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Brand Spotlight: Meet Joybird

We’re constantly growing our Modsy Catalog and adding amazing new finds from the best retailers, budding designers, and hard-to-find brands across the country. Here, in our brand spotlight series, you’ll get to learn more about the Modsy brands you find our 3D designs, why we love them and some of our favorite pieces to use in your home

Up next: Meet Joybird!

Joybird furniture

Meet The Brand

Joybird is a young brand that offers a refreshed and energized take on classic Mid-Century Modern furniture that’s perfect for any contemporary, modern-eclectic interior.

While Joybird furniture references vintage Mid-Century shapes and forms, they’re built for today’s home and designed to last for decades. Joybird also sells curated decor and accents to compliment their furniture collections, so you’ll find everything to design your entire home.

What They’re Known For

Mid-century modern furniture refreshed for today! Joybird also offers bright, bold upholstery that you can customize in any of their hundreds of patterns and color fabrics, including pet and kid-friendly options. You can also count on Joybird furniture to have timely delivery because many of their staple pieces are often ready-to-ship.

Why We Love Them

Joybird furniture is all custom made by craftsmen to the specs you want, which means their pieces are always high quality and guaranteed to last you for years to come (they offer lifetime warranty on all their furniture!).

In addition to their impeccably made Mid-Century modern-style furniture, Joybird is also committed to sustainable practices, using eco-friendly fibers and foam in their upholstery. It’s easy to see why their customers leave rave Joybird reviews!

Our Stylists’ Picks From Joybird

Joybird furniture

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Hopson Sectional: This Joybird sectional is a practical investment piece for a wide range of different spaces, and its reversible chaise lets you arrange it to fit your specific needs. The low profile and deep seat make it a comfy seat that accommodates many people for lounging, while the neutral upholstery makes this a versatile sectional to pair with many different color schemes.

If you’re trying to decide whether a sectional is for you, get some inspo from our living room design ideas!

Joybird furniture

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Elliot Chair: A wide and deep club chair that’s designed for hours of lounging, you can place a pair of these seats in any living room corner to create an instant conversation spot. The back cushion tufting and tapered wood legs give the chairs a Mid-century Modern look, and the streamlined silhouette will look especially great with any of Joybird’s neutral upholstery fabrics.

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Hughes Sofa: With its classic Mid-century shape, flared arms, and rounded back, this Joybird sofa is a contemporary statement piece in any living room, bedroom, or family media room. It feels tailored yet still has casual, playful appeal, and opting for this royal blush pink upholstery will give it a bold and fun pop. If you’re looking for a Joybird couch that goes with neutrals and darker colors, this is the perfect piece for a style that’s both captivating and easy on the eyes.

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Soto Rocking Chair: This fresh take on a classic rocking chair features an angular design that’s perfect for a nursery or kids room. Similar to other Joybird furniture, it has a minimal and modern shape that’s easy to pair with other clean-lined pieces. Play up the warm wood tone of the chair frame with brightly colored seat cushions that add an eclectic pop.

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Bradshaw Chair: These Mid-century Modern-style armchairs rank high on our list of Joybird furniture must-haves. Made with warm natural wood, the sloped-arm and open frame design gives the chair an airy and approachable look and feel. Pair it with a bright and bold seat cushion color to inject instant zest and style into a living room, office, or bedroom.

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Hughes Bed: This tufted and streamline bed offers a fresh take on Mid-century style that’s perfect for today’s bedroom. The raised wood base and tapered legs add warmth to the cozy upholstered bed. Try a sumptuous gray upholstery fabric for a neutral that makes the bed a versatile foundation you can easily layer with a wide range of bright and soft colors.

Levi Chair: For a comfy reading chair you can sink into (and even nap in!), this deep seat with a slightly reclined back is the perfect stylish option. It has Mid-century clean lines but works beautifully in transitional, contemporary, and modern interiors. Opt for a bold color upholstery to set it apart from the rest of your furniture in a room.

Joybird furniture

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Jolie Accent Chair: Featuring a stunning curved silhouette and a cantilever seat design, this accent chair is made to be used in multiples—be it a pair in an office or a set around a dining table. The full barrel seat hugs and provides comfortable support for hours, while the open brass base offers tons of leg room below. Opt for bright velvet upholstery for an added touch of bold texture and glam style.

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Eliot Sofa: This timeless Joybird sofa is an extra-elegant statement piece when upholstered in a bold-hued leather. The modern rectilinear design makes it an instant focal point in any living space, and tufting detail will give it a super tailored and elevated look. Float the sofa in an open living space or set it against a bare while wall to give it centerstage in a room.

Joybird furniture

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Camille Bed: Nothing adds warmth and cozy vibes to a bedroom like a fully upholstered bed. With its deep panel tufting, this bed exudes Art Deco flair but has a modern elegance that makes it perfect for any bedroom or guest room in today’s home. We love it in a soft playful pink upholstery to give it a tailored yet tasteful and romantic feel.

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Zavier Desk: Love the Mid-century Mad Men vibe? This executive-style desk nails the look with its angular design and sculptural base with a center cutout. It comes with a large table surface for doing serious work while drawers on both sides of the desk add practical storage. If you’re looking for a modern desk that’s practical but still has tons of personality, this one has it all.

