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modern southwest interior design

Style Spotlight: 4 Ways to Get the Modern Southwest Look

If you’ve been noticing—and loving—a lot of Southwestern design on your Instagram and Pinterest feeds lately, you’re not alone. In fact, Modern Southwest interior design is one of our favorite trendy styles of the moment!

Modern Southwest design features a mix of mid-century and rustic elements, combined in a way that recalls the desert Southwest. It’s a close cousin of modern rustic interior design and desert minimal design. The difference being that Modern Southwest puts more emphasis on desert and Southwestern motifs than modern rustic and is more eclectic than desert minimal design. In fact, this look is very rooted in the idea of being a literal world traveller, with a home that features collected objects from around the world.

In terms of color palettes, Modern Southwest features earthy palettes in saturated tones—like terracotta, brick reds, olive greens, and blues, as well as natural materials and heavy leathers (in more of a cognac that dark brown tone). You’ll also see a lot of deep, dark woods in this style. But it’s not all earthy, natural elements. There’s also this high-contrast element that brings in the modern side of this style. Many Modern Southwest rooms feature bright white walls and black accents in the furniture and decor.

Southwestern living is embodied in this warm and youthful, with rooms that feel inviting and lived-in. Global-inspired, geometric, and Southewestern patterns add a playful air to this style; you’ll see these patterns a lot in textiles and accent decor like vases and rugs. Shibori and ikat patterns are very big in Southwestern decorating, as are jute, Moroccan, kilim, souk, shag, and overdyed rugs. And, while these are popular motifs right now, this is a style that won’t feel tired or overdone in a few years.

Ready to explore some modern design ideas in the realm of Modern Southwestern design? We had our designers create four different takes on this style to show you the different ways that it can come to life. Which one is your favorite?

modern southwest interior designGiddy Up

This take on Modern Southwest really leans into Western-inspired design elements. This comes through in the decor—specifically the wall art, the hide stool, and the hide rug. Though the rug, with its gold flecking adds a playful and modern element to the space—as does the marble-top tulip table. This table, paired with the woven chair with their metal legs creates a lovely mix of modern and rustic in this dining nook. And the layers of textured pillows on the bench? It creates a very cozy and rustic feel.

The classic Southwestern color palette—full of terracottas, browns, black, white, and cream—is what keeps this look from falling flat or feeling too western. In fact, it makes for a very earthy, relaxing, and inviting palette.

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modern southwest interior designCool-Girl Vibes

This Modern Southwest living room has a very cool-girl vibe. Earthy tones throughout this living room give the space nuance and warmth, with the pale, dusty pinks reminding us of a desert sunset. And the natural, woven textures found in the textiles and accent chair add to the Southwest rustic vibe. While the base of this room is very Southwestern, some unexpected ultra-modern moments up the playful, cool factor.

When it comes to Southwest decoration, the wall art and literal cactus help set the vibe, as do the textiles. There’s some fun pattern play in the rugs, with the patterned jute rug layered under the kilim rug, and a hide rug under the accent chair. But then the modern elements come into play and give this room a really cool finish. The cascading modern pendant light adds a very unexpected and sculptural moment to this room. And you might not think to use a clear acrylic coffee table in a more rustic space, but it gives the room a very open and airy vibe—as do the sleek white walls. The cognac leather sofa ties together the whole look. It has a modern shape, but the color and finish of the leather lends itself to a Southwestern rustic vibe.

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modern southwest interior designMinimal But Eclectic

While this is a more minimal take on Modern Southwest, it still has the eclectic vibe that makes this style so fun. The bed is obviously the foundation of this space; it has very modern and minimal lines, but the spindles hint at rustic style. From there, the room gets a bit more rustic and eclectic, with the help of natural materials.

The woven rattan on the stools and the plush shag rug bring in that rustic element. But the stools themselves add an eclectic vibe, with their high-contrast black frames. The baskets on the wall also speak to the eclectic collector part of Modern Southwest design, with their global-inspired weaves. And the print on both the throw pillow and the rug add to the overall Southwestern vibe.

