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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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What Is My Decorating Style? How to Discover Your Interior Design Style And Bring It to Life

When beginning to design a room in your home, one of the first steps is to land on your interior design style, as that will guide the rest of the decisions you make. Easier said than done, right? There are so many styles out there—and between Pinterest, Instagram, and blogs, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with inspiration overload!

If you’re wondering, “What is my interior design style?” we’re here to help! Today, we’re breaking down the most popular interior design styles to help you get a sense of what’s out there and what your options are. But here’s the best part: You don’t have to choose just one interior design style! In fact, most people don’t gravitate toward one pure style. Rather, you’ll probably end up with a mix of a few styles which will create a look that is perfectly suited to you and your home!

Our magically accurate Modsy style quiz is also here to help. By answering a couple of questions, we can help you discover and hone in on your personal interior design style. Taking this quiz will also help our Modsy designers create a space that beautifully reflects your style and preferences if you opt to use our interior design packages.

But for now, we’ll dive in and break down the most popular styles in interior design so you never have to wonder, “What is my decorating style??” again!

Minimalist Interior Design Style

Minimalist design upholds the principle that form follows function and is guided by the idea that “less is more.” Minimalist interiors are generally void of decorative objects and have minimal amounts of furniture. What is present is often geometric in shape. This look is all about creating a space with what you need, and nothing more.

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The Key Elements:

Furniture and decor found in minimalist interiors are often made of raw, natural materials such as concrete, stone, marble, wood, and steel. Walls and surfaces usually have smooth and natural finishes. Color palettes tend to be muted, with lots of black, white, and grey. But a bold pop of a single color isn’t uncommon.

You know this is your style when…

You crave functionality and no-fuss spaces, and if you prefer architectural elements over decor.

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Mid-Century Modern Interior Design

Mid-Century Modern design has long been the “it” look in the interior design world. Inspired by mid-twentieth-century design, this style combines natural wood with bold colors. Furniture designed in this style has slightly whimsical and organic shapes that seem to cradle the body. They tend to have minimal ornament beyond the shape of the piece itself—something this style has in common with minimalism. However, unlike minimalism, Mid-Century Modern interiors have more of a focus on comfort.

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The Key Elements:

Part of the comfortable element of Mid-Century Modern spaces is their focus on natural wood (typically a blonde, walnut, or teak wood). However, you’ll also find tweed, leather, laminate, vinyl, and chrome. Furniture pieces often have hairpin or tapered legs and feature an organic approach to their shapes and forms. You can have a lot of fun with color in a Mid-Century Modern space, using colors like teal, red, orange, yellow, and green.

You know this is your style when…

You love slightly whimsical furniture designs that feature organic shapes and love a blast from the past!

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Industrial Interior Design Style

Industrial interior design is characterized by vintage decorative objects appropriate to warehouse or factory settings. Overall, industrial furniture and spaces will have a distressed feel to them. This style fits particularly well in lofts with exposed brick or ductwork, but it can also come to life in a space that’s not naturally architecturally industrial.

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The Key Elements:

Anything with a reclaimed vibe or a rugged patina is ideal in an industrial space. Materials used in industrial interior design tends to include metal, brick, distressed or reclaimed wood, concrete, and piping. Many finishes include raw or untreated materials, or materials that show signs of aging. And color schemes tend to follow this rugged vein, gravitating toward greys, blacks, and browns alongside wood and brick.

You know this is your style when…

You love old looks with rugged edges, or if you’re trendy and hip and have an urban vibe!

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Rustic or Farmhouse Interior Design Style

This is another incredibly popular design style. Rustic interior design celebrates the vintage charm of pre-industrial design styles for a look that is comfortable, warm, and inviting. It features traditional furniture made of natural, weathered wood, combined with simple accessories and one-of-a-kind pieces.

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The Key Elements:

Rustic spaces tend to feature a lot of texture and natural materials—like reclaimed wood, leather with a patina, linen, stone, brick, as well as sheepskin and natural fiber rugs! Furniture tends to have an antique or vintage-inspired flair, often with distressed finishes. Color palettes in rustic spaces tend to feature warm and neutral tones, along with plenty of beige.