Joybird furniture

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Butler Console: Sophisticated, modern, and functional, this low-profile console cabinet adds instant streamlined style to any space while providing tons of practical storage. The dark-wood finish makes it versatile for both casual and formal spaces, andthe tapered legs keep it from appearing too bulky in rooms. Use it as a catchall and display in an entry, a TV stand in the living room, or a bar cabinet in a dining space.

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Hudson Coffee Table: Joybird furniture is known for their pieces designed for small-space living, and this stunning round coffee table is the perfect piece for apartments and compact living rooms. It has a very sculptural and design-forward look, and the natural raw wood pairs seamlessly with furnishings in different styles, from eclectic to rustic to contemporary.

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Blythe Dresser: This large dresser provides tons of storage in a room without appearing bulky thanks to its tall-standing brass legs and clean lines. The two-tone white lacquer and walnut wood combination gives this dresser a modern and trendy look that stands out no matter where it’s placed, whether in the living room or bedroom.

Joybird furniture

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Lonny Rug: Woven with a bright, colorful zigzag pattern, this geometric rug adds bold style from the ground up. It’s the perfect addition to a neutral bedroom, alongside other Mid-century style Joybird furniture pieces, or as a pop of color to offset white furnishings. Try anchoring an office or kids room with this rug for a bright foundation you can easily decorate on top of.

Get inspiration for Mid-century modern interior design!

Try on Joybird furniture in your home

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My Modsy Story: Rediscovering My Old Self With a New Design

When her two eldest children left the nest Lisa decided she wanted a fresh design for her space with ties to her past. Using Modsy she was able to bring the old and new together.

Customer home makeover

 

Homeowner: Lisa H.

Spaces: Living Room and Office

Her Style: Mod Collector

Customer home makeoverThe Backstory

Lisa and her husband were living with the furniture they bought when they moved into their house 18 years ago. After raising three kids in that home, their furniture was a bit worn, to say the least. When two of her kids moved out of the house this past year, Lisa decided it was time to freshen up the living room and turn one of the kid’s bedrooms into her office.

“When we first moved into our house, we had two little kids and just wanted something sturdy—the furniture was just about function. By the time they moved out, I was sick of our space, and I actually started looking at new houses online. But then I was like—I don’t need to move, I just need to re-decorate!”

“By the time the kids moved, I was sick of our space, and I actually started looking at new houses online. But then I was like—I don’t need to move, I just need to re-decorate!” 

Customer home makeover

The Design Dilemma

Knowing she wanted a fresh, more grown-up space for her husband and herself, Lisa was ready for a brand new style. But, she didn’t know what that style should be or how to source new furniture that would fit with the pieces she wanted to keep.

Customer home makeover

“I had no idea what my style was. This space had been about our kids—but with two of them grown and one teenager, we decided it was time to make our space feel more adult. I knew I’d be spending money on furniture, and I wanted to foolproof that investment to make sure I was buying the right items. I just wanted extra guidance for the process. Since I wasn’t sure how to pull it off on my own, I decided to try Modsy.”

Customer home makeover

The Modsy Moment

Using Modsy, Lisa worked one-on-one with a designer who helped her find furniture that fit perfectly with the items she wanted to keep in her home—like a Korean cabinet and some artwork from her grandmother. Lisa’s Modsy designer managed to create a new design that felt both fresh and personal.

Customer home makeover

“When I opened up my designs, I was stunned. They were nothing near what I expected, but totally perfect. My designer did a great job of seamlessly integrating my belongings into the design. She took my valued items, all cherished but stylistically disparate, and merged them together in a way that looked cohesive with the new furniture.”

Customer home makeover

“My designer even incorporated my love of travel photography into the designs and selected artwork that reflected that interest.”

“My designer even incorporated my love of travel photography into the designs and selected artwork that reflected that interest. The art she chose actually inspired me to go back into my own travel photography archives and find meaningful photos to hang in my office space. The whole Modsy experience helped me tap into my own creativity and bring more of my own vision and personality into my living room and office design. I literally bought everything I needed for the space in a single day! “

Customer home makeover

 

“The whole Modsy experience helped me tap into my own creativity and bring more of my own vision and personality into my living room and office design. I literally bought everything I needed for the space in a single day!”

Customer home makeover

Customer home makeover

The Real Results

Before using Modsy, Lisa never spent much time in the living room and never had a dedicated space to call her own. Now that the living room is redesigned, Lisa finds herself relaxing in it constantly. As for the office, she couldn’t be happier to have a space that reflects her style and interests.

“Both of these spaces are everything I hoped for and more. The living room is so nice now. I love how we got our grown-up space that ties together the old and the new in a meaningful and pleasing way. And I absolutely love my office. It’s the first time I’ve had my very own space in this house. Before, I was taking Zoom calls from the bar counter in the dining room. Now, I have a dedicated workspace that’s also home to my personal interests. It’s so much MY space. My sewing machine, knitting projects, books, and travel photos all have a home in this room. After so many years of our home being geared toward our kids, who I adore, it feels special to have a space that’s all my own.”

Customer home makeover

Customer home makeover

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Everything You Need to Know About Designing With Antiques in Modern Spaces

We’ve got some news: antiques are rising in popularity. Mid-century modern has been the trendy, vintage-inspired style on the block for a long time. But recently, traditional design has been re-entering the spotlight, as more people are looking for comfort in the familiar. And, along with a resurgence of traditional design has come a renewed interest in antique furniture!