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 modern southwest interior designModern Santa Fe

The walls in this Modern Southwest living room aren’t a bright white like the other designs we’ve shared—which gives this room an almost Santa Fe-inspired design. But it’s definitely a bit more modern than your average Santa Fe look. Curved shapes are big in this design—from the curved console and mirror to the arms of the sofa and the ottoman. The use of soft, rounded edges and arches are very sculptural and are reminiscent of classic soutwestern architecture.

But, while the furniture in this space skews very modern, the accents lean more rustic and eclectic. The saturated earth tones used throughout—from rusts and browns to terracottas—are very desert-inspired. And a mix of natural materials like rattan, wicker, and unfinished woods add to that earthy, rustic vibe and really shine in this space. The leather sofa and the woven leather seat of the accent chair mix nicely with the other natural elements in this space, and their finish bring the modern shapes of these pieces more toward rustic style.

While we opted to go more neutral and subdued in this space, you can get really colorful and playful with Modern Southwest design. All you’d have to do is incorporate brighter accent pillows and add higher contrast elements throughout the space—like olive tones, blues, and black metal accents.

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Mid-Century Modern trend

Then & Now: How the Mid-Century Modern Design Trend Has Changed Over Time

Mid-century modern design has been one of the most popular interior design styles for decades. It first came onto the design scene in the late 1950s, and it has been a pillar of modern interiors since. (If you’re curious about the full scope of Mid-Century Modern’s influence on design today, listen to our deep dive into the history of the style in our new podcast, The Render.)

Like many other design movements, mid-century modern style has changed over the years, reinterpreted in myriad ways to suit the interiors of the times. Most recently during the early 2000s, the millennial design aesthetic gave rise to a new mid-century modern trend that favored pared-down spaces, pastel hues, and traditional mid-century modern design staples. The look veered away from the traditional Mad Men vibe and gave rise to a more youthful version of mid-century modern that felt fresh, light, and anything but buttoned-up.

From that, we’re now seeing mid-century modern interiors move in the direction of embracing more boho touches, organic elements, and rustic notes.

Come along with us as we take a look and break down how the mid-century modern trend is taking shape now.

Classic Mid-Century Modern

Before we delve into the various new interpretations of the style, let’s take a look at its origins and some of the pieces that made this an iconic interior design aesthetic.

From the very beginning, mid-century modern design championed the use of new materials ranging from plastics to fiberglass. There was also a focus on geometric and streamlined forms in furniture, and the sculptural chairs designed by Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Bertoia are among the iconic pieces that came to define the mid-century modern aesthetic. Today, these are still some of the most coveted designs in homes, whether it’s in a cool and airy minimalist living room or a warm and inviting modern dining space.

Mid-Century Modern trendAnother style that contributed to the mid-century modern movement was Scandinavian design, which adhered to the same modernist principles. Although it focused on furnishings with an organic approach inspired by shapes found in nature. These designs boasted materials, such as natural woods, like birch and ash, which are elements seen in many of the furniture pieces by Mid-Century designers, including Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Isamu Noguchi. Many of these iconic wood pieces, most notably the Eames lounge chair, are considered staples in modernist homes today.

But what does Mid-Century Modern look like today? Here are a few ways we’ve seen this trend evolve and take new stylistic forms!

Mid-Century Modern trendMid-Century Meets Boho

Mixing color, texture, and pattern into the mid-century modern look is what sets apart this look. It’s also a style that’s commonly blended in with the millennial interior design aesthetic.

Mid-Century Modern trendIt’s About Patterns

Part of what makes the mid-century boho look is its lively layering of patterns paired with modern design. From boho dots to kilim textiles and graphic stripes, it’s an approach to bold textiles and eye-catching prints that work beautifully in mid-century modern bedrooms.

