Mid-Century Furniture

Why I Hate Mid Century Modern Furniture! A Rant by Rachel LaBoheme

Mid Century Modern Furniture

I don’t want to begrudge anyone of the pleasure they get from Mid Century Modern furniture and decor. Certainly, there are many die-hard Mid Century Modern furniture fans out there. (If you are one, please consider reading my husbands take on MCM Furniture.) But many people walking into our furniture store over the years have asked, do you ever get any MCM furniture?

The answer is yes and no.

Over the years, we have sold a handful of Mid-Century Modern pieces. Honestly, these retro furniture pieces were kind of pretty in a weird way. (What can I say, we have great taste here at Bohemian’s.) 🙂

Mid Century Modern Furniture

Overwhelmingly, though, I hate Mid Century Modern furniture. Here are my Top Nine Reasons why.

What is Midcentury Modern furniture?

Simply put, Mid Century Modern furniture is furniture produced roughly in the years from 1940’s until the 1960’s. Design wise, however, Mid Century furniture typically has simple lines and very little ornamentation. Typically, because it has no fuss, it is regarded as very functional furniture. New materials like plastic, resin and plywood found their way into Mid Century style furniture.

Now for the Reasons why I dislike it…

  1. It’s Pretentious.
  2. Mid Century Modern ironically started in the 1950’s and 1960’s with the idea of “bringing design to the masses.” Many of the original proponents of this modern design trend like Bauhaus and Le Corbusier (how pretentious are these names?) actually designed simpler furniture so that it could be accessible.

    However, Mid Century furniture today is anything but accessible.

    Instead, it seems MCM furniture name-dropping helps the upper crust feel self-important and stylish. They brag about their Miller chairs and Eames pieces as if God gave them a special place in Heaven for spending way too much money on ugly furniture.

    Likewise, there is such snobbery that surrounds “original” pieces by famous Danish designers. To me, they look like simple prototypes for bad motel furniture. It’s as if Motel 6 decided to save money this year by making these plywood chairs for their lobby.

  3. It’s Mass Produced.
  4. I love furniture. And I love factory produced furniture by Vintage makers. But Good Lord, high end factory pieces often take hours of workmanship to produce. A single Kittinger Clawfoot leg, for instance, can take several days for a craftsman to carve.

    However, most MCM and MCM knock-offs are made by machine, and quickly. Indeed, the look of MCM furniture often echos this “machine aesthetic.” Stark, inorganic and cold, these mass produced pieces lack the handwork of other vintage furniture styles.

  5. It’s Overdone.
  6. Mid Century Furniture styles have been reinvented in a thousands of different ways by high and low companies. Let me tell you, there just doesn’t seem to be enough diversity to keep reliving it! How many low back square sofas with stick legs can we tolerate?

    As Michael Boodro (former Editor in chief of Elle Decor, of all places) says in this article from the New York Times, “Your eye does get bored. Twenty years ago, when midcentury was first being discovered, you could do a straight interior, and that was exciting. People want to go beyond the expected.”

    Twenty years, people. There are really only a few things with that much staying power. Maybe Michael Jackson. And reggae. But it’s time for this overdone style statement to be over! RIP Mid Century Modern.

  7. It’s not as comfortable as they say.
  8. I don’t know about you, but the comfort level of MCM seems to be greatly over exaggerated. I see these little square dining chairs or low seated living room furniture with 1.5 inches of foam and I fail to feel the urge to snuggle up and watch a movie.

    Give me a dated 1980’s rolled arm sofa over a 1960’s Danish nightmare any day!

    PA House furniture
    Say yes to (tasteful) 1980’s sofas! Say no to Stick Legged Furniture!

    Likewise, I feel the itchy mohair of many Mid Century Sofas to be less than ideal, which brings me to my next point…

  9. The materials used are cheap!
  10. Plywood, plastic, mohair, vinyl, fake wood! Tell me again why I should buy this thing for well over $1000? I guess the one thing that makes MCM attractive is that is generally not as heavy as fine furniture…?

  11. It’s Group Think on every Level.
  12. I just don’t like conformity that much. The ubiquitousness and popularity of MCM just makes me uncomfortable.

  13. The Design Versatility is Questionable.
  14. I hear people say it all the time. “It’s just so versatile. You can put it anywhere and with everything.” This makes me say, “What the…?”

    I get that some people find it “surprising” and “fresh” to “juxtapose” their Victorian house with “Mid Century Pieces” (sorry, that was a lot of air quotes!) but I frankly fail to see the design versatility. To me, a piece of Mid Century Modern sticks out like a sore thumb in nearly every setting.

  15. It encourages minimalism.
  16. Minimalism requires way too much purging and editing for me. I like to put all my pretty things around so that I feel life has a reason for living and that reason isn’t some sort of cruel joke. Sorry, minimalists. I don’t get it.