So many people have antique furniture passed down to them and have no idea how to incorporate pieces into their homes. So they put them in the garage to collect dust. Or they place them in a random corner of the house, hoping nobody will notice how out of place it looks. But we say it’s time to embrace—and perhaps even seek out—antique furniture in your home! They add story and character to your home, plus give you something unique that you can’t just go out and buy from any old store!

Aside from being a unique piece of furniture, antiques also have a sustainability component that resonates with a lot of people. Since these pieces have already been produced and are still in use, they have a much smaller carbon footprint than brand-new furniture. And they also tend to be more affordable than a lot of new furniture. Of course, it depends on the piece, but in general, since antiques are less popular, prices are lower. And, considering the age of antique furniture, you can feel confident in the quality with which they were made. These are pieces you wont’ need to replace in a few years, which adds to antique furniture’s element of sustainability.

Want to learn more about antiques? Get the scoop on why antiques are making a comeback with Modsy’s podcast, The Render. Listen here.

For reference, antiques are generally defined as objects 100 years old, or older. Meanwhile, anything more than 20 years old is considered vintage. But decorating and designing your home with antique and vintage pieces alike are all about adding storied furniture and objects into your home, blending old-world design with the new and modern.

Ok, so maybe we’ve now convinced you of the glories of decorating with antiques. Yay! But now you’re probably wondering: How do I actually do it?? How do you bring old pieces into a modern home without things looking museum-like or wildly mis-matched? Trust us, just because you like antiques doesn’t mean you have to go full-throttle Emily Gilmore in your decor. There are so many ways to incorporate antique pieces into more modern or contemporary spaces. Our Modsy designers can help you figure out how to incorporate specific antique pieces into your home’s design. But you can also keep reading for examples of interior design with antique furniture in modern spaces, along with tips for decorating with antique furniture!

Layer Antiques With Contemporary Decor

One of the more interesting and eclectic ways to incorporate antiques into your home? Mixing them with contemporary decor. By layering multiple styles together, you create a mix that feels unique and where you almost lose track of what’s new and what’s not. It helps create a look of a home that’s collected over time, versus something cookie-cutter that came straight out of a catalogue.

In this room, the dresser is the piece of antique furniture—but both the bench and the bed maintain a contemporary traditional flair. Brand-new dressers can be quite an investment, so we love the idea of using an antique dresser—whether one that was handed down to you or that you bought second-hand—to save money without skimping on style. The gallery wall above the dresser, along with the bold stripes of the bench, helps add to that “collected” vibe. We used blue throughout, which is a good color to help balance out the red undertones of the wood finish. In contrast, we used the traditional-patterned rug to help tie in those undertones.

Pro Tip:

Many people are tempted to paint antique and vintage pieces. And while that can sometimes work, in a piece like this, where there’s so much beauty in the natural wood grain, we recommend leaving it. However, if you come across an antique that has good bones but is pretty beat up, you can always strip and sand the existing stain, then refinish it with a fresh coat of stain.

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Make A Statement

Sometimes you find a piece of antique furniture that’s such a show-stopper, you have to use it as the centerpiece of your space. There’s no blending it in—it needs to make a statement. That’s how we felt with this classic buffet table. The two-tone, high-gloss finish feels bold in a modern home, even more so when you consider its Victorian style, with ornate touches and carved details. It has a very regal vibe, and the height of the legs help this piece feel special and the space feel larger.

But even statement pieces have to go with the design of the rest of the room. In this case, we placed the buffet in the dining room, alongside a modern marble table and upholstered dining chairs. The sleek forms of both balance out the ornateness of the buffet.

But you could also go for asymmetrical styling, which we did here, which gives it more of an informal vibe and leans slightly into the eclectic. The leaning art and modern sculpture on the buffet supports this informal vibe.

Pro Tip:

A reddish wood tone like this piece—which shows up in a lot of antique furniture—can be hard to match with other wood furniture. So, we’d recommend not having a lot of other wood tones in a space where you’re featuring a piece like this buffet. But if you do incorporate other wood tones, keep them light. Otherwise, just mix in other natural materials for added depth. We love the mix of the red, high-gloss wood with a marble dining table; in both cases, the material of the tables themselves are the ornamentation, so you can keep things pretty simple in the rest of the room.

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Use Antiques As Accent Pieces

Antiques don’t always have to be statement pieces. Sometimes incorporating antique furniture as a subtle accent is just the thing. Above, we’re using an antique trunk as a coffee table. And a coffee table with built-in storage, no less! The room, as a whole, is a mix of modern and traditional lines, so this trunk blends in quite naturally.

However, to make sure it still stands out a bit, we contrasted the dark finish of the trunk with a light sofa. We also chose pieces throughout the room that would help highlight the color tones of the wood—specifically, the rust red from the rug helps pull out the weathered warmth from the piece. We also incorporated natural textures throughout the room to complement the weathered wood finish.

History Lesson:

Using an antique in a high-traffic area may seem a bit scary—what if someone spills a drink or doesn’t use a coaster? The great thing about antique trunks is that they’re made for rough handling. Before suitcases, trunks were how people packed and travelled—and as a result, they endured exposure to the elements and a lot of being tossed around on steamer ships and trains. So, don’t be too worried about scrapes and spills. In fact, pieces like these allow you to celebrate the age and patina!

