What Makes Mid-Century Modern Lighting So Popular?

What Makes Mid-Century Modern Lighting So Popular?

It seems like mid-century modern design and lighting are everywhere, but where did this popularity come from? At Illuminate Vintage, we consider ourselves experts on mid-century modern lighting and more, so allow us to explain why it’s so popular among today’s homeowners.

What Is Mid-Century Modern Design?

Before we get into what makes mid-century modern lighting so popular, what exactly does it mean when something is “mid-century modern?” The mid-century modern era typically refers to home architecture, furniture, art, and fashion from the 1930s to the 1960s and is considered the beginning of the contemporary design movement.

The term “mid-century modern” first emerged in author Cara Greenberg’s book about 1950s furniture. The design has a few uniform characteristics across architecture, furniture, and even light fixtures. In mid-century modern design, functionality takes priority over function, and simpler is considered better, with little to no embellishments.

Mid-century modern colors are neutral or muted, and shapes are generally simple and abstract, with mixed materials for a more dynamic and interesting look.

Why Do Homeowners Love Mid-Century Modern Design & Lighting?

Mid-century modern design and lighting are more popular now than in decades, so why do homeowners love them so much?

Timeless Quality

Many mid-century modern lighting and home pieces are popular because they’re well-made and feature a timeless design. They may be inspired by a different time, but their simplicity fits well in contemporary decor and home design.

Vintage mid-century modern decor pieces like custom handmade light fixtures bring more character and interest to a modern home design than a strictly contemporary piece.


Another reason so many people enjoy mid-century modern decor is that it reminds them of a different time. For the baby boomer homeowners, it’s a connection to their past and a reminder of the furniture and decor they grew up with.

Even generation X homeowners love mid-century modern because they recognize it from their parents and grandparents—even if they didn’t personally grow up with it.

New Generation of Mid-Century Lovers

Older homeowners may like the nostalgia factor of mid-century modern furniture, but more and more millennials—who were born long after mid-century modern’s heyday—are also embracing the classic vibe. Millennials see the influence that mid-century modern has on contemporary design, offering the best of both worlds with vintage character and current concepts.

Many millennials only have exposure to the design style through history books, TV shows, and movies. In fact, many credit the popularity of the TV show Mad Men for revitalizing mid-century modern design for a new generation of homeowners.

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