Mid-century modern style sees resurgence
In fashion, art and architecture, all that is old eventually becomes new again. Now appears to be the age when Mid-Century modern style - though it never really was out of vogue - is seeing renewed popularity. The buyer base for Mid-Century architecture may be broadening, and the demand for authentic period furnishings fetches top-dollar at auction and vintage specialty shops.
Greenwich Realtor Barbara Wells has her finger on the pulse of buying trends, including how contemporary and Mid-Century style appeals to today’s buyers.
“This style was first designed in the post-World War II housing boom, when for the first time on a large scale, homes were built on larger suburban lots, where architects had room to design one-floor and split-level homes, un-constricted by small urban lots,” the Houlihan Lawrence Realtor said.
“These homes were expansive, often had exterior glass walls to allow the natural surroundings to be a part of the open-concept living, and where the formal rooms were undivided,” Wells continued. “Today, many buyers leaving their urban homes and more traditional suburban homes appreciate the open feel and nature’s impact on the home’s interiors. Some buyers really love the nostalgic feeling of these older homes, which have been popularized by TV shows like Mad Men and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Wells is currently representing the seller of 261 Cognewaugh Road, a three-bedroom Mid-Century modern home built in 1960.
“This home is a classic example of Mid-Century modern, with expansive vaulted ceilings in the formal rooms - where the living and dining areas are illuminated by the natural light coming through a huge glass wall that embraces the property’s woodsy setting,” Wells said. “Form and function coalesce in this home’s design. The brick color on the fireplace, the patina of the blue and pink bathrooms, the original hanging light fixtures, the natural wood and simplistic kitchen cabinets, and the great rec room on the lower level are all signature elements of this architectural genre.” The 1.01-acre Cos Cob property is listed for $1.125 million.
Updated, yet authentic
The four-bedroom Mid-Century modern home at 34 Montgomery Lane, Greenwich, offers an example of how the quality and character of the style can be preserved, while still updating the home to live according to modern-day expectations. The 1.27-acre property is currently listed for $1.575 million. Steve Kane of Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent.
“This home possesses several elements that buyers of this type of home are looking for: high - ceilings over 10-feet in places - new large windows that really connect the inside with the beautiful wooded setting; a custom-built walnut kitchen, and a large exposed beam in the living room,” Kane said. “Add in the new white oak floors, with a natural-colored protective coating, all new contemporary baths, and a very wide-open floor plan, and this property nails it.”
Kane suggested that despite Mid-Century style being clearly defined, the aesthetic is somewhat timeless and enduring.
“Greenwich is well known for having many beautiful colonial homes, and for good reason,” Kane said. “However, many buyers prefer the Mid-Century appeal of high ceilings, lots of glass windows, with a connection to a natural setting outside. The furnishings are sleek, clean, with a lot of walnut, and people are drawn to this type of living. Keeping things clean, lean, with high ceilings - what’s not to like?”