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Create Contrast With Old Meets New

It’s one thing to mix antiques with more traditional-style furniture. It’s another move entirely to mix antiques with ultra-modern lines. Wishbone chairs are quite a statement in and of themselves—but pairing them with a Victorian-style dining table creates a really interesting, unexpected juxtaposition.

We love how the curves of the table legs mirror the curves of the chairs. Like the dining room featured earlier in this post, these furniture pieces are great examples of forms and material as decor. This allows the rest of the room to be pretty minimal—though the natural textures found in the rug, cabinet, and seats of the chairs creates some nice depth in this space.

Pro Tip:

This dining room table is another example of antique pieces with red undertones—so you need to be mindful of what other wood tones are in the space. The light, natural finish of the chair and cabinet are a great example of what wood tones work with this type of antique finish. Another thing to consider is the finish of your flooring. If it clashes with your antique (or any other piece of furniture, for that matter) don’t worry. Just invest in a large rug to keep the dining room table visually separated from the finish of the floor.

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Mix Real Antiques With Reproductions

When decorating with antiques in a modern home, you don’t have to stick with strictly modern pieces. In fact, there’s something very visually interesting about mixing real antiques with furniture that’s made to look like an antique, like in the entryway above. Here, the chair is the antique, but the console has that very old-world vibe.

While they’re not styles from the same era, they create an interesting juxtaposition side by side. This also works because of the chair’s ebony finish, which doesn’t compete with the finish of the console. In this space, it’s the additional decor that helps balance the old and the new. The natural textures of the tray, ceramics, and greenery—along with the dark wall color and modern mirror—pull these pieces into the 21st century. But we love the storied history of this chair, which creates a fun conversation starter the moment someone enters your home.

History Lesson:

This style of chair—called a Hitchcock Chair—was first created in Connecticut in 1818 and is characterized by its stenciling. This style of chair is a product of technology from the early Industrial Revolution, where sawmills on the river, along with interchangeable parts, were used for quick and economical production. These chairs started the “fancy chair” trend in upwardly mobile middle class families of the 19th century and, at the time, were a symbol of this new economic tier. How’s that for a fun tidbit??

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Repurpose Antiques Into Something New

Sometimes, the original intended purpose of an antique doesn’t make sense in your home. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw it out or shove it in the back of your garage. You can simply repurpose it!

In this dining nook, we repurposed an old church pew into a bench for eating at the dining room table. Replacing a chair or two with an old church pew adds a sense of charm and character to this set-up and helps the space feel much cozier. Painting it white helps it more cohesively blend in with the style of the rest of the room—but both its form and finish definitely complement the rustic modern vibe of this space!

Pro Tip:

A dining room bench isn’t’ the only way to repurpose an old church pew—there are so many ways to use them, from your entryway to your living room or porch! Depending on the style and condition of the church pew, it might be more of a style statement than a functional piece—and it’s never going to be your most comfortable seating option. But it still adds a storied history to your home, which we love.

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Mix Antiques From Different Styles + Eras

When it comes to antique furniture, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one piece. In fact, there’s something quite charming and eclectic about mixing antiques from different styles and eras. That’s exactly what we did in this eclectic bedroom, where we mixed together an antique tufted chair and an antique dresser. They’re not the same style or from the same era—but they blend together quite nicely.

The color on the wall helps highlight the natural patina and character of both of these brown furniture pieces. The pouf, mirror, and wall art add to the collected, eclectic vibe of this space. We opted for a more traditional rug pattern to tie the room together but with more saturated colors to liven up the space. Overall, this room has a very rustic boho vibe, which is somewhat unexpected for a room with multiple antiques. But we really love how all the furniture and decor plays together for a relaxed, fun space.

Pro Tip:

If you have an antique or vintage chair or sofa with good bones but shabby upholstery, invest in reupholstering it! This will generally be the same price or cheaper than buying a new piece of furniture, and it allows you to customize it with the fabric of your choice! (How fun would it be to reupholster an antique chair in a vibrant, modern print??) Plus, it’s so much more sustainable to simply reupholster than throw out a piece of furniture that has good bones just to buy something new.

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18 Mid Century Living Rooms That Will Make Your Retro Heart Swoon

Mid-century modern was the iconic style of the 1950s and 60s and its timeless appeal has made it a mainstay in the world of interior design. Mid-century living room ideas combine a number of modern elements, artistry, and simple practicality to create an immediately recognizable look. You might imagine Don Draper’s office or the lobby of the Grand Budapest Hotel, which are excellent examples of the mid-century look. But if you want to play around a little with the interior design of your living room, there are actually tons of mid-century design ideas out there! If you like a more minimal aesthetic, blend mid-century and minimal designs for a clean, pared-down vibe. Love the boho look? Blend mid-century design ideas with lots of plants, patterns, and colors for a modern rustic vibe. Or maybe rustic interior design is your thing? Go modern farmhouse for a look that’s trendy and cozy all at once.