    After all, this isn’t Moscow (yet), and I want some variety of color, rich patterns and glamorous accessories! (The layered Traditional look calls to me in a much deeper way.)

  17. It reminds me that Millenials have no money, can’t think on their own and have to live in apartments to survive.
  18. Sorry snowflakes (aka Millenials)! This one is a tough one. I feel that our generation could be the most susceptible to marketing schemes. And to me, Mid Century Modern Furniture is like the Emperor’s New Clothes. In many ways, furniture stores and online conglomerates (Wayfair, West Elm, etc) found a gullible market in order to further their agenda of selling cheap low-quality furniture for high prices.

    Plus, they figure, we can screw a peg leg into a piece of sawdust (as long as it’s pre-drilled) after all those years of our pricey educations.

    Furthermore, since we have no money or job prospects, living four to an apartment until our late 30’s seems like a great time to introduce this lightweight and small apartment-sized furniture to the masses. Dare I say, Ikea?

      So that’s my little rant about Mid Century Modern Furniture!

      What are your thoughts on this design trend? I would love to know whether you agree that it’s time for MCM to die or whether this truly is a classic here to stay!

      Thanks for reading!
      Rachel LaBoheme
      Head Creative Director of Bohemian’s

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88 thoughts on “Why I Hate Mid Century Modern Furniture! A Rant by Rachel LaBoheme

  1. I think you are spot on! Loved it’s like the Emperors clothes. I feel that way about it. I hope the trend ends soon.

  2. I found this article somehow, even though I LOVE most MCM. Lol Design is subjective, and there is no style that is for everyone, so your points are fair. For years I tried to be “in style,” and wasn’t happy. I discovered it’s because I am tacky, and tacky makes me happy. 🤣 So now I am embracing my mid century, tacky loving taste (or lack there of 🤣,) and while I FULLY understand many people will look at it and say “WTH!?😳,” I smile every time I walk into a room filled with color and tacky mid century treasures! They’re not all “MCM” as much as kitschy, TBH, but oh how it makes me smile. I guess what I’m saying is, some of us just don’t care what is “in style,” and that should be the ultimate goal, IMO. Whatever makes YOU smile. Clearly, for you, it is NOT mid century, and that’s perfectly fine. ❤️

  3. Hah! I don’t think my search engine did a good job for me–I actually like mid-century modern and found this article when looking for people who like me hated Craftsman style.

    Seems like your bigger point is that current MCM style is too mass produced and cheap, and yet modeled on an elite aesthetic, thereby achieving a paradoxical status of being too common and yet not accessible enough. Like so many things, with mass production it no longer holds the original appeal or the qualities that made it special.

    Fair enough, I’ve never been able to afford things before they went mass-production so I can’t say I feel surprised or hurt by this observation lol.

    My only suggestion if you decide to edit or update–your main point is valid. I don’t think there’s a need for broad generalizations about people who buy it. Some of us just really like sliding glass doors and I don’t think there’s some social or generational reason. It’s just who we are, questionable taste and all.

    1. I don’t think she has to modify her opinion, as she us entitled to that. Furthermore that is exactly the point being made, conformity of everything such as ugly furniture, points of view, and oh be careful of what you say, as it may offend. As for affordability, how about buying one nice piece of furniture at a time. I save for everything I want instead of instant gratification. I agree that mid century is uncomfortable looking and to sit upon. Time for more traditional, comfortable and graceful looking interiors.

  4. I literally Google’d “who else hates MCM furniture” because I needed to not feel so alone, and found your post. Only note- I’m a millennial- we’re not all fart-huffing MCM gushing sheep. I just sold an inherited danish desk that I hated to a MCM dealer and the guy wouldn’t stop talking about how great the stuff was. Like, read the room, I’m selling it cuz I hate it. I’m keeping my solid wood furniture like my vintage Drexel french-provincial dressers. It’s taken me all my 20’s and countless garage sales and thrift store to get the quality old stuff, but when you see the new garbage out there, I’m glad I kept hunting for the good stuff.

    1. Chrissy, I am so glad you dislike Mid Century Modern Furniture as well. I, too am a millennial, so I guess we are not alone. Your comment about selling your mid-century desk made me laugh out loud. Also, vintage Drexel French Provincial furniture is a great investment, so I am glad you are going against the grain and finding quality used furniture at thrift stores and garage sales. No doubt it will prove to be a great investment. Best, Rachel

  5. I grew up in part in a town in a 1950’s time warp wrapped in WWII green, and invaded by turquoise and the very creepiest oranges that have ever been found. MCM seems to me to reach out towards a number of things only to fall short, sitting in the diner halfway to something great, where quality goes to a creaky death. I like minimal, I like sophisticated, and I like a playful, funky chic as welcoming to pop artists as dutch master painters. I also love the idea of dropping down into a seating area, or approaching the use of any furniture from an unexpected perspective that makes the every day necessity an experience. But somehow, MCM, while putting the proverbial bow in its hair to nod at all these virtuous things, manages to add the dress that makes them seem a satire.