Key Elements: Boho-patterned pillows, rug, and art, nightstands with tapered legs, woven bench, textural decor (colorful baskets, painted wood objects, two-tone ceramics)

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Mid-Century Modern trendIt’s About Bright Colors

Mid-century boho style also emphasizes a mix of colorful textiles. In addition to patterns, you’ll find a warm palette of rusty red, deep blue, earthy brown, and bright orange. If you love mid-century organic forms with a pop, the eclectic hues give this style a casual and hip vibe.

Key Elements: Kilim-style upholstered bench, layers of colorful pillows for comfort, rattan ottoman, walnut wood side table and chairs, mid-century modern sofa

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Mid-Century Modern trendIt’s About An Eclectic Mix

Alongside the vibrant colors and patterns, the boho mid-century look also highlights clean-lined furniture and sculptural forms. You’ll find tapered legs, organic silhouettes as well as key vintage styles, such as sputnik lights and Wishbone chairs, resulting in an eclectic design mix.

Key Elements: Vintage-style rug, Wishbone-style chairs, atomic light fixture, clean-lined walnut dining table, brass accents, smooth ceramics, tall greenery.

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Mid-Century Modern trendOrganic Modernism

In recent years, organic modern interior design has been a big focus in homes. Known as Organic Modernism, it combines mid-century modern design with earthy organic elements.

Mid-Century Modern trendThere Are Natural Materials

True to its moniker, Organic Modernism highlights the use of mid-century designs featuring natural materials. From light-wood and leather furnishings to natural fibers, such as jute, sisal, and rattan, it’s all about bringing out the warm textures and beauty of organic materials.

Key Elements: Jute rounded pouf, leather-and-wood daybed, shibori-upholstered swivel chair, light-wood coffee tables, handwoven rug, cotton sofa, glass and ceramic objects

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Mid-Century Modern trendThere Are Earthy Elements

Besides natural materials, you’ll also find colors and shapes that recall nature, from rustic brown and ocean blue to sundials and curvy modern design. These details give a sense of warmth as well as softness that help to set an inviting and livable tone in Organic Modernist rooms.

Key Elements: Minimalist maple-wood console, ornate mid-century round mirror, earthy color palette, two-toned modern chair, organic-shaped decor (sculptural vase, rounded bowl)

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Mid-Century Modern trend

There Are Organic Designs

From combining rich leather, textural woods, woven accents, and metal pieces, the emphasis is on mid-century furnishings with an organic edge. The result are spaces that play up the Organic Modernism look while still feeling livable, distinctive, and perfectly balanced.

Key Elements: Leather platform bed, mid-century-style rounded accent chair, grainy light-wood dresser, organic shape accents (vases, ceramic bust), simple patterned rug and pillows.

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Mid-Century Modern trendModern Rustic

Equal parts mid-century and rustic, Modern Rustic style plays up clean-lined designs that don’t sacrifice comfort for looks. It’s one of our most popular interior design styles among customers.

Mid-Century Modern trendThink Farmhouse Furnishings

What defines the Modern Rustic room is its mix of mid-century modern design with rustic materials and accents. It’s a streamlined slipcovered sofa paired with leather armchairs and graphic art alongside a raw wood bookcase. The result is a balance of style and big comfort.

Key Elements: Rustic vintage-inspired rug, natural-wood bookcase cabinet, leather-and-wood accent chair, hide ottomans, dark-wood tray-top cocktail tables.

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Mid-Century Modern trendThink Rustic Materials

Part of the mix includes rustic furnishings and elements with sleek materials and shapes. You can expect to find an industrial cabinet and an edgy mirror alongside classic mid-century seating and light fixtures. The idea is to play up a hard and soft contrast to create a bold yet livable vibe.

Key Elements: Log side table, natural-wood mid-century console cabinet, leather sofa with tufting and tapered legs, concrete-and-wood tables, glass pendants, rustic artwork.

