The season finale of Mad Men brought in over 3.3 million viewers. I think you know as well as I do that the show Mad Men did a lot of things right. One of those things included some of the coolest vintage office stage-design on television.
Have you ever wondered if you could pull off a Don Draper office? Are you into the old fashioned office aesthetic but you don’t know where to start?
If you want your office to keep an iconic look that stuns colleagues and friends alike, it’s time you learned about the tips behind the vision. Keep reading for tips that bring you a fantastic Mad Men style.
1. Modern and Pop
Roger Sterling was all about the op art wave. His design required cohesion among colors and versatility among shapes. For example, Sterling used a lot of small all white-glossed tables and chairs for an abstract yet sleek style.
If you want the Roger Sterling appearance, you can try doing some personal research on op art, maybe buy a few Saarinen stools. For context, op art was popularized in the ’60s, intended as a style that conveys movement and focus.
Before the world started introducing high-beam fluorescent lights, we relied on lamps and European-inspired lighting. Mad Men is based on the mid-century modern era of culture and design in the U.S. Lighting elements at the time were made of early plastic, wood, and different soft metals.
If you want to replicate the feeling of the show’s lighting, you can shop exclusively for Scandinavian and Northern-European designs. Try adjusting your search-filters to those regions from the late-’50s to the early ’70s.
3. Color and Design
Let’s start with Don’s office. You’ll notice his space is comprised of many dark browns and some light red accents. When you’re trying to repeat his office, you should make an Eames chair the focal point. This centers the eye to one ordered point of both color and shape.
The overall design of Don’s office is simple, minimal, and masculine. You’ll notice many basic mid-century modern forms, including many hard solid shapes. Try doing a search for business-centric design for the era if you want to go further.
4. Plant Life
Mad Men takes place in an interesting era where people are starting to take risks in mixing styles. Before the show’s era, many offices lacked greenery and proper outdoor appeal. If you’re trying to replicate the show, try adding green shaded plants to your window sill.
Minimalism marked some character’s offices (Sterling doesn’t apply) and especially the interns. Here are some ways to get to a minimalist state with your space:
- Try making a clear inventory of all the items that you have
- Use a style-guide as reference for the way you want to filter through your items
- Find a safe place to store all of your office-materials before moving forward
- Go through and get rid of the items that aren’t vital to your aesthetic
- Finally, try adding only the things that have a function or minimalist functional value
Minimalism basically asks you to get rid of all the items you have that don’t add function to your space. However, if you want a minimalist Mad Men style, you can try adding 50’s desks and chairs that limit their total number of accents.
6. Vintage Bars and Tables
Mad Men was full of bar carts and other office gear for keeping around whiskey and scotch. Unlike a cooler (used for more specific selections) you can leave most alcohol out on vintage carts and racks.
Things like portable pubs, ’50s racks, and metal upper cabinets are all things you should add to your list. When you’re trying to figure out the items you need to keep your drinks safe, make sure to look for portable bars that don’t risk breakage.
When it comes to tables, try keeping your designs down to the Europeans again. The mid-century-look specialized in mixing frescos with common planes, unique shapes to coffee tables, and more. You can find many designs such as those by Arthur Umanoff that touch on this.
7. Couch Design and Position
Again, when you’re filtering out other designs with a mid-century modern appearance. When you’re looking for furniture that looks like the show, try keeping it to the place where abstract and modern meet in the middle. Chelsea sofas and grand sofas come awfully close to the shows look.
Here’s another pointer. Your cushions and fabrics don’t have to experiment with odd-symmetry and color, but the legs of your furniture can. For example, diagonal feet and legs are a go-to for the design of that era.
In short, you need to keep your eyes on anything vaguely-European and bordering on the abstract. These two categorized will help you arrive at the crossroads of modern-comfort and mid-century experimentation.
Make A Vintage Office A Thing to Remember
If advertising is based on happiness, then memorable decor is based on iconic inspiration. You want one thing and that’s a vintage office that has a timeless appeal. It’s no wonder that Mad Men lasted in the minds of so many people.
What steps will you take to make your office remembered? You can start by using your newfound research to bring your space to the next level.
After reading this article you’ve learned about the style behind the show. Now it’s time you learned about the right lifestyle choices to practice in the space of your dreams. Don’t wait for nice things to pass you by, start reading the stuff that makes you thrilled!