Super in-depth Guide to Decorate Mid Century Modern

The mid-century modern design style emerged in the middle of the 20th century and is one of the most popular design styles in the world.

It was the design movement that brought modernity to the masses and even after 70 years continues to inspire designers to this day.

Mid-century modern introduced a completely new and radical way of designing living spaces promoting functional, open, and uncluttered interiors.

But mid-century modern is also much more than just a design style it represents breaking free from the oppressions of the world wars.

Rejecting stuffy traditions and embracing new and modern ways of life this beautiful streamlined aesthetic, actually has some of its roots in Germany’s Bauhaus style, it also has strong ties to Scandinavia.

Scandinavian design and American mid-century modern are actually very similar in style and that’s because they developed at the same time in history and the designers also heavily influenced each other.

True mid-century modern designs are timeless, which explains why so many pieces that were designed over 70 years ago today are still wildly popular and are still being manufactured and sold.

Today’s we’re going to look at how to bring the mid-century modern look into your home.

We’re going to explore what furniture to look, for when you’re shopping, what materials were popular, which colors are mid-century, and what color palettes to use, some iconic mid-century design pieces, and also where to shop. Let’s get started.

Furniture and decor for mid-century modern

The mid-century modern design style is characterized by clean lines, simple shapes, the use of new materials, and organic elements.

Because, mid-century is very much about functionality, there are little to no embellishments to be found designs were not only meant to be practical, and long-lasting.

They were also sculptural and beautiful to look, at it was truly the perfect marriage between form and function.

Sofas have clean sleek, straight lines, and are often elevated off the ground with tapered legs, the overall shape is usually pretty rectangular, common back styles include tight backs, and tufted backs.

You can make this type of sofa a little bit more cozy by using throw pillows to soften.

Chairs have many of the same characteristics that we mentioned for the sofas but you’ll see more of those organic curves introduced.

Mid-century Furniture often has angled legs, tapered peg legs, which sometimes have brass caps, or hairpin legs.

Solid wood is popular but also combinations like wood and marble, wood and glass, glossy plastic and metal, are all common mid-century looks.

As a general tip, If you deck out your whole room in mid-century modern pieces, the look might end up being a little overwhelming and you may get tired of it.

Of course, it’s your home so use as much or as little of the styles as you want but my personal recommendation would be to mix in.

Not more than a couple of pieces in a room, so that you leave space for your own personality to shine through in your home.

If you don’t want to invest in larger pieces of furniture, there are some smaller decor items that you can incorporate into your space to get the mid-century modern vibe.

mid-century modern vibe

Color palettes for mid-century modern

Popular mid-century colors include tones, like yellow gold, pumpkin orange, mustard, a variety of greens, like apple, olive, and avocado, warm Reds, earthy Browns, teal, and even some pastels, like light pink, and baby blue.

Today I think it’s fun to explore ways of bringing those colors into our homes in a more contemporary way, so here are some ways we can incorporate traditional mid-century colors into our 21st century settings.

If you’re not into the citrusy color pops, then try combining wood mid-century shaped furniture with colors and materials like leather, brass accents, soft greens, tans, and whites, for an earthy mid-century inspired room.

Bring it all to life with some fresh pops of greenery from outdoors, if you’re feeling daring create a neutral base and integrate them in century look into your home through a bright pop of color.

It’s not enough to just get any style furniture in a bright color though, in order to get an authentic look the shape of your furniture must be mid-century.

If you want to use a mix of traditional mid-century colors in your room but still keep things contemporary, another option is to keep to the jewel tones.

Try weaving in colors like emerald, and mold along with rich colors like sapphire, and mustard.

Popular materials for mid-century modern

After World War two traditional building materials were very scarce, so this actually led designers at the time to explore out of necessity.

The use of new materials, and new methods of construction, this led to the creation of beautiful organic shapes in new materials at the time, like fiberglass, plastic, and plywood.

What is a common element in mid-century modern design, and often functioned as a backdrop for the bold pops of color, the use of wood accents in mid-century home decor, comes from the Scandinavian influence, and their love for natural materials.

While thus candies kept things a little more rustic and natural, mid-century designs like to combine things like for example plastic and wood, for metal and wood.

This creates a lot of really interesting contrasting combinations of material.

Iconic design pieces for mid-century modern

Now I want to show you a few iconic mid-century design pieces, I’m sure you’re familiar with a ton of these, but I think it’s just interesting to see how these pieces were designed 60-70 years ago and they’re still so incredibly popular to this day.

  • womb-chair
  • eames-molded-plastic-chairs
  • nelson-bubble-lamp
  • tulip-table
  • diamond-chair
  • noguchi-table
  • eames-lounge-and-ottoman
  • wishbone-chair

Where to buy some materials for mid-century modern?

So Amazon has actually a really good selection of mid-century style pieces, I have put together a list of almost a hundred of my favorite pieces and I’ve linked it down below if you are interested in shopping mid-century on Amazon check out that list.

For lower budgets I would recommend IKEA, and also targe. Target has some pretty great mid-century style stuff for mid-range budgets I would look at article cb2, Wayfarer and all modern.

And for the higher-end budget people I would look at West Elm rejuvenation, and Design Within Reach, design within reach carry some of like the original designer pieces so you know George Nelson and Eames and the like so.

I would look there if you won’t like the real thing. Speaking of the real thing if you want to get actual vintage pieces on a budget, then of course look at your local thrift stores go to estate sales flea markets.

There’s still a pretty good selection of mid-century stuff, in the second-hand scene so I would definitely recommend scouring your second-hand shops for original pieces.

I used to live in London and I found a ton of mid-century stuff that I I really enjoyed like doing up. So that’s an option as well.

Get the look mid-century modern style

So if you’re looking for some specific ways to bring the mid-century style into your home, here’s a few ideas to get you going.

Add a bold mid-century accent piece

Add a bold mid-century accent piece

The first way is to use a bold accent piece, so instead of decking out your whole room, just get one piece and make it like a focal point in the room, and decorate around that.

Update your lightning fixtures

Update your lightning fixtures

Second would be to try updating your lighting fixtures, lighting can be a massive statement in a room so for a big impact you could try to acquire a mid-century style pendant light, or floor lamp and incorporate that into your space.

Create a wood panel accent wall

Create a wood panel accent wall

The third idea is to create a wood accent wall, as we’ve said before wood was very big in mid-century homes, so you could try making like a mid-tone too dark wood-panel wall in one of your rooms.

Add a graphic piece of art

Add a graphic piece of art

Number 4 add a bold graphic piece of art, whether you make it yourself or you buy, it is up to you there’s lots out there availabl.

Incorporate geometric elements

Incorporate geometric elements

Number 5 incorporate geometric elements, mid-century designs are known for their geometric forms which often repeat themselves into patterns, you could try incorporating that into some of your decor.

Remove your window treatments

Remove your window treatments

Lastly you could try removing your window treatments, mid-century homes were huge on using big picture windows, and glass and allowing a lot of light to spill into the home.

So what you could do is if you have big picture windows you could try removing your drapes, or blinds, to just let all the light in, of course that might be an issue for a privacy but it’s just an idea.

If it works for you you could give it a shot. Thank you for sharing your time with me I really hope you found this useful and interesting, if you did please don’t forget to Like and share and I will see you next time, thank you so much bye.

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