Following the Second World War, from the middle 1940’s to the late 1960’s, a new style of home became popular, the Mid-Century Modern. Today, this style of home is still popular and sought after due to its minimalist look, yet still emphasizing functionality. Owning one of these homes is like living in a time capsule when a black and white TV, a new invention called the microwave oven, and Barbie dolls were the things to own.
Must Have Architectural Features to be Considered Mid-Century Modern
Understated and Geometric – No more overstuffed furniture and overfilled rooms. Clean lines, lots of windows (floor to ceiling preferably), and the use of natural materials. Even the home electronic components, like TVs, projectors, and sound systems must have a truly futuristic, uncluttered and sleek appearance.
Architecture – Lower rooflines, more open floor plans (in many cases dividers made of glass or brick instead of complete walls), lots of glass in windows, entrance doors that are somewhat recessed, and usually wider, single level ranch-style homes or homes that have site variations in levels (a few steps up or down). Exposed beams and honest structural components are also a popular feature of many mid-century modern homes.
Access to the Outdoors – Multiple access points to the outside, sometimes more than one door in a single room. Connecting with nature is an important aspect of the mid-century modern style. An abundance of glass helps blur the line between interior and exterior space.
An Organic Look – These homes often blend into their surroundings. They “fit” well whether in a desert environment (think Palm Springs), a forest, a cliff top or a hillside. But they don’t always have to, there are many neighborhoods in which the majority of homes are of the mid-century variety.
Which Groups Are the Premier Buyers of Mid-Century ModernHouses?
The Boomer Generation – 1944-1964
Believe it not, baby boomers are now looking to recapture the lifestyle they grew up with by moving back into mid-century modern homes like their parents owned. Part of “aging in place” means having the ability to move around without having to climb stairs. They are searching for basically single-level homes that are more conducive to the senior lifestyle that advanced aging requires.
Those features make mid-century modern homes more appealing to this generation. This trend of owning what you grew up with extends beyond just houses. Think of the restyling of new cars back to what they looked like when they were first seen in the 60’s and 70’s. Take a closer look at today’s Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, or Dodge Challenger. These sports cars closely resemble the sleek styling and distinct lines of the muscle cars of their youth. It only stands to reason that their homes also closely mimic the style they grew up with.
The Millennial Generation – 1977-1995
“Kids” of this generation are now reaching their prime earning years and are in the majority of today’s homebuyers. They see these mid-century modern homes as historic, unique, and cool. The things that boomers lived through are now beginning to be appreciated by Millennials; the popularity of things like jazz music, vinyl records, and modern art are re-emerging as this next generation gains the monetary ability to acquire them. And that includes these “architecturally significant” homes.
The fact is that this style of house is now becoming available as a new-built home. Builders are constructing new homes in the spirit of the ever so popular mid-century modern homes that have surged in popularity. There just aren't enough of the older mid-century modern homes for sale and purchasing one is often quite competitive.
Going, Going Gone!
If you own a true mid-century home and are considering selling it, don’t put it on the market until you are packed and ready to move. It will not be very long at all until your realtor is putting a sold sign in the front yard.