Home trends come and go, but there's one that seems to be stuck in overdrive for the past 20 years: Mid-Century Modern. You know, those sleek, low-slung couches and spiky-legged chairs straight out of " Mad Men" where guys in suits sip cocktails and smoke cigarettes. We get the allure, but enough already.
Isn't it time to move on?
Apparently not, or so the New York Times opines recently in " Why Won't Midcentury Design Die?"
Way, way back in 1998, the Times first reported on the rise of Mid-Century Modern designs by Saarinen, Eames, and Knoll, extolling this trend as the Next. Big. Thing. But now, nearly 20 years later, the newspaper admits it's a bit surprised -- aghast, even -- that the style is still running strong. (It's like a skinny-lapeled party guest who refuses to take a hint and leave!) Why won't those spindly legs and curvy contours make a graceful exit, just like Art Nouveau and shabby chic did before it?
"Nearly two decades later, midcentury modern remains the rage," said the Times. "It's as if the mechanism that refreshes cultural trends every few years has developed a glitch. … Will we still be living in 1950s-inspired interiors through 2050?"
Good question. While no one knows exactly how much longer Mid-Century Modern will stick around, there are clearly at least a few staples from this era that bring on a collective eye roll among designers, decorators, and real estate agents alike.
Here are a few items you may want to avoid lest they finally get their long overdue dismissal and become completely pass.
Noguchi coffee table
This curvy glass-topped staple of living rooms is so eye-glazingly ubiquitous, there's even a Tumblr account called F*ck Your Noguchi Coffee Table. It doesn't get more clear than that that it's time to move on.
Emile L'Eplattenier, a New York City real estate marketing and sales analyst at Fit Small Business, loathes the Panton chair. "They always looked like they were pulled from the set of a bad sci-fi movie," he tells us. By golly, he's right, they really do! Key word: "bad."
Mies van der Rohe daybed
After the Panton chair, this was a very close second in the "sick of it" department for L'Eplattenier. And for good reason: "Yes, they're beautiful, but they're also about the least practical furniture you can own," he explains. "Uncomfortable to sit on, uncomfortable to lay on, and they take up a ton of space."
Nelson bubble lamp
"The Nelson bubble lamp is the piece we are sick of seeing," says real estate agent Diana Roberts at Pier to Pier Brokers. "It really has no place any more. There are so many beautiful and functional light fixtures that really make a space. If you want something modern, three or four individual hanging lights above a dining room table are what we would suggest in place of a bubble lamp."
Saarinen tulip table
So graceful yet so annoying, right? Kinda like Gwyneth Paltrow. Below you'll see the dining room version, but the marble-topped and coffee table versions have apparently outworn their welcome, too.
"While I do appreciate the design and functionality of most Mid-Century Modern furniture, there are a few pieces that should be retired, including the Saarinen coffee table," says visual merchandising professional Denise Foley. Here's to hoping it takes a swan dive out of our life for good.