Metallic touches add classic allure to the more austere lines of Mid-Century modern in this living room by Dwellings. Shag is back, too, in area rugs instead of carpeting.
The Mid-Century modern revival in home decor is getting an update. While the simple lines and geometric graphics that are the hallmarks of that style continue to be popular, interior design is inching ever closer toward reclaiming the 1970s.
“It’s almost like 1930s Hollywood glam meets the ’70s,” says Madison interior designer Beth Rhodehamel.
Rhodehamel describes a look that is simple and geometric, but with ’70s-era bright (sometimes even garish) colors being passed over in favor of earth tones, muted ocean blues and softer yellows.
“Clients want their homes to feel calm,” says Rhodehamel. “A way to achieve that is with a more neutral palette.” She recommends using varying shades of a versatile color, like cream, in a room. Use one tone on the walls and a slightly different one in upholstered pieces. Dark wood elements on furniture, such as ebony legs on a sofa, provide highlights.
Gray, which has held court in the design hall for a while now, will continue to dominate, as will brown, on walls and in furniture.
A neutral palette creates flexibility to change accent colors more frequently — on an accent wall or with pillows, lamps or small area rugs. It also allows for pops of color in other ways, through window treatments or accent pieces, a good choice for budget-conscious decorators who want to put their money into items they won’t have to replace. Keep your couch; change the look with a lower-end purchase like a lamp.
Yellow is a great accent color in these cases. “Yellows help break up the gray a little bit and make things more lively,” says Rhodehamel.
Rhodehamel says customers are seeking clean lines, smaller furniture and simple layouts. “I feel like things are slightly scaling down to give rooms a more tailored look,” she says, adding that it is primarily the height of pieces that’s decreasing.
Jennifer Haley and Julie Umhoefer, the sisters behind Dwellings on the west side, see continued interest in the look of the 1950s-1970s, with details like tapered wooden legs on furniture and lower arms on chairs, velvets in upholstery and pillows, metal accents like matte brass buttons and also button tufting. Lighting has an industrial feel in the use of reclaimed metal, wood and glass.
Window treatments are simpler than in the past, they say. Gone are heavy draperies in favor of simple panels in solid colors or sometimes geometric prints, made from soft linens. Most, too, are now hung higher above the window.
Rugs are a great tool to bring everything in a room together. Loud patterns are out; texture is in. Shag, anyone?
In another nod to the ’70s, there’s a revival in sectionals. Rhodohamel says today’s sectionals are squarer in shape than their ’70s counterparts: “They’re being brought back in a tasteful way.”
Laura Distin, owner of the Ironstone Nest in Sun Prairie, recently made a trip to Atlanta’s AmericasMart, one of the world’s largest wholesale markets for home goods. She saw a lot of marble — both imitation and real — in everything from cheese boards to table tops to marble-patterned pillows.
Photorealism (painting that’s incredibly realistic, like a photo) dominated the artwork. Believe it or not, stencils are making a comeback, says Distin, “but not in the way we remember them.” While stencilled ivy won’t be climbing the walls, you might see a trellis pattern stencilled in gold or other metallic on an accent wall, adding glamour. “I don’t love stencils, but I can appreciate them in the right room with the right colors done right,” says Distin.
Despite new trends, there are some looks that are ever-popular and always classic, like a farmhouse look that incorporates classic white with black accents, worn wood, open cabinets and shelving. “That’s never going to go out of style,” says Distin. It’s a look that encourages recycling and repurposing, too.
What it really comes down to these days is feeling comfortable in your home.
“We’re all so busy,” says Rhodehamel. “Work is stressful, and you just want to go home to a place where all you have to do is open a bottle of wine.”
Beth Rhodehamel 608-233–7560
Dwellings 410 D’Onofrio Dr., 608-827-5669
The Ironstone Nest 240 E. Main St., Sun Prairie, 608-618-1050