    I am a big fan of organic lines in architecture and design, and biomimicry, and I get so sad looking at MCM in part because Frank Lloyd Wright had in his creations the seeds of two movements, organic architecture, and brutalist architecture, and MCM pushed his legacy towards brutalism, swallowing a good few decades we all could have spent revolutionizing our living spaces towards the organic. Now we are finally making inroads into using new, grown construction material, chasing the expression of those organic lines and truths, and each time the impetus seems to have to come from the food industry, and not the builders or designers that set the tone for architectural norms, (with one or two notable exceptions). It is disappointing to say the least.

    Still, what makes MCM such a no go with me, at the end of the day, is a distinct lack of comfort. Quality furniture of minimalist design has a number of virtues: Its is easy to clean, light on its feet, and a showcase of craftsmanship, design, and focus, as there is nowhere left to hide. Still, a few of these qualities can be missing, and comfort will absolutely save the inherent value of a piece, or damn it in its absence. MCM eschews comfort as an antithesis to it’s entire aesthetic, and that is the line it crosses to become a true abomination. How can I look at most chairs in the style, and not see the visceral ghost of a boy with a permanent hunch and two left feet, failing to hide his agony, or his growing misogyny, and latent racism, being bullied by older, harder, and more narrow minded men in the room? If I were to become a person who started looking like my sofa… The places my mind goes to be haunted, I’m grateful to imagine a world of other furniture to own. Maybe a nice fainting couch, or a nice futon? All I can say is that there are seasons of American Horror Story I find impossible to get through purely due to the MCM design of the set.

    1. S, you are so right about the virtues of MCM. Of course, the aims of organic clean lines and minimalism seem to be there, but yes MCM furniture falls short of its promises. I think you are right: comfort makes the difference. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Yep! Spot on. I absolutely hate mid-century modern furniture, and I’m only 24. I much prefer 80s and prior art deco. It has a slick feel without that cold, clinical feel of mid-century modern.

  7. I found this by googling something like “What can I put in my MCM house that isn’t MCM furniture?” Anytime I get a designer in to look at my house (I just wanted color recommendations to make it look brighter without painting over the wood!), they tell me it’s all wrong and want me to go heavily in the MCM direction. It’s so boxy! And the lack of padding in the sofas just doesn’t make me want to curl up and read. I, too, am there for the rolled arms. As for ’60s construction– I mean, I guess if you’re comparing it with modern knock-down furniture, OK? I have some cheap barstools that always need to have their fasteners re-inserted because they work themselves out over time. On the other hand, I have ’60s pieces in my dining room which I was given as a gift and (theoretically) ought to be good quality, but I have to have all the chairs reglued every few years because the way they’re designed means they lever themselves to pieces if you use them regularly. So, how much better is the quality, really? I have 1880s oak chairs, by contrast, which are solid and never need any work, and other furniture from 1910-1940 that is likewise solid and completely functional. I don’t get the love affair with MCM furniture at all. I like the house– the rooms are huge, and that was my primary goal when buying a house– but I really don’t want to deal with the furniture.

    1. Well stated thank you. We like neoclassical designs in solid wood which look great when adding ginger jars or anything else for color. A nice hand knotted rug adds style color and comfort to a room. Look for 60’s and 70’s furniture from Kindel, Thomasville, Karges, Statton. Those brands did alot of traditional furniture but also branched out into some very unique designs as well, also don’t forget about Henredon. Thanks for sharing

  8. So, I stumbled across this article while actually looking for a bed frame for my *cough* apartment… I feel the same way. The thing is though mid century furniture is aesthetically pleasing, at least for me. The thing that bothers me most ( a point you touched on) is that it’s stark and cold, devoid of any history or craftsmanship. The issue I take with stuff you mentioned like kittinger is that it’s so big and heavy, dark and gothic.. so I guess what I’m asking, is there any middle ground for a guy who understands the modern furniture rabbit hole? I’m tired of deleting history for the sake of cost and minimalist trends, there’s plenty of time for our kin to live in plastic bubbles and eat algae.

    1. Yes, Willy. I think a nice traditional poster bed, sleigh bed or even a more traditional upholstered bed would be a stylish alternative to a Mid Century Modern bed. If you don’t like dark, heavy furniture, consider a lighter finish cherry, maple or oak bed. Vintage brands you may want to look for might be Stickley, Harden, Henkel Harris, Drexel, Pennsylvania House, Conant Ball or vintage Kling or Ethan Allen. All developed nice transitional lines that work in with a variety of styles. If you like clean lines, consider a pencil poster bed (without all the carvings). Hope that helps.

