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We’ve been taking a long look at how American dudes and dads have come to embrace interior design over the years (centuries, actually), and today we’re ready to bring the saga up to date.
Yesterday, we ended with how the Great Depression and a couple World Wars put the kibosh on style development for many fellows who couldn’t find jobs, lost jobs or were lost to the campaign. But, from the ashes a Phoenix rises, and not even travesties like these can keep a good dad down.
Here’s what happened next.
Bohemian Freedom Meets Higher Ed (1970 – 2007)
The 50s and 60s were interior design juggernauts when compared to preceding decades thanks to the rise of a transitional style that combined classic and new contemporary modes, as well as international influences from Europe, Asia, Polynesia and South America.
The growing ranks of suburban dads ate it up, and the next generation, who would become Generation X, was even more design-savvy than their Baby Boomer parents.
These dads-to-be were traveling and learning more, and better salaries were transforming personal expression through design into a commodity, and a celebrated one at that. Keeping up with the Joneses became a sport for lots of new dads, and lightning-fast advances in communications technology fueled the flames.
Then the internet happened, and it changed everything.
The Internet, Reflection & Style Renaissance (2007 – Now)
The internet is the biggest, broadest double-edged sword the world has ever seen. It brings out the best and the worst, but we’re going to focus (mostly) on the best.
In the 50 years leading up to the current period, Boomers had it pretty good. Discretionary income surged and dads in every burb from Miami to Malibu suddenly had the time, money and appetite for interior design.
Contemporary style started to surge in the 80s, but within 20 years the internet did a good job of diluting it. Trends now come and go so fast it seems impossible to pin down a style period spanning years, much less decades.
We’re still technically in the Contemporary design period, but the average Millennial doesn’t care and no longer consciously responds to mass appeal, save to deride it. The internet shapes trends, but it can extinguish them just as quickly.
Above all else, it has burst wide the doors to personal expression and individualism to create a Style Renaissance driven by hyper-personalized taste. So, what does that mean for the Dad of Today?
The same as it did for his dad before him – his style is unique, even if it’s awful. Happy Father’s Day, dads.