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mid-century bedroom

A Beginner’s Guide to Mid-Century Modern Bedrooms

Mid-century modern bedroom design isn’t just a passing trend. The mid-century design style was popularized during the 1940s and is still popular today. Defined by clean lines, organic forms, bold, primary colors, and high functionality, the style has a wonderfully timeless appeal. It’s also easy to work this style into interiors while blending it with a variety of other aesthetics!

It’s easy to list all the reasons to love mid-century design! However, coming up with mid-century modern bedroom ideas can be tough if you don’t know where to start. If you’re interested in incorporating a little retro style into your master bedroom, check out these 10 essential design tips!

mid-century bedroom

1. Opt for Foundational Furniture with Tapered Legs

Tapered legs are maybe the most pronounced feature of Mid-Century Modern era furniture. Incorporate this design element into your space through furniture that features round legs that get gradually thinner as they reach the floor. Finding pieces that show off tapered legs is one of the best ways to bring mid-century modern style to your home.

The delicate legs add simple elegance to more substantial foundational pieces, like a mid-century modern bed or modern bedroom sets. It’s also a great idea for small spaces because narrow legs create an open flow beneath furniture to give the illusion that you have more space than you do.

Bonus! Mid-century modern bedroom ideas featuring furniture with tapered legs make it easy to run the vacuum around the bedroom.

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mid-century bedroom

2. Mix up Your Materials

Mid-century modern bedroom design loves to play with a mix of materials. From the outset, mid-20th century designers were known for their use of new and innovative materials like fiberglass, molded plywood, and bent tubular steel.

To bring mid-century modern bedroom ideas to life today, get creative with modern design involving a variety of materials! This includes wood, leather, wool, woven jute or seagrass, and metals. The more materials you bring into your mid-century modern bedroom ideas the merrier! This also keeps your look dynamic and full of contrast—two key elements to any great mid-century modern bedroom design scheme.

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3. Pair Primary Colors with Neutrals

Primary colors are a definite hallmark of mid-century modern bedroom ideas. A Lot of mid-century design was about creating approachable spaces, and color was a key way they infused spaces with a sense of playfulness and joy. If you remember the popular TV show, Mad Men, all you have to do is imagine Don Draper’s living room to get a sense of how important color was to mid-century modern style.

When it comes to the mid-century modern design palette, think primary colors—aka yellows, reds, and blues. Earthy hues are also big in mid-century modern design. And don’t be afraid to modernize these bold shades with neutral color palettes—this can be a much easier palette to work within contemporary and modern design.

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4. Show off Natural Wood Tones

Natural wood finishes are also central to mid-century modern bedroom style. A big tenet of mid-century modern design was celebrating the natural beauty of materials, so this is a great jumping point for incorporating the look into your design.

Opt for furniture that shows off natural wood grain and stick to a single wood finish (all dark, acorn, or light) in mid-century modern bedroom ideas. Acorn is the top choice of mid-century modern bedroom design, but some of our favorite mid-century modern bedroom ideas include hardy woods such as Teak and Walnut. Pick the hue that best fits into your design plan!

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5. Play With Patterns

Patterns are an integral part of mid-century modern design and the style favors bold geometric, organic and abstract patterns. Go for bright colors w/ sharp contrast like this gorgeous boho mid-century master bedroom look!

Patterns bring a sense of life and interest to the simplicity and clean lines of mid-century modern style. Geometric wall art or patterned pillows/rugs are a great way to tie the look of a mid-century modern bedroom together.

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6. Think Function-First

The mid-century modern movement went big on form and FUNCTION. When designing a mid-century bedroom, make sure the design is as practical as it is stylish. It’s easy to add functional touches like closed storage nightstands, armoires or dressers. And benches are great for extra seating around a platform bed—they also make great spaces for laying out tomorrow’s clothes, taking off shoes, etc. Think about how you’ll use the space and create a mid-century modern bedroom design with function in mind!

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7. Take a Minimal Approach to Styling

Mid-century modern fully embraces the less is more philosophy—take a minimal approach to your surface styling so the sculptural forms and materials get a chance to shine. Uncluttered surfaces and clean lines are a good start for any mid-century modern bedroom! Then, remember to stick with a muted color palette—choose one or two colors for a minimal vibe.

This mid-century modern bedroom design features soft pops of pink and yellow to add warmth to the neutral palette. Plus, minimal styling is perfect for small mid-century modern bedrooms because it creates a sense of more space.

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8. Revel in Natural Texture

Mid-century architecture provides excellent inspiration for bedroom ideas! These spaces were designed to be streamlined and clean, in part to celebrate the natural beauty of their surroundings.

Mid-century modern design is no different! To make it work its full magic, let the outdoors come indoors by making use of natural light and letting it mingle with a bold wall color like this bedroom. Fill up your mid-century modern bedroom design with lots of natural textures, like these woven baskets and a jute rug.

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9. Opt for Organic and Geometric Forms

Mid-century modern design readily embraced both organic (rounded, often asymmetrical) and geometric forms to create spaces that were dynamic and inviting. Items like these gourd-shaped lamps were a staple of mid-century modern style!

The sunburst mirror is also a classic example of century modern design. And we love how the soft lines and organic shape of the headboard are juxtaposed with the sharp geometry of nightstands. The play of shapes in this room have a feminine mid-century design that would make Miss Masel jealous!

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10. Embrace Retro Shapes

Starbursts were a very popular accent during the peak of mid-century modern style—the classic shape above the headboard might look familiar to you. Have fun with fun retro shapes in your mid-century bedroom decor! We are into the way this retro mirror and lamps pair with the classic blue and white color scheme.