  9. Couldn’t agree more with your article- and a couple of these comments. In fact, I’m astounded that there aren’t more rant-y articles about the visual vomit-fest that is Mid-century modern. The hideous angled peg legs all over the place (ooo, wow, so clever & appealing 🙄), the nappy sofas~ It all elevates craptastic to a nauseating level.
    The dressers you posted are definitely a visually appealing break from the norm of what I associate with MCM. But yes, when someone likes mcm style in general, it’s a huge, barfy, red flag for me.

    1. Yes, Colette. I am swimming against the current with my distaste for MCM but as the comments suggest, I am hardly alone. Thanks for your comment. Love the phrase “barfy red flag!”

  10. I agree with you 100%. I was looking for a sofa not too long ago and there were so many Mid-Century designs and I loathe that style. I was perplexed that multiple furniture stores hardly had much traditional furniture. It took awhile to find something I liked and I didn’t love it as much as my original sofa ( that had to be replaced due to wear and tear. I’m hoping Mid-Century goes back out of style very soon.

    1. Yes Lisa! It doesn’t appear to be waning, unfortunately. Sometimes (especially for sofas), you may consider buying vintage and having it reupholstered. Thanks for writing!

  11. I agree if you are talking about how mid century is done now. However, as with any redo, it is not the same as the original. As for quality, yes, the peices were mass produced back in the day, but even mass produced anything from before around 1980 is better quality than what is being made now. Secondly, you mentioned color. The current producers have tried to “modernize” (always a mistake) mid century modern by making it in neutral colors. This design does not work with neutral colors since the design is already minimalist as you said. Your house ends up looking like a doctor’s office. But the colors of the era were anything but neutral. My idea of true mid century style is from about 1955 to 1975. I love the bold, non-neutral greens, oranges, browns and yellows, as well as the turquoise, and softer lemon yellow and faded pink of the 1950’s. I am not a big fan of the red and black trend that people associate with the 50’s, not sure how common that actually was in the typical home. So try taking those clean lines and adding non-neutral colors with authentic quality peices instead of the made in China junk they sell now and you might be surprised. I will also say that mid century modern is not an easy style to do right. The simplistic end result is deceptive, which is why I think many people get it wrong.

  12. I totally agree with you. MCM furniture is ugly, uncomfortable, overpriced, and definitely has that “Emperor has no clothes” quality. The sooner this fad fades from view, the better.

  13. Thank you are a very enjoyable article. You articulated my thoughts about mid century. I am not a fan of right angles in furniture. It reminds me bad 1950-60’s office furniture, which I am not interested in having in my home.

  14. thank you for concisely articulating why midcentury give me hives. it’s constantly touted as organic and versatile when it is neither. If you want midcentury, you have to commit to midcentury, and before you know it you’re surrounded by cheap looking chrome and sterile color schemes and boxy uninviting sofas. People post pictures of perfectly restored midcentury kitchens and all I can think of are the depressed, stifled women who must have endured it the first time around. Today all it says to me is “I have many dollars but no clues”

    1. Leah, thank you for your comment. I think you are absolutely right: if you want midcentury, you have to commit to midcentury. There is no middle-ground. Fortunately, many people seek the alternative. Best, Rachel

  15. Another “I hate mid-century modern” googler here. I’m living in the house on which I grew up– it’s a tri-level split built in 1964 in Massachusetts. It SCREAMS mid-century modern. My heart & soul belong in an old farm house or victorian (sans frilly stuff) but here I am. I loved farmhouse/rustic/shabby chic before they were ever “things” and am slowly replacing my mother’s 80’s decor with things I prefer. But the interior of the house itself can’t be UN-MCM’d without actually rebuilding the whole thing. So I’m doing what I can with what I’ve got. 🙂

  16. I just don’t like it. It looks, to me, like Aunt Mildred passed away and left her (what she thought), was modern furniture behind, that she purchased 50 or so, or more years, ago. It just looks like someone forgot to get rid of that old stuff , ( which I never liked as a child anyway), and replace it with proper stuff. I just don’t like it. I have a sister who LOVES the stuff, and practically, albeit politely and pityingly , all but gently sneers at my traditional and “backwards ” taste. I try to say, I am just an old fashioned bore, not to be disagreeable, and because she may just be right, after all. but inside,……, I HATE that ugly furniture, that reminds me of outdated furniture, that Aunt Mildred never took the time to replace because she was a widow, alone and old. Which some would say, proves how dumb I am about decor. And that might just be so very true as well…….. Oh my goodness I am going on, aren’t I. I hope my dear beloved sister doesn’t read this, because I love her, just HATE that old lady, kinda rich, with terrible taste, furniture. p.s. This won’t show up on Facebook, unalloyed by me, will it?

