Mad Men has taken our TV screens by storm and much has been made of the beautiful clothes and authentic styling deployed in the story of the 1960s ad men of Madison Avenue. But the real star of the show is the interiors, rather than the fashions. Viewers are coveting desk lamps, lampshades, plush velvet headboards and sleek office chairs as the period now dubbed mid-century vintage returns to vogue.
Many of the pieces in Don Draper’s office could just as easily be in your lounge at home – a neat summation of the convergence of work and home in design perhaps.
We’re all familiar with the rise of collaborative kitchen-table type spaces and soft furnishing breakout areas reflecting the changes in our working habits and styles today. But it seems Mad Men may have taken the first step. Don’s pitch meeting debriefs and copywriting brainstorms take place in low backed sofas, surrounded by dark wood sideboards, large table lamps and drinks cabinets. A more literal recreation of their homes perhaps, but the premise is the same. Work and home influencing each other is nothing new at all.
High end interior retailers have been attributing an increase in requests for 60s designer pieces by name, to the success of the show. It appears it’s prompted a design education and promoted a better, more authentic, understanding of the period’s style. But it raises questions too. How much of this is real or just media hype? Do we have a genuine love of 60’s bold and progressive design, or is it the functional truth of a decade that saw real civil and political change that has made this a hit show?
Maybe the answer doesn’t matter – fashions come and go after all. As season five unfolds, the Don Draper effect looks set to just keep going.
* Image to be found here.