can be spun in so many ways depending on your individual tastes. You can go log cabin rustic, farmhouse, modern rustic… the list goes on! But at their core, all of these styles are centered around creature comforts and a love of natural materials.

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Rustic design in popular culture

When we think about how design makes you feel when you’re experiencing it, rustic is a style that makes you feel comfortable, supported, warm, and cozy. Not a bad place to be. Here are some places we’re seeing rustic design on the big screen!

Winterfell Castle, Game of Thrones

It doesn’t get cozier than this! Want to get the style of your favorite Game of Thrones character? Peek our designs for the most-popular Game of Thrones houses.

 

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Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper Style

Joanna Gaines is without a doubt our idea of the quintessential rustic style icon.

industrial interior designIndustrial Design

A close cousin of rustic, both industrial and rustic design are into a vintage and rugged past, but industrial is more about the warehouse look. Spaces designed in this style embrace the use of industrial materials (what you’d see in an old-timey factory setting) like edison bulbs, exposed ductwork, pipes, unfinished woods and metals, and leather.

Historically, the industrial style comes from loft spaces. As warehouses were converted into lofts, many of which were lived in by artists like Andy Warhol, they were designed with the space’s history in mind.

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Andy Warhol’s Loft

Industrial design in popular culture

Does your favorite movie character live the loft life? Some of ours do! Here are a few places we see industrial design in popular TV shows.

 

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New Girl Loft

Jess and co. live in this trendy, urban loft in LA. It’s a cheery take on industrial style.

 

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Queer Eye Loft

Warmed up with pops of brass and leather, the Queer Eye loft is a great interpretation of industrial style with an infusion of comfort.

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