    1. Hi Catherine! Don’t worry, we will not post to Facebook. You are free to rant all you want. You are in the right tribe, here! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  17. Thank you for the great post! I dated someone obsessed with mid-century modern, from the furniture and accessories to magazines and conferences. I tried to appreciate it. I really did. And I’m not saying that’s why we broke up . . . but it may have had something to do with it. It just seems like cold and boring motel furniture (not hotel-but motel). And sitting on a couch with those stupid stick legs feels like wearing stilettos all day and then having to continue to wear them all evening when you get home. It takes a lot of different kinds of people to make up the world, and I know some folks love the mid-century look. But I will happily sit in my classic-styled living room, content in the knowledge there is no mid-century modern anywhere in it.

  18. I literally googled “I hate mid century modern decor” and found your site. So glad it’s not just me. It’s so hideous and cold.

    1. I googled “I HATE MID CENTURY MODERN!” as well… l am looking for a sofa and I can’t stand seeing the same crap in every store! Help!!!!

  19. I’m dying (in a good way). The article was a fun read and the aggressive comments brought a smile to my bitter heart. Until recently, I fell into the camp of MCM or don’t bother.

    On a whim, we decided to go to a mid-range furniture store and actually try sitting on the furniture before purchasing. It was terrible. Being pregnant and stubborn I got trapped on a number of the lower coaches.

    MCM can be beautiful and has a cool history, but I realized it’s for show not functionality.

    1. Perseus, I love the phrase “brought a smile to my bitter heart.” Thanks for reading and I am glad the furniture didn’t hurt you or your unborn. Congrats and thank you for reading. 🙂

  20. Hello! I feel a lot of your claims about mid century furniture being low quality and uncomfortable are overstated. One can find low quality and uncomfortable furniture from many time periods and styles, and many mid century items *are* quite comfortable (see how many Eames office chair designs are still in production and are sought after because of their ergonomics) and well-made (nearly all mid century mass produced furniture is made to a higher standard than today’s mass produced furniture). While it might not fit in some homes, MCM is scaled well for smaller homes with simple lines as well as grander, more modern-style homes, and can work well for those who don’t want too much ornamentation but still want some character.

    Honestly, I think you might need to learn more about furniture from that time period to make judgements (I mean, on an aesthetic level, you’re obviously 100% justified. Taste is personal and subjective!). I completely understand why a shop might not cater to this look, as all home décor and furnishing shops cater to a particular aesthetic and audience, but don’t yuck others’ yum! Like any classic design, there’s a reason many MCM pieces have been in continuous production since they were first produced.

    As for your number 9, those criticisms are valid about *any* popular style of new furniture. It’s nearly all crap. I can’t stand cheap reproductions of anything, and that isn’t exclusive to faux MCM.

    I think you aimed for satire but instead ended up with a rant.

    1. Kate, did you read Greg’s rebuttal to the rant? I think you may enjoy his take as well. He really feels the good MCM furniture (like the Eames chair) is comfortable. Thanks for reading and the comment!

    2. Agree! MCM furniture looks extremely uncomfortable. The low backs and small seat size of the dinning chairs is not meant for a large person. It is not cozy or homey.

  21. What a sh*tty article. So, what kind of furniture do you like? Medieval? Louis XV? Your reasons to hate MCM furniture are trivial and your arguments are not solid at all. I could give you a whole dissertation comparing MCM to the sh*t produced nowadays and that could last for hours. Especially when you talk about esthetics. Nothing new has been created since the Eames times so, stop there and be reasonable. MCM is the peak of human development. De desire of men of leaving WWII behind made them progress exponentially. Same in mode, design, architecture, nothing done today surpasses that era.

    1. Thank you for your opinion and reading the article. It was meant as tongue and cheek and to provide a bit of humor to those who are sick of the MCM trends, which seem to be everywhere at the current moment! Best, Rachel LaBoheme

    2. Hi there ! I just came across your article, I love it you are spot on!
      One of my pet peeves is when people buy and old style home like colonial or Victorian and they bring in mid century decor I find this a lot on HGTV.. It drives me nuts! We built a center hall colonial farmhouse in 2006.. my formal living room and dining room is in line with 18th century reproduction.. My kitchen and family room are in line with early American primitive decor.
      That said even tho my house is not Victorian I find myself wanting to do classic farmhouse in the upstairs area which has lot of Victorian influence like my grandparent and great grandparents photos and would like to change my daughters bedrooms leaning twords Victorian in style.. Here is my dilemma:
      I wanted a brass bed in her room I found one for free is exactly like the American Doll ( Samatha original brass bed not their new one) it’s a very bright brass and would like to bring in a few pieces of antique oak furniture that we had inherited and had for years how ever the oak furniture doesn’t match in color the dresser is dark the bookcase medium and the quilt shelf is medium light.
      What shade of oak goes well with bright brass?
      I do not want Victorian overload but I do want a farmhouse feel that is historical. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

    3. Hi Donna! I personally would like the lighter to medium honey color of oak with your brass bed. It sure sounds like a lovely home. Thank you for writing! And yes, I hate when they bring in MCM in old homes on HGTV as well. 🙂

  22. You are hysterical, I totally agree. Every thing you said is sooooo…. true. I am so sickened by the excess of MCM furniture on the internet right now. I hated it when I was a young child growing up in the 60’s and I still hate it today. I have to laugh when it is called a style. There’s nothing stylish about it. Thanks for telling it like it is!