This is all that to say there are many ways to design a mid century modern living room. Get inspired by the following designs to see the full range of ways you can get this look!

mid century living roomA Touch of Glam

It’s no surprise that mid-century modern furniture can easily be glammed up for extra style! The walnut and marble coffee table and the tapered legs and open frame of the armchairs chairs are mid-century all the way. The gold velvet sofa adds a dazzling touch to this design and helps create a cozy conversation area. It is also in line with the jewel tones around the rest of the room—they add a bright and funky vibe while brass touches give the room more sass! This living room is great for the mid-century modernist who loves a bright pop of color and a statement piece you can’t miss.

mid century living roomNeutral Territory

Mid-century modern living room design doesn’t have to be loud and flamboyant! Tapered leg furniture makes this living room unmistakably mid-century modern while the neutral color palette and leather pouf on floor feel minimal in style. It benefits from a soothing color palette with warm neutrals like camel leather and shades of brown. Then, just throw in some pops of black and white for balance! This living room feels casual and cozy, and the low furniture and soft edges make it a kid-friendly space. The tripod lighting adds a fun retro touch, too.

mid century living roomDown-to-Earth Style

This mid-century modern living room blends retro furniture forms with a color palette that’s on the earthier side for a warm, cozy look. The musky green barrel chair is super retro and adds a funky pop of color into the mix. The leather pouf and landscape art also offer an earthy touch. We love the mid century modern thin leg coffee table and floor lamp. Meanwhile, the simple styling and geometric rug bring space together for a cohesive design.

Mod Enthusiast Living

This mid-century modern living room features a number of signature modern elements, like walnut wood finishes, the tapered leg chair and sofa, and a geometric rug. But the neutral color palette with pops of black and grey definitely adds a more contemporary vibe to the decor choices. The living room is minimal in decor, with an open and bright layout. Similar wood tones and signature mid-century modern touches of brass bring this look together. This is a great look for those who love mid century modern living room design but want a more subdued version of the style.

Mod Visionary Living Space

This living room is mid-century modern to the max in all of its forms and materials—walnut wood furniture in geometric forms, tapered legs, and thin metal are the elements that make this look iconic. To update the look with contemporary styling, you can add decor like minimal sculptures, oversized neutral art, sleek bookcase items, etc. The color palette of the living room is neutral with warm whites and greys, warmed up with lots of wood. It’s a great look for those who want mid-century modern style with a clean streamlined aesthetic.

Iconic Mid Century Living

This is a beautiful example of pure mid-century modern living room design. The sofa is lifted on a wood base with very retro legs. It has a very mid-century modern style with a neutral color scheme and pops of avocado green, and geometric patterns. Warm wood tones add warmth and a homey feeling to modern living rooms like this. And the iconic Noguchi coffee table is simple but stands out! All of the furniture pieces are architectural—like works of art—so they don’t need extra frills.

Mod Collector Space

Mid-century modern living room design typically sticks to a subdued color scheme with pops of bright primary colors. But living rooms can definitely be spiced up a little with more vibrant hues! The furniture is pure mid-century, like the camel leather sofa on tapered legs and blue upholstered armchair. A sculptural atomic light fixture in brass is mid-century, along with other lights in the room. The colors are in the iconic retro palette—muted jewel tones, primary colors, etc—but more vibrant hues than you usually see! Modern living rooms like this are great if you love mid-century modern style but want a slightly more eclectic flair.

Pastel Chic Mid Century

We love mid-century modern living rooms with an added hint of glam! This modern interior design features marble, brass, and velvet accents. The Kilim style rug and a sculptural atomic style pendant adds a polished touch. This look is great for mid-century modern style lover who wants a living room filled with bright and fun colors, shapes, and forms.

Relaxed and Retro

This style has plenty of mid-century modern elements, like the tapered and angled furniture legs, wood tones, and shag geometric rug. The oatmeal sofa pops against a muted mustard-colored wall, keeping the palette mostly earth toned with pops of blue. It’s a cohesive style with a balance of patterns, solids, and wood tones. If you’re a lover of mid-century modern design but prefer more earthy, warm vibes, this look might be just right for you!

Atomic Industrial

This mid-century modern living room design features a signature tapered leg sectional and sculptural light fixture to showcase the style. But it also boasts a hint of industrial flair with darker tones, natural wood and metal coffee table, and more rugged style artwork. The overall look is unexpected and creates a unique and cozy vibe! A light colored rug adds light balance to the darker color palette so it has warmth without feeling too grey. This look is perfect for those who want a hint of mid-century modern with a moodier feel.

Boomerangs And Sputniks

This mid-century modern living room focuses on primary colors for a bright, vibrant look! The tapered legs and Noguchi coffee table ground the room in mid-century modern design and the orb style pendant lights and starburst mirror are iconic retro pieces. A cool, geometric rug pulls all of the colors and patterns together and anchors the seating area to create a cozy, conversational space. It’s a great look for those who love mid-century-modern style but want bright colors and pure style.

Peachy Mid Century

Instead of going all out with bold, primary colors, some mid-century modern living rooms focus on a soft color palette. The furniture pieces here are pure mid-century style with tapered legs, a formal sofa and a marble/wood coffee table. But then the design incorporates rosy pinks, mauve, and a white and blush rug along with pops of blue. Overall, living rooms with this color palette will have a simple and soft appearance, but with defined mid-century style.

Organic Modernism

We love this “Organic modernist” look featuring sculptural furniture instead of lots of decor. The chairs are perfect examples, as they feature a formed leather seat and thin metal base. Lighting brings an industrial vibe through in the materials but uses organic shapes for a softer feel. The colors are very muted, neutral, and soft for that organic modern touch! Only a small amount of decor is used and it’s all made from natural material—stone, wood, ceramic, etc. This is a great mid-century modern living room design for those who appreciate a natural aesthetic.

