A Look Inside Roger Sterling’s Office
Some recent binge-watching of the Mad Men tv series inspired this post. Another foray into Roger Sterling’s office, a study in mid-century modern period design. And why not? Set decorator Claudette Didul populated it with all the finest components of the time period: the Saarinen tulip tables and stools, a Nesso mushroom lamp, a Volther Corona chair, arc floor lamp, the Le Corbusier chaise, etc., etc. This room has it all. (Interior design students, N.B.) And how about that fabulous, steel and glass bar cart?
Mad Men TV Series Reintroduces Mid-Century Modern To The Masses
Well-curated gatherings of 1960’s period classics like Roger Sterling’s office are a rare sight in the mainstream. During the last quarter of the 20th century, mid-century modern, with very few exceptions, was considered bad design, even embarrassing.
Fast-forward to today and the style has found new appreciation and become highly coveted. It’s hard to remember when a style has swung so sharply from liked, to disliked, to beloved.
In the interest of perspective, let’s remember there’s good and bad in every design style. The color schemes of this period basically had two gears: drab earth tones or loud pastels. Depressed or bombarded, take your pick. This interaction with the observer monopolized all the attention, often dwarfing the great design. It made the style points easy to dismiss.
The Mad Men series has proven itself as a fine interpretative chronicle of a period in American design history. When it originally aired, the art and furnishings of Roger’s office caused quite a stir, as did the show’s other sets and rightfully so. The show’s set designs play as important a role in the story as the human actors. Feature stories in publications like Interior Design magazine and the New York Times’ Style section and many others have showcased these interiors repeatedly.
There’s little doubt Roger Sterling’s office was destined for cult status among design geeks. Much like the program itself — it will always deserve another look.