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Mid-Century Modern trendThink Comforting Textures

Finally, with Modern Rustic style it truly comes down to the rich and nubby textures that give it that deep sense of homey comfort. These are the woven chair seats that add soft padding to the grainy wood table that looks and feels inviting, and the natural-fiber rug that opens up a room.

Key Elements: Rustic dining table, Wishbone-style chairs, organic shape tabletop accents (bowls, vessels), natural color palette, jute or sisal rug, mid-century-modern light fixture.

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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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Mandy Moore's new home

Get the Look of Mandy Moore’s New Midcentury Chic Home

Mandy Moore's new homeImages source: Architectural Digest

Terrazzo fireplace? Check. A pantry you could easily mistake for an art installation? Check. Brass finishes everywhere? Check. If you haven’t guessed, these are just a few of the swoon-worthy elements inside Mandy Moore’s new home, the cover feature of the Architectural Digest July-August issue.

Mandy purchased the home, which was originally built in 1950 by architect Harold Zook, with her fiancé Taylor Goldsmith in January of 2017. And after over a year of renovations (peek the house pre-Mandy here) the couple is finally moving in to the new space.

Mandy Moore's new homeTo transform the space, Mandy teamed up with designer Sarah Sherman Samuel and architect Emily Farnham. Together they stripped the pad of several awkward 90s architectural additions but kept the original quirky elements, like that copper fireplace hood. The style? Let’s call it mid-century chic with a California twist.

Are you drooling yet? Because Mandy Moore’s new home is basically the mid-century mansion of our dreams, we teamed up with our friends at Clever to reimagine the space with furniture you can buy online and get the look in your own space.

Get the look of Mandy Moore’s new home in your space

Mandy Moore's new homeLiving Room 1

What are we crushing on the most in Mandy’s eclectic, mid-century living room? The mashup of all kinds of materials that turn the space into a textural wonderland.

From the blue velvet chairs, to the woven leather bench, and even the exposed brick partition… The design teases at the home’s mid-century roots without feeling too steeped in any one decade.

Want to take Mandy Moore’s new living room look home?

Shop the pieces below or sign up for a Modsy design package to try them (virtually) in your space first.

SOFA | RUG | BENCH | ARMCHAIRS | COFFEE TABLE | TABLE LAMP | CREDENZA | WALL ART | FLOOR LAMP

Mandy Moore's new homeLiving Room Part 2

In case Mandy’s first living room didn’t strike your fancy, you can get the look of her second living space. (Although if it were up to us, we’d take both)

Living room number two features a more traditional layout. The tall and tapered mid-century legs on the sofa and chairs strike the perfect balance against the more visually dense base of the drum coffee table.

Style your space like Mandy’s!

We swapped in a few more budget-friendly alternatives into our version of Mandy’s second living space, which you can shop below or try on in your 3D room with Modsy.

SOFA | ARMCHAIRS | COFFEE TABLE | FLOOR LAMP | ACCENT TABLE | STOOL | BOWL | RUG | BENCH

Mandy Moore's new home

Mandy Moore's new home

Guest Bedroom

Sometimes the key to a great bedroom is as simple as a knockout bed frame. One of three guest rooms in Mandy Moore’s new home, the leather and wood number in this space is a real show stopper.

And while she’s not short on square footage, Mandy isn’t afraid to utilize a small space hack. For example, the wall-mounted brass sconce provides the perfect nighttime reading light but takes up zero space on the nightstand. Stars – they’re just like us!

See your bedroom outfitted in Mandy’s look or shop the pieces below!

BED FRAME | RUG | SIDE TABLE | DUVET COVER | SCONCE | WALL ART I | WALL ART II | WALL ART III | PILLOWS

PS – Mandy, if you’re looking for guests who can appreciate an out-of-this world bedroom, we’d be happy to help!

 

Ready to see Mandy Moore’s new home styled in your space?