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Mid-Century is back with a Luxury Bent

Furniture designer Joybird brings color, customization, and modernity to the field.

One trend in furnishing that has shown no sign of slowing down? The reinvention of mid-century modern design. And one brand, in particular, that has a finger on the pulse of this particularly hot trend is Joybird, a company that was established in 2014 by Alex Del Toro, Andres Hinostroza, Joshua Stellin, and Christopher Stormer. 

Customizable, comfortable, and — this is key — colorful furniture is ordered directly from Joybird via the company’s website. Color swatches (fabrics come in a veritable rainbow of colors and materials) can also be ordered in advance. Come for the consoles, stay for the sofas, which are available in well over 25 different styles, and countless configurations. “At the time, there were very few direct-to-consumer furniture brands,” says Gifty Walker, Director of Merchandising and Sourcing at Joybird. “The idea was to offer furniture that felt unique, with varying levels of customization.” 

The founding team, Walker says, “loved the vibrant colors that were so prominent during the mid-1900s,” and looked to lean into those colors “during a time where many online retailers were promoting more neutral options.” The brand’s success has dovetailed with other trends in furniture and home décor: a move away from white, gray, and black; a reliance upon statement pieces and customization; and a full-throated investment in color and texture. 

The brand’s most popular design to date, Walker says, is the Soto apartment chair, which was inspired by the iconic 1960s-era Z chair. “Since Joybird started,” Walker says, “the Soto chair has been our number one-selling chair, and we see it both in homes that are exclusively mid-century modern and homes that have more of an updated, modern aesthetic.” The chair, Walker says, has a cross-appeal that, notably, checks numerous boxes. “It’s just that chair that works no matter where it is.” 

Although Joybird’s broad portfolio — which also includes lamps, rugs, bedframes, and dining sets — does follow the broad strokes of mid-century design, Walker says that the brand’s appeal is timeless. “The silhouettes offer clean lines with details that work well with other styles and can serve as an accent or conversation piece in a room setting,” Walker says. “Customers like the thought of owning something that will garner attention but also work throughout the years, as trends continue to evolve.” 

In a year of furniture mishaps — delayed deliveries, limitless backorders — Joybird does seem to have their system down to a science. Despite the fact that pieces are often made-to-order, production is running smoothly, with couches shipping roughly two to three months after they have been ordered, a far cry from the five-, six-, and 12-month delays that some larger brands have experienced since the start of the pandemic. 

“Our agile manufacturing team really has been able to step up to the plate and deliver for our customers,” Walker says. “One big advantage is that we do our manufacturing in North America. With consistent rises in demand, we increased capacity at our factory, along with being able to retain our staff and train new team members.” 

With options galore and lightning-fast turnaround time, Joybird is modern luxury with a hint of the past. As Walker says, the brand is “bold, unique, and always willing to take chances.” The good news? Whatever your style, there’s a color and a fabric for that.