Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by bethrmartin
The sleek silhouettes, mod hues, and stylish furniture that define mid-century modern design continue to reign supreme in the world of decor. Though this trend may have originated nearly a century ago, it continues to be a major influence in the world of interior design to this day.
This guide will help you add mid-century style to your home decor, regardless of your budget or personal taste. From expert advice on selecting mid-century modern furniture to suggestions for adorning your space, we have everything you need to know to achieve the perfect look.
So fix yourself a lovely martini and prepare to discover the Palm Springs aesthetic!
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What Is Mid-Century Modern Style?
Mid-Century Modern is a design movement known for its streamlined forms emphasizing practicality. It emerged during the middle of the 20th century and revolutionized the design industry.
It combined traditional craftsmanship with modern technology, often featuring bold geometric shapes, natural materials, and a mix of different textures.
Its timeless style brings a sense of elegance and sophistication to any space, whether in the form of a sleek piece of furniture or an entire room’s decor.
A Quick History of Mid-Century Modern Design
Mid-Century Modern design emerged in the 1930s and gained popularity in the 1940s and 1950s. It was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus design movement, which emphasized the perfect balance of form and function in architecture and design.
The war effort played a role, too, as materials were scarce, and people had to be mindful of their purchases, which led to an emphasis on simplicity, sleek lines, and efficient use of space. World War II also led to the invention of many new materials and the ability of mass production techniques in furniture and building.
This design aesthetic was embraced by architects, designers, and manufacturers all around the world, with notable figures such as Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Eero Saarinen leading the way with their innovative use of new materials like plastic and plywood to create a fresh new look in furniture and architecture.
It truly took off in America, thanks to the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and many other notable figures of the time. It gave way to a wave of new and exciting design and architecture that had a lasting impact on the industry and continues to inspire us even today.
7 Mid-Century Modern Style Ideas For Your Home
1. Shop Vintage
Going for the vintage look in your home is an adventurous way to change the atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a thrift shop bargain or a timeless classic at an antique store, adding furniture with charm, patina and history is an investment that will add character to your decor.
There’s something special about bringing old-world beauty into your home. These items not only look beautiful but also come with their own backstory. Start searching today and create a space that celebrates eclectic design.
Be bold and use a piece of furniture in a way other than it was initially intended. Dressers make fabulous sideboards, and record player stands make great end tables. Think outside the box!
The clean lines of mid-century modern furniture design seamlessly pair with many decor styles. So whether you live in a quintessential 1960s ranch or want to add some mod flair to your home decor, this design style is an easy purchase.
2. Limit Your Color Palette
When it comes to mid-century modern design, a neutral color palette is key. Try limiting your color palette to a few neutral hues for an airy and contemporary look.
By sticking to an intentional selection of colors, you can ensure that even small details come together in a uniquely harmonious way. Think earthy tones like beige, taupe, and crisp whites. These colors create a clean and sophisticated look while also allowing for a pop of color through accents and accessories.
In addition to being visually pleasing, a neutral color palette makes a space feel more open, which is perfect for the minimalist aesthetic of a mid-century modern design. So, whether you’re looking to update your living room or bedroom, consider a neutral color palette for a timeless and chic look.
3. Geometric Patterns
Whether you’re looking to incorporate a touch of Mid-Century Modern into your home decor or fully embrace the style, including geometric patterns is a beautiful way to bring a bit of that aesthetic into your life. Graphic prints can be incorporated in many ways, and these bold shapes can still feel current if styled correctly.
Geometric wallpaper adds eye-catching texture, color, and interest to any room. If a full geometric room is too much for you, then opting for accent walls in key spaces will be just as impactful.
Consider your wall decor for a fantastic budget to incorporate mod patterns. Vintage mid-century modern fabric can be found on places like eBay and Etsy. This can easily be stretched and hung like wall art for a small price and minimal fuss.
4. Bright Hues Make A Statement
In the world of mid-century modern decor, a splash of color here and there is the perfect way to add some visual interest and break up the monotony of a primarily neutral color palette. The use of bold, bright colors is a signature aspect of the mid-century aesthetic and can create a lively and energetic atmosphere.
These pops of color are often incorporated in accent pieces such as a front door, furniture, artwork, or textiles and can add a playful or whimsical touch to a room.
The Bauhaus movement also greatly influenced the use of color in mid-century design, emphasizing color to create a sense of harmony in a space.
5. Focus On Nature
Blurring the lines between indoors and nature is a key concept of mid-century design. Floor-to-ceiling windows and incorporating natural materials into your designs add a unique richness that feels MCM yet timeless.
You don’t have to change your windows to get this look. Focus on natural materials like stone and wood to create an aesthetic with rich texture. Let these materials shine, and you can feel like you’re returning to the basics of nature while adding a contemporary touch to any room.
Incorporate plants into your home wherever you can. Not only will greenery offset the minimalistic look of mid-century modern design, but it also adds a touch of comfort and chicness to any space.
And speaking of minimalism…
6. Minimal Ornamentation Is King
Embracing minimalism in interior design can be both calming and visually stimulating. Less really can be more.
Choose key pieces of furniture and decor that have value and meaning, whether a vibrant painting or a sculptural chair. With fewer things around, you can truly appreciate the items you have, from the decor on your walls to the cushions on your sofa.
Simplicity will bring out your personality and make your home stand out from the rest.
7. Iconic Furniture Is Functional And Stylish
It’s almost hard to believe how many exemplary and timeless pieces of furniture were designed during this movement. Furniture designers thrived with so many new materials, and these designs are still very loved today.
Items such as the Eames Lounge Chair, the Noguchi coffee table, and the Saarinen tulip table are visually stunning and stand the test of time in terms of style and quality. These iconic pieces are sure to add a touch of sophistication to any room.
But don’t feel you need to spend a ton of money on an original piece of furniture to get the right look. Shop vintage, or look for furniture with the same spirit as the originals. Either way, these designs are icons for a reason!
There’s no better way to express your personal style than through your home decor. With just a few tips and tricks, you can easily create a vintage mid-century modern look in your home that is both timeless and inviting.
From thrifting furniture to incorporating mod patterns, it’s possible to combine old with new to obtain an aesthetic that maximizes all design elements.
While modern-day trends come and go, classic designs are timeless and sure to be enjoyed by generations to come. So don’t let the fear of adding something ‘too old’ hold you back!
Find a few items you love and see where your creativity takes you – trust us, you won’t regret it.