  23. I too despise Mid Century modern BUT I am moving into a granny flat. Any ideas for the perfect design style for a tiny space? I generally like Italian provincial, or British Colonial. Right now I have a giant leather sofa, 2 large traditional armoires for TV and computer, two wicker chairs and six seater Italian dining table and chairs, and traditional style bedroom furniture except for bamboo bed.

    1. Hi Marilyn. I think I love your taste, but I do understand that tight spaces require a new look at what you own. Certainly, I think your leather sofa could probably still work in a tight space, and be useful… Why not start there? Maybe ditch some of the chairs for the dining set and whittle down the bedroom set to the essential pieces. Then, it just comes to color, accessories, art and beautiful lamps, etc. I am envisioning a swanky traditional bachelorette pad. Best of luck in the new place!

  24. I fully agree! I hate the MCM style so much! It reminds me of a doll house I had in the 80s as a kid, but my doll house furniture felt dated to me and I didn’t like it. Now I know that it WAS dated and nowadays would be a very fashionable MCM dollhouse. It’s so soulless and ugly. When do you think it’s going to go away??

    1. Joy, I think it will go away very soon. I am seeing a Renaissance of Traditional furniture and I think many are so tired of MCM looks. There is also a new trend called “Grandmillenial” style which may be taking hold. Basically, younger millennials are starting to embrace traditional, classic homes and I couldn’t be happier. Fine fabrics, high end traditional furniture, wallpaper are all coming back, perhaps with a slightly lighter touch. I think the color schemes are a bit less serious (so no more deep cranberry, or hunter green like in the 1990s), but I definitely see the mahogany and cherry 18th century style furniture making a comeback!

  25. I was born in ‘66 and have very found memories of MCM in my grandparents and relatives homes. Later on my mom preferred 70’s decor and that progressed to country (duck decor and lots of blue and yellow with antiques). What many of you find hideous, some of us find nostalgic and warm. I’m past the years of loving clutter in my home and was given my grandmothers MCM hutch along with her dishes. I’ll proudly display that along with the modern furniture I’m collecting. People always tell us how warm and cozy our home feels- not everyone associates MCM with cheap and cold. I never look at others decorating styles and demean them, we all love what we love. Why make others feel bad for that?

  26. Oh my!!! I googled “Why in the h3!! are people buying NEW HOMES and decorating them like they’re in the 1960’s or 1970’s???” and I found your post! A feeling of relief came over me as I realized I am not alone in thinking the resurgence of these trends have never had comfort, staying power, and CLASS!

    I have found my people! I too enjoy going through my home and feeling comforted by the texture and depth of the pieces that I have, and I can see their style as having had many lives.

    Thank you for bringing some peace to my heart! ❤️

  27. This is brilliant!! Love the writing…the passion, the humor, the whole thing it is perfect!

    The hell with what Emily’s think. I want to your furniture becuase of this. Honestly the article on PA house was interesting for sure but I would.have forgetten about quickly your site of I didnt read this. That because your writing/stance has evoked emotion in people. So much so it causes the Emilys to respond negativily and people like to stand up and say hell yeah ebohemians are my people. Writing that appeals to everyone sells is also forgotten by everyone. You want people to love and as importantly hate your writing. Im typing this on my. phone because I felt compelled.to answer and never bother to comment or review things. Please do not be more careful with your writing. Double down on this style. We are your tribe and we want someone to stand up and say this stuff and with humor.

    I own a marketing agency so.I know what talking about. You have pure gold right here. Your tribe has spoken lead us!

  28. So agree with you regards MCM – I was a child of the sixties & grew up with those awful kidney shaped coffee tables with spindly legs with metal caps set at an angle looking like the whole thing was about to collapse even though it was hand crafted well by my father – not mass produced. Awful plastic laminated faux wood grain furniture, hard edges or wonky shapes, vinyl seat cushions, shiny sterile steel – much of which looked more suited to a hospital ward than a home. Then it all continued into the 70’s with plastic/synthetic everything unless it was macrame which was everywhere (I see that is making a comeback) & all overblown patterns – from wallpaper to fashion & all that brown, orange & lime – uggh!