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Modern Rustic Living

For this modern living room design, we went with a rustic style and touches of mid-century flair. The fabrics in the pillows, bench, and rug are rustic all the way and make the room feel homey and warm. The furniture form is classic mid-century modern, but the wood tones are lighter than typical and add a boho feel. The room has a formal layout with conversational seating but casual vibe to create a laid-back, inviting living room in trendy modern rustic style.

Edgy Modern Style

This mid-century modern living room design features a leather sofa on metal legs and a black mid-century form coffee table, both of which have a slightly industrial edge! The black and white color palette is warmed up by a jute rug, camel leather sofa, and wood frames, making the space both stylish and inviting. The tripod brass lamp is classic mid-century modern and the multi-patterns gallery wall has touches of both mid-century and industrial and adds tons of visual interest.

Pure Retro Vibes

For all of you hardcore mid-century lovers out there, here’s another purist living room to show you what this style can do all on its own! This room features a slingback armchair with a sculptural form that makes a dramatic impact! The art deco art piece in back features primary colors and the overall palette showcases blue and yellow with warm wood tones. And at the center of the room is a signature Noguchi coffee table. This room is perfect for those who love pure, undiluted mid-century modern style.

Mid Century Minimalism

This living room offers a deluxe example of mid-century modern meets minimalist design. We love how the two styles blend together to create a sleek, cool take on the “Mad Men” aesthetic. The look features clean lines and a neutral color palette with darker greys and blues for a muted backdrop. The sculptural quality of the furniture pieces adds a sense of drama to the serene space! Every piece makes a statement, from the ladder bookcases, the Arco floor lamp, to the gorgeous tulip table. Like the best minimalist designs, it manages to say a lot with a little!

Mod Enthusiast

For this look, we mingled contemporary stylings with a mid-century aesthetic to get a look every Mod enthusiast will love. It’s a more approachable take on mid-century and the contemporary pieces make it super relaxed and livable. It has a transitional foundation to the style that prioritizes comfort—and then retro accents are layered on top. Although the living room has a mostly neutral palette, pops of leather, wood, and brass liven it up and add extra warmth. The armchairs and gourd table lamps have a distinct mid-century modern form. This look is perfect if you like a cozy aesthetic with hints of retro, but don’t want to go full-throttle on mid-century modern.

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The Modsy “Must-Haves” for the Mid-Century Modern Living Room

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: mid-century modern is a trend that’s here to stay! What is it about this particular style that has helped it endure the test of time so well? The list of timeless design elements goes on and on! For one, mid-century modern design was created with comfort in mind and it’s a look that is meant to be used and lived with. Who doesn’t love a practical design element that makes economical use of space?

Mid-century modern style also offers the perfect marriage between form and function. It features minimal ornamentation so it’s super easy to care for and keep clean. The design seamlessly blends clean, crisp shapes with bright colors and organic materials for a look that’s both bold and approachable. There’s a lot to love about this classic style, especially when it comes to mid-century living room design.

Thinking about designing your living room in mid-century style? Read on for our list of Modsy “Must-Haves”—the essential checklist of mid-century living room furniture to help you ace that perfect retro look. Incorporate one or two pieces for a slightly mid-century space, or go full-steam ahead with the whole list!

Mid-Century living room furniture

Furniture With Tapered Legs

No mid-century modern inspired space would be complete without tapered legs, as noted by Modsy’s very own VP of Style, Alessandra Wood in this HuffPost article. If you are looking for mid-century living room furniture, look for pieces with this signature look.

Why? Tapered legs add height and drama to any piece of furniture, making larger pieces—like a big sectional sofa—feel lighter and less cumbersome. The triangular shape of tapered legs draws the eye up and makes smaller spaces seem more open and airy. Not only do they look sleek, but they also make it easy to clean underneath pieces.

It’s a “must-have” because The simple elegance of tapered legs is perhaps the most enduring legacy of the mid-century movement. Their functionality and streamlined forms make them perfect for almost any space truly giving this trend a leg (or four!) to stand on.

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Mid-Century living room furniture

A Retro Side Chair

Part of what makes mid-century style so distinctive is its clever mix of strong shapes, vibrant colors, and natural materials. A fun mid-century chair design, like this one, is the perfect piece of mid-century furniture to complete any space. Look for one made of natural wood and colorful upholstery—mid-century modern style is all about simple, streamlined shapes and organic forms.

It’s a “must-have” because: A mid-century modern chair not only provides extra seating but gives you an opportunity to highlight some of the best elements of mid-century style.

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Mid-Century living room furniture

Natural or Acorn Wood Finishes

While mid-century modern design is known for popularizing a slew of man-made materials for the home (think fiberglass and concrete), its use of natural wood is truly exemplary. Warm finishes in acorn tones are super common in mid-century designs and they are used for their warm, inviting quality. Streamlined mid-century shapes and minimal ornamentation bring out the beauty of the wood and add to its popularity by bringing a friendly “everyman” quality to the design.

It’s a “must-have” because: We all need a little warmth in our space and mid-century wood pieces are the perfect way to add subtle (and design-savvy) sensibility to yours.

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Mid-Century living room furniture

Accents in Primary Colors

One of the most fun components of mid-century design is its playful use of color! Historically, mid-century spaces utilized a mix of bold, primary colors. You can also try pairing complementary or secondary colors to capture that retro feel in a more approachable way—think yellow and turquoise or lilac and tangerine. Layer in pops of neutrals or beige to keep it from going too technicolor—there’s no need to go crazy with colors in a classy style like this.

