Why Mid-Century Modern Homes Stay Popular

Homes built between the 1930s and 1960s continued to attract respect and even devotion. The minimalist approach, connection to outdoor space, and emphasis on natural materials characteristic of Mid-Century Modern homes are especially beloved in California and shows no signs of diminishing. Some pinpoint the resurgence of the Mid-Century Modern home to the early 1980s, when a renewed interest in the long out of fashion aesthetic was sparked first by collectors, architects, and designers, and then expanded to the general public over the ensuing decade.

Origins of Mid-Century Modern Homes
A new generation of architects influenced by the optimism of the period after WWII started to experiment with new construction materials coming onto the market, including steel, concrete, and insulated glass. They were reimagining the family home with a less formal attitude than homes of the past. Open floor plans and large windows that connected the indoors to the outdoors promoted family togetherness and casual entertaining. These new homes were designed to be inviting and inclusive, with the guiding principles of functionality and purpose. The exact dates when the movement first started are debated but it’s safe to say that the height of popularity for Mid-Century design was between 1945 and 1965.

Key Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern Design
The defining elements of Mid-Century Modern design feel remarkably current and fresh. Perhaps particularly suited to these modern times when homeowners are looking for ways to simplify their lives at home, Mid-Century modern design is also notably adaptable to customization for those who want to balance a variety of styles in their surroundings. Here are some of the details that distinguish Mid-Century homes: 

  • Clean geometric or organic lines
  • Open floor plans
  • Connection to the outdoors
  • Expansive panes of glass with floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors
  • Functionality emphasized, with every piece serving a purpose
  • Clutter-free, with carefully selected ornamentation
  • Elements of natural wood
  • Mostly neutral palette with occasional accent of bold color

Why Mid-Century Modern Homes Endure
Mid-century home design continues to appeal to today’s homeowners. Whether purchasing a Mid-Century Modern original home and remodeling it while honoring its roots, or integrating the principles of Mid-Century Modern design into a home from another period, homeowners’ appreciation for the design aesthetic endures. A primary reason may be Mid-Century’s attention to simplicity and design with a purpose. The homes feel exceptionally livable and adaptable, with space to breathe and take in beautiful natural surroundings. Mid-Century also allows for a variety of personal expression – its neutral palette, ample natural light, and clean lines are the ideal backdrop for modern art or to experiment with simple yet bold statement pieces. The natural materials used, including a variety of woods from teak to oak and walnut, also make an impression in a world overrun with plastics and technology. In addition, today’s concern with sustainability and energy-efficiency finds a partner in Mid-Century homes with designs that enhance passive solar power and natural ventilation.

If you love your Mid-Century Modern home and need a remodel that respects your home’s origins, our expert designers and architects can guide you through the possibilities step-by-step. Contact us today for a free consultation!