    I also agree with the comments by one person regards ‘modern’ farmhouse style – yes, all those ‘inspirational’ signs & mass produced ‘farmesque’ themes are so overdone & I cringe when I see those signs shouting ‘farmhouse’ on suburban walls, ( I actually live on a farm, in a traditional style farmhouse & would never have such signs, or cows & chickens dominating my decor, but nothing wrong with farmhouse sinks if they look authentic). Real traditional/vintage rural style is simply a less affluent, slightly more rustic version of the high end furniture of the 1800’s to early 1900’s. The true ‘farmhouse’ style today is still traditional, warm & comforting, simple but aesthetically pleasing furniture left with it’s original wear suited to a mellow rural lifestyle. But to me at least the modern mass produced farmhouse style is trying to echo poorly a style that in itself is pleasing, whereas the MCM revival echoes a style to my eye that was never anything but hard edged, cold & emotionless, whether it was hand crafted or mass produced – still looks the same.

    But also worth noting – just because a style becomes popular & gets components of said style mass produced – it doesn’t make that style in it’s true form less worthy of admiration, it’s the true form that is still one that is pleasing aesthetically & comfortably functional or not, & MCM to me was never either of those to start with.

  29. OMG! I googled “when will this mcm bullshit be over?” and up popped your blog. I loved it! Everyone is entitled to their opinion and can furnish their homes as they choose. However, it was extremely refreshing for me to read what I have felt for a lifetime. Seriously, a lifetime. I was born in 1962. That crap was ugly then and it’s even uglier now. Cheap hotel furniture is what it brings to mind with no regard for true comfort. I couldn’t care less if someone compliments my home and I’m a designer! I live here! When clients want that crap I tell them you don’t need me….that stuff is everywhere. I won’t be insulting but I don’t want my name associated with mindless, for-the-masses design. My home is my sanctuary and that is what I strive to create for others. Craftsmanship and quality always prevail. Thank you for a delightful read.

  30. I just googled “f*** mid century furniture” because I’m so disgusted and sick of this trend. I loved your piece. It’s absolutely group think and people following trends b/c it’s easier than thinking about what they actually like and who they are.

  31. I was born in the early sixties. I was raised with midcentury furniture in their original version. I hated since I was a child.

  32. Rachel,
    Came across your rant, finally someone who understands me! Not only do I currently work at a furniture store that sells new furniture of many styles from high end to low but I work as an interior designer/sales person. I grew up with mid century as a child and couldn’t wait til we changed to more traditional american/european/Asian inspired design at home for more warmth and comfort. The store I work for with owners and co-workers prefer to have little or no traditional i am always outnumbered all because of television shows and social media pushing it all. I too get upset with the throw away younger generation that is buying into trendy junk from those put together websites, or customers come in saying that they want to get rid of all there traditional furniture and start over with trendy trash. Even though what they may have is made much better! That’s why I search sites like yours to see if I can still find high end traditional styles i still love and have!

    1. Brendan you are not alone! In the last few months, we have picked up two or three beautiful solid wood dining room sets by incredible brands like Councill Craftsman and Pennsylvania House from people “ready for a change.” When they show me what they are replacing their thirty year old dining sets with, I hide my face so that they don’t see my expression! Usually, a faux “farm table” made of particle board and cheap flimsy looking slipper chairs! In my head, I roll my eyes. Their new trendy set might make the 3 year mark, but I doubt that it will be around in thirty years. Keep being your stylish self, and I am sure others will see the light sooner or later! Thanks for writing!

  33. I love this article. I’m so sick of that mcm look. You are right, it is the height of pretentiousness. That crap is going to be worthless in a few years. If I see one more house with an Eames lounge chair i think I’m going to kill myself. And all this modern farmhouse industrial crap. Omg. It never ends. And those stupid sliding doors. In a suburban home no less. I mean in a loft apartment I could see it but in a suburban home?? It’s like the world is filled with sheeple. They just don’t know anything about style except what they are fed. Look at these home reno shows. Do you ever see anything but a white kitchen with a farmhouse sink? And stupid signs everywhere with cute sayings. And shiplap. It goes on and on. I have seen so many beautiful traditional style homes get a farmhouse modern makeover and it just ruins the house not to mention the whole neighborhood.

    1. Absolutely Clippa. The modern farmhouse + industrial combo irks me too. And the signs… My husband and I joke non-stop about the trite saying, “Live Love Laugh” we see everywhere. HA!
      Thanks for reading!

  34. So thankful and relieved to read this post. I keep “ trying” to find something (anything) appealing about MCM furnishings and cannot find one redeeming factor! I’ll be keeping my rolled-arm sofa and Louis XVI chairs with ottomans, thank you!

  35. Midcentury Modern with mohair upholstery? Not a chance. That style is all about synthetics. Mohair is expensive. Look for Deco furniture with mohair, and polyester on MCM. I mean, yuck.