It’s a “must-have” because: Vibrant color is an integral part of mid-century design aesthetics. It adds a sense of levity and joy to the serious designs and geometric shapes of the movement.

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Mid-Century living room furniture

Geometric Shapes and Accents

Eye-catching geometric accents are absolute mid-century necessities. Hugely popular in mid-century design, the tripod lamp is exemplary of the movement for many reasons. Tripod legs add stability while maintaining simple and elegant form—it’s both functional and design-savvy.

The starburst mirror is a popular staple of mid-century style, too. It features a whimsical and retro look and creates an immediate focal point. And the beautiful brass end table exemplifies the mid-century love of form and function in the strong geometry of its design.

It’s a “must-have” because: The dynamic shapes used in mid-century design are not only eye-catching, they often work to enhance the quality of the space by creating focal points around a room.

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Organic and Natural Textures

Mixing organic textures was all the rage during the peak of the Mid-Century era! Incorporating these textures is still a great way to bring a room together today. The square leather ottoman features a simple shape that really brings out the vintage of the leather and this jute rug gets double mid-century style points for its groovy geometric pattern and organic material. The marble coffee table adds a bright spot to the earthy palette in this design—plus the slender metal legs add additional mid-century finesse.

It’s a “must-have” because: A big tenet of the mid-century movement was making designs that were both comfortable and livable. The organic materials preferred by many mid-century designers (leather, teak, tweed, jute) reflected that sensibility, providing both natural warmth and durability.

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Iconic Furniture Pieces

So many amazing signature design styles came out of the mid-century movement that it’s easy to find an item that’s perfect for your own take on mid-century. For example, the Nogucci coffee table designed by Isamu Nogucci is a classic representation of bold mid-century style, with its tear-drop shape glass top and boomerang-shaped legs.

Other iconic examples worth considering are the Eames recliner and ottoman or the Jeanneret Chair. There are lots of gorgeous (and affordable) reproductions that make them easily accessible—you don’t have to hunt down and pay the hefty price for an original!

It’s a “must-have” because: Having a recognizable piece of mid-century furniture will not only give you some design cred, but it also functions as a work of art and adds tons of visual interest to your space!

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A Bar Cabinet

This bar cabinet serves up plenty of mid-century charm with its traditional shape and design. As we mentioned before, tapered legs are a hallmark of mid-century style and help add height and drama to the simple shape of the cabinet. The beautiful acorn wood finish and warm organic texture add visual interest that easily blends in with a variety of living room styles. Antique brass handles are a refined detail present in lots of mid-century furniture pieces! This cabinet offers plenty of storage for bottles and stemware—and it can double as storage for books and board games.

Style tip: Add some retro accessories like a gold martini shaker for extra mid-century pizzazz! We think Don Draper would approve!

It’s a “must-have” because: Not only is this bar cabinet an excellent example of mid-century style because of its elegant and streamlined design, but the ample closed storage is wonderfully functional.

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A Conversational Layout

One of the key philosophies of mid-century design was to create social spaces that were equal parts functional and inviting for gatherings. This is why these spaces tend to have such a conversational feel.

To create a conversational layout in your space, keep things casual. Try an asymmetrical arrangement of your furniture, which will feel less formal and more casual and inviting. Play with proportion by using foundational pieces with different shapes and colors. This helps create dimension and draws the eye around the conversational area instead of into one focal point as more formal spaces do.

It’s a “must-have” because: Many mid-century designers wanted to create spaces which made social gathering feel more organic and fun. Using mid-century furniture to create a living room that feels open and welcoming is the perfect way to make your space feel both modern and homey.

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Everything You Need to Know About Mid-Century Modern Interior Design

A style that’s been in the spotlight for years, Mid-Century Modern is one of the most popular looks among our customers. In our 101 post, we’re dishing the full scoop on this iconic style!

Mid-Century Modern 101 at a Glance:

  • What is Mid-Century Moder design?
  • The history of this style
  • 5 design tips to get a mid-century look in your space
  • How the mid-century trend is evolving today!

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What is Mid-Century Modern Interior Design?

Inspired by mid-twentieth-century design, mid-century modern interior design combines elements like natural woods, bold colors, slightly whimsical furniture designs, organic shapes, and tapered legs. These spaces are comfortable and encourage lounging, relaxation, and conversation. This style also loves patterns, and often incorporates graphic ones with geometric and organic designs (think: diamonds, starbursts, and boomerangs).

1961 Mid-Century Modern Designers Playboy Spread

The History of Mid-Century Modern Design

Curious about the history of Mid-Century Modern interior design? We dug deep into this topic in episode 3 of our podcast, The Render. But we’ll give you a crash course here.

Mid-Century interior design came about in the middle of the twentieth century. In America, designers experimented with new materials like plastics, fiberglass, wire, and aluminum in their furniture and decor. As a result, some designers saw their popularity surge. For example, you’ve probably heard of Ray and Charles Eames, who were a prolific design duo of this era.

Fun Fact: Mid-Century Modern design was the preferred style of men for their bachelor pads. Learn all about the mid-century origins of the bachelor pad.

