It’s been a year since a new episode of Mad Men has aired on AMC — and with the season five premiere scheduled for 2012, many fans of the series are going through withdrawal. Celebrate the upcoming season by incorporating elements from the 1960s-set television series into your interior design.
Also known as mid-century modern, the 1960s-inspired sets of Mad Men feature furniture with sleek lines and geometric shapes — but don’t go completely boxy with your design. Designers of the era relied heavily on angles to achieve a modern look, but they often softened the sharpness by incorporating curves.
1960s designers Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobsen did so by taking inspiration from organic shapes like the tulip and the egg. But furniture from the era wasn’t completely devoid of ornamentation — many pieces had symmetrical tufted buttons or graphic woodwork incorporated into their designs.
Simplicity and symmetry are key when incorporating the early ’60s into your living space. And remember the minimalist mindset — less is more.
Brazen color palettes
Most modern color palettes were much more vibrant than the monochromatic black and white in Roger Sterling’s office. From the primary-colored front lobby furniture in the new offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to the many burnt-orange sofas featured in the series, the Mad Men sets show off how fearless designers in the ’60s were with their use of bright colors.
Vibrant hues were no longer reserved for floral arrangements or small accessories — the ’60s were all about incorporating bright colors in a bold way. Harness the vibrant hues of the era by painting one wall as a focal point or by upholstering large furniture items in a brilliant blue or fiery red.
Frisky patterns and enticing textiles
Designers in the 1960s weren’t just brazen with their color choices — they went mad with pattern as well. The graphic print on Betty Draper’s living room chairs is a classic example of a mid-century modern textile, with its sharp contrasts and repeated patterns. However, the ’60s didn’t abandon Mother Nature completely.
While black lacquer, white leather and polished chrome were the standout textiles of the era, exposed wood grain was also heavily used. Many designers softened modern lines with natural wood textures, as evident in Don Draper’s office furniture. Mother Nature also showed up in prints like the star and flower patterns popular in the day — but the nature-based patterns were given the modern ’60s twist.
Add the outdoors to your ’60s-style interior by incorporating wood accent tables with simple, modern lines and accent pillows with geometric prints.
Most people collect their belongings over an extended period of time, leading to interior design that features pieces from multiple decades. To prevent the sets from looking too stylized and fake, Mad Men‘s decorators incorporated items from the 1940s and ’50s into their sets as well.
Keep your interior from looking over-styled by picking up a few vintage items to incorporate into your Mad Men-inspired interior. Search flea markets and antique stores for pieces like a 1950s console television with a wood casing that can serve as an end table and a conversation piece.