  36. I am so relieved to find someone who says exactly what I’ve been thinking! I can’t stand this resurgence of Brady Bunch style home furnishing that are cheap and leave me running for the rolled arm sofa style…or French country or anying that looks somewhat comfortable and stylish! Thank you for this great summation of what I’m feeling inside but didn’t know quite where to put my frustrations and thought I must be missing something by not wanting to buy into this trend once again!

  37. I could not agree with you more Rachel! As an avid collector of all things antique (many of which are family heirlooms), I too wander my lovely home remembering where and when I first saw, sat upon, or swooned over so many cherished “friends”. I clearly remember my dear Mother stepping onto the “Danish Modern train” for a very short ride when she first furnished a “family room” in our basement for my siblings and I. Not surprisingly when we moved to a new home within a year of her purchases these pieces did not make the trip. They were worn out or simply too uncomfortable for any of us to use, so it was quickly back to the tried and true antiques we had owned for decades. Very sad indeed that so many young people do not recognize the fact that there is a reason that antiques are still around centuries after they were constructed – they were simply made better by skilled craftsmen who loved their work! Love the things you sell and the customer service you provide. Please keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Martha. You are absolutely right, quality is one of the major keys to longevity in furniture. But I also appreciate your comment about the craftsmen who loved their work! You really can sense that in older, finer things… Funny about your mom’s basement. I think my mom has an angled, itchy uncomfortable sofa like that around, too!

  38. Finally, someone who has put into print what my thoughts have been all my adult life while trying to build a beautiful and comfortable life for my family. I don’t understand the people on TV home and design shows who buy a beautiful traditional or Mediterranean homes and tear down walls with beautiful wood moldings and interesting niches to force a mid-century modern style inside and outside. So sad. One day we will live in stripped down homes with few possessions and no links to our past. It will be a test tube life and sterile.

    1. Very True Brook! I don’t understand forcing the “open concept” either! Do people not like privacy or rooms? Thanks for reading and for the comment. Hopefully there are people that still enjoy collecting and artfully decorating their homes…

  39. BRAVO – Rachel LaBoheme
    Never apologize for accurately assessing the cheap and uncomfortable. Truly hype of MCM furniture is the rule. Neked emperor Emily, likely has her abode filled with this overpriced unappealing crap and is sensitive to its scrutiny. Only one endowed with a cube shaped ass will find pleasure parked there. I grew up surrounded with these rickety, angular non-ergonomic torturous monstrosities.
    As an “Art” student in the 1970’s frank and unapologetic criticism was strongly encouraged. Safe spaces have no place in reasoned analysis – my lovely. BTW “modern” is a fifteenth century word.

    1. Thank you Michael and thanks for your thoughtful reply! Love your language. I can tell you are a writer as well as an artist. 🙂 Thanks again for reading.

    2. I totally agree with you!! I grew up in the 50’s and ‘60’s and hated it then…hate it now. I was actually searching the internet to find someone who was honest in the assessment and description of this lack luster stay. I am grateful that, while others were building homes that looked like low slung cement boxes, my parents defied the trend and built a lovely colonial home which still looks beautiful today. As I remember, this trend faded fast…and will again. And, please God, dump the gray!

  40. Re: #9. Wow. I mean, just wow.

    We are all entitled to our style tastes, so I don’t care what kind of furniture you personally prefer, but not only is this vitriol baffling from someone who presumably would like to sell things to people (some of whom may have different tastes than yours), but you market your business in urban sales groups where you know your potential audience may (happily) have made lifestyle choices different from your own. Maybe you were trying to be cute and provocative, but frankly, this is just offensive and a very poor marketing strategy.

    You have some lovely pieces in stock, but so do lots of other people who are less judgmental. I’d much rather give my money to them.

    1. Hi Emily, Thanks for your comment. Although I am sorry that I offended you! Absolutely just an opinion piece regarding a popular style (with much tongue and cheek). In regards to #9 in this blog, I am not sure what made you feel as though this was a judgement on lifestyle… simply an observation on the state of the economy and culture that has forced much of my generation to delay home-buying… and instead live with roommates. This is not an attack. Simply an observation. Again, thanks for reading and for your honest feedback. I will be more careful with my attempts to be funny in the future.

    2. Emily totally agree with you… though we are not millennials, my wife and I love this MCM style, reminds us of a by gone era, as well as part of our childhood… Pretentious? Give me a break… I am still laughing at this ludacis comment… and mass produced, really? We have quite a few pcs that are one of a kind or were high priced back then not many pcs were made, some pottery yep sure was, but we love the style none the less, and if you want to bark about mass producing, yeah all the crap made today, not only is it mass produced outside our country, it is absolute throw away trash with no style… love the cookie cutter ikea and ahsley furniture in everyone’s home, blech! If you know how to design you can easily place almost any pc with anything, it was about color, design, boldness, uniqueness, etc. and we get compliments day after day on our home… yes you are all entitled to your opinion but come on!

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