You can even pick a theme for your retro collection! But don’t get carried away—it’s starburst or boomerangs, but not both. A single mid-century bedroom shape or style feels more fresh and contemporary and you risk leaning too far into eclectic if you start combining too many. In this room, we played with starburst shapes in the mirror + lamps for awesome mid-century modern design with balance and composure.

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modern bedroom designs

7 Ways to Design a Modern Bedroom That’s Unique to You

modern bedroom designsIf you Google “modern bedroom designs” the results will show you tons of different styles. Modern is the term that gets most misused in the design world: modern vs. midcentury vs. contemporary vs. any other similar-sounding term… They are actually all very unique and it can get confusing if you want to stick to one look!

Modern is actually a distinct time period spanning from the early to mid-20th century. And while they sound similar, Mid-Century Modern is a completely different style that evolved out of modern style. Contemporary design refers to designs of the here and now—as a style itself, it’s difficult to define because current styles are ever-evolving!

Alas, this still doesn’t help you in your quest for a modern bedroom design, so we rounded up 7 examples of how a “modern” design might look today. Explore these options for modern bedroom designs and find the style that fits your tastes and personality.

modern bedroomThe Look: Mid-Century Modern

A lot of the time, when people say “modern,” they really mean “Mid-Century Modern.” This distinct style became fashionable after WWII and has had a resurgence in popularity thanks to shows like Mad Men and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 

The Key Elements

Mid-Century Modern style is a retro look characterized by bold, primary colors with earthy undertones. Natural woods are an important part of this look and the furniture typically features streamlined designs with organic shapes. With Mid-Century Modern, look for geometric patterns and tapered legs galore!

Perfect for…

This is great if you love your grandma’s authentic, retro style. Pure Mid-Century Modern is a nice mix of cool and comfortable and is definitely for those who want a distinctive aesthetic for their modern bedroom design.

The Look: Modern Industrial

This take Mid-Century Modern is industrial with a minimal edge. It immediately brings to mind loft spaces and big open studios.

The Key Elements

A modern industrial bedroom is all about sleek, streamlined forms. You won’t find any decorative frills here—the focus is on raw, industrial materials like metal, leather and stone. The grayscale color palette keeps everything cohesive and the individual furniture pieces have a sculptural quality that adds an artistic element. For a little added sophistication, you can punctuate the look with an iconic Mid-Century Modern piece like an Eames lounge chair.

Perfect For…

This look is great if you like a room with an edge, no color, and super sparse surfaces. If you’re a city-dweller who appreciates a sophisticated aesthetic, this clutter-free minimalist style might be just right. Neat freaks rejoice!

The Look: Modern Rustic

This look offers a trendy take on modern design. It’s warm and inviting, versatile and tres chic.

The Key Elements

For this look, think mid-century paired with boho and rustic design elements. It draws on Mid-Century Modern shapes for furniture and then pulls in rustic elements like organic patterns, natural materials, and layered textiles. This style loves an eclectic approach to styling and is all about mixing different materials and patterns.

Perfect for…

Anyone who is into boho styles and likes a cozy, layered room that’s also fun and playful.

modern bedroom designsThe Look: Organic Modernism

Another new approach to the mid-century modern design trend is Organic Modernism. This look blends mid-century forms and design principles with a softer, earthier side.

The Key Elements

Start with curved forms and paired down designs to create a serene space. The organic look is big on natural materials and minimal styling. A neutral color scheme will create balance and the soft textures keep it from feeling cold. Bring in a modern edge with a few pops of dark color for contrast.

Perfect for…

Those of you who love bringing in the outdoors but don’t love a lot of stuff. Organic modernism is great for finding the right balance between clean and cozy.

The Look: Eclectic Modern

Eclectic Modern is what happens when mid-century meets eclectic design. It’s an edgier look than modern rustic, and it’s big on personality! It’s a unique combination of styles that results in a bold and vibrant modern bedroom design.

The Key Elements

Start with a bold pop of color mixed with high-contrast neutrals. Then, incorporate a mix of materials, including woods, metal, jute, leather—the more, the merrier! It’s a very curated and collected vibe and it shows off the dweller’s life and personal tastes. Use pieces that have a story like artifacts, photos, and art from your personal collection. All of this adds to the individuality and variety of the look.

Perfect for…

Those of you who like to show off your personality! It’s a great way to show off a collection of art and objects from your travels through life.

modern bedroom designsThe Look: Modern Farmhouse

Part rustic, part mid-century, part Industrial—these are the forces behind the Modern Farmhouse look. This style was super trendy in 2019 and surges on in popularity this year! The style blends mid-century forms and colors with sleek shapes and a more rustic approach to materials.

The Key Elements

Sculptural, industrial light fixtures are central to this style. They pull other elements together for a polished, clean look that’s not too raw or old-fashioned. Use lots of rustic, rugged materials that show off their original use and weathered past (think wood with scuffs, leather with patina, etc.). The idea is to balance out the harshness of the Industrial look with warm, rustic and mid-century furnishings and accents to create a cool, airy feel.

Perfect for…

Those who like farmhouse spaces but also love mid-century style. This approach works beautifully for those who like cool, curated looks.

The Look: Earthy Modern

This is the look for those in need of some zen energy in their lives! It’s similar to organic mod but a little more earthy and less minimalist.

The Key Elements

Lots of natural materials and textures are the foundation of earthy modern bedroom designs. Go for a soothing color palette inspired by nature and clean-lined furniture with no frills. Get creative with your decor! Use abstract shapes and lots of curved and geometric forms and consider how to create balance with the individual elements. Be sure to keep this space all about clean, serene styling.

Perfect for…

Dwellers in need of a calming space to help you chill out.

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