Around the same time, Scandinavian and Danish modernism was growing in popularity in Europe. Scandinavian interior design really hit the scene in 1954 at the Design in Scandinavia Exhibition. While it shares some similarities with the American take on Mid-Century design—like clean lines and geometric forms—Scandinavian design leans a bit more organic, with a focus on natural materials.

mid-century modern bedroom

5 Tips to Bring This Look to Life in Your Home

If you love Mid-Century Modern design, there are so many different ways you can bring it to life in your home. Aside from plopping in an Eames Lounge chair, there are some guiding principles that will help you really nail this look at home.

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1. Opt for Clean Lines

“Form follows function” is the moral of the story with mid-century design. Focus on finding pieces of modern furniture that are comfortable and livable. But that’s not to say that form isn’t important! In fact, in a Mid-Century Modern living room, dining room, or bedroom design, focus on clean, sleek lines in your furniture. These clean lines will help appeal to the minimalist side of this style.

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2. Incorporate Plenty of Wood Tones

No matter what other styles you’re mixing with Mid-Century Modern, or what approach you’re taking (atomic, Scandinavian, or otherwise), wood tones are a must. From the tapered legs of sofas and chairs to credenzas, bar cabinets, and dining room tables, don’t be afraid to incorporate plenty of wood tones (and even to mix wood tones). Acorn, teak, or natural light birch finishes are most popular in mid-century-inspired homes, but you can also go for a dark walnut finish in statement pieces.

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3. Consider Your Color Scheme

American Mid-Century design focused on incorporating bright colors into modern homes. In the 50s, this meant cheerful colors like teal, pink, and yellow. Later, these colors took on more earthy tones, with shades of olive, burnt orange, and mustard yellow dominating homes. In today’s Mid-Century Modern homes, accents of bright colors like these bring life to your home and, depending on the shade, can give a retro flair to your space. But you can also go neutral and just let the shapes of the furniture drive home this style. A black and white color scheme can still feel very Mid-Century Modern while being a bit more restrained.

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4. Insert Pops of Patterns

Patterns like diamond, starbursts, and boomerangs were very popular when mid-century design first hit the scene. So, incorporating these patterns into your home can give it a delightfully retro vibe. But you can also do a less literal take on mid-century with other geometric patterns and prints.

 

5. Look to Pop Culture for Inspiration

And you can always look to pop culture for some inspiration! We all know that the Mad Men set designers absolutely nailed the classic Mid-Century look, so you can pull ideas from that show, especially if you want to go for a more retro take on this style. We also designed an updated take on Frasier’s Mid-Century Modern apartment, which can show you how to bring his style into today’s context.

Want some extra design inspiration? Check out our Mid-Century Modern entryway design tips and our Mid-Century Modern bedroom design tips for lots of modern decor and furniture ideas!

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What Does The Mid-Century Modern Trend Look Like Today?

In the last year or two, we’ve noticed a shift away from the “Mad Men” style of Mid-Century design, where a space feels almost themed it’s so on-the-nose, to something more organic and collected. But the Mid-Century Modern trend is far from dead.

Historically, when you look at the progression of trends in the 20th century, you see what looks like a cyclical change in our current culture. Postmodern design trends introduced organic shapes and whimsical feelings to interior design, while the 1970s and 1980s introduced drama and glam. Both of these styles have reemerged in our culture and trending with different groups. As we learn more about styles, we also see how they evolved over time!

Today, we’re seeing elements of Mid-Century Modern design come to life in several different ways.

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Organic Modernism

We’re seeing a softer, earthier side of the mid-century look come out to play with the growth in popularity of Organic Modernism. This style uses mid-century design as a framework, but pulls in some rustic elements and infuses some extra creature comforts that make this style feel really warm and approachable.

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Scandinavian Design and “Japandi”

In a similar vein, Scandinavian design and Japandi style (a mix of Scandinavian modernism and Japanese minimalism) are both experiencing a resurgence in popularity. In both of these styles, the use of light wood tones and natural materials is very popular. (If you read our 2021 Trend Report, you’ll know that we think that lighter-toned woods will continue to grow in popularity this year.

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Mid-Century Boho Design

Then there’s a take on Mid-Century Modernism we love that’s more bohemian, with collected elements and organic shapes and forms. It feels more eclectic, mixing in worldly patterns, pops of color, natural textures, and lots of plants.

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Minimalist Maximalist

We’re also seeing some bolder styles that introduce glam elements in dramatic and sophisticated ways. Minimalist Maximalist design is on the rise and this trend is exactly what it sounds like—a style that plays with the unlikely combo of a minimalist’s design principles and a maximalist’s love of patterns, colors, textures, and all things over-the-top.

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New Icons

And speaking of iconic Mid-Century Modern furniture—we’re seeing the use of iconic pieces beyond the Eames chair, including the Cesca chair, Jeanneret chair, and even the Wishbone chair. Many of these were pieces that came from the Bauhaus in the 1920s, and were re-popularized in the mid-century and again in the 1980s. Minimalist at heart, these pieces give us mid-century and 1980s associations due to their ubiquity in design during those time periods. And we love incorporating these chair styles into home designs of many kinds!

Want to try on Mid-Century Modern style in your home?

Curious how you can bring some Mid-Century Modern interior design into your own home? On our Interior Design 101 page, you’ll learn how Modsy designers can help you bring your vision to life and narrow in on the exact brand of Mid-Century interior design that you’d like to try on!

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This post was updated on March 26, 2021