You know this is your style when…

You love being home and relish that homey feeling. You may be a fan of Fixer Upper and Joanna Gaines, too!

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Eclectic or Boho Interior Design Style

Eclectic interior design features an approachable, informal mix of furnishings and decor from a wide variety of styles. This style often reflects a worldly collection of objects, combining bright colors and patterns and unexpected elements. It can come together in a million different ways—but it always ends up being a representation of the dweller’s life and personality.

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The Key Elements:

This is a style that feels organic and like it came together over a period of time. You’ll often find a mix of natural materials in eclectic or boho spaces—like jute, rattan, wicker, bamboo, and woven or embroidered pieces. And a fun mix of global-inspired or botanical patterns is a must. Eclectic spaces tend to feature a mix of bright or jewel-tone colors like red, yellow, pink, and green—along with plenty of bold natural greenery!

You know this is your style when…

You want your home to be a curated collection of your travels and experience! It’s bold and fun, just like you.

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Glam Interior Design Style

Glam interior design is a bold, dramatic, and often over-the-top style that mixes unexpected elements. But it can also be very refined. There are several ways you can style your glam space, the look always mixes patterns and pieces from a variety of different styles in order to create a luxurious and unique feel. Glam spaces feel formal and designed and often have many statement pieces and bold artwork.

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The Key Elements:

Decorative accents in a Glam space tend to be very ornamental, and furniture usually has detailed carvings or soft, curved frames. You’ll find materials  like velvet and fur in a glam space, along with metallics and mirrored surfaces. Animal prints and large-scale patterns are always at home in a Glam home, while color palettes can range from a high-contrast black and white palette to bold jewel tones or bright whites and pastels.

You know this is your style when…

You may be a bit over-the-top, and you like it. You just have a taste for the finer things in life!

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Contemporary or Transitional Interior Design Style

Contemporary (or transitional) interior design is a comfortable and approachable style that feels fresh and clean without being stark and minimal. This style often relies on balance and symmetry within the space and follows the more traditional “rules” for interior design. While it has an elegant, polished feel, it’s meant to be lived in with and still has plenty of style!

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The Key Elements:

Furniture in Contemporary spaces prioritize comfort, with cushions and upholstery that are plush and inviting, and featuring materials like velvet and suede. You’ll find ceramics, wood, glass, and mirrored surfaces throughout, which add to the visual mix of traditional and modern. As for color schemes, Contemporary spaces tend to feature plenty of neutrals, along with navy, yellow, and pops of other colors.

You know this is your style when…

You like order and style! You want an aesthetically pleasing space without being too trendy or too traditional.

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Traditional Interior Design Style

When you hear the word traditional, you might think formal and stuffy. But that’s not the case with today’s Traditional interior design! Rather, this is an understated and less-formal style that pulls inspiration from Colonial and Craftsman interiors. While it’s not particularly popular or on-trend, there’s a reason this style has stood the test of time!

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The Key Elements:

Spaces featuring Traditional interior design tend to include furniture with dark leather upholstery or muted woven patterns, along with dark wood furnishings with minimal ornamental details. Incorporating antiques in a Traditional space is a perfect way to add a unique element and an authentic vibe. A classic blue and white color palette is often found in Traditional spaces, but you can also gravitate toward earth tones or deeply saturated colors.

You know this is your style when…

You like the comfort of traditional things and don’t care about following trends!

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Classic Formal Interior Design Style

Interiors decorated with classic formal style have traditional elements and expected arrangements. It’s a style that relies on antique and heirloom pieces of furniture to create an elegant, formal feel to a space. This style takes inspiration from old-school French, Neoclassical, and Colonial design styles. Ultimately, it’s a look that is formal and elegant.

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The Key Elements:

Classic Formal interior design relies on European and American antiques (or replicas) in perfect condition—not distressed—to set the tone for the space. Wood furniture will tend to be in mahogany, ebony, or cherry finishes. This style also features tons of classic patterns, from damask and floral to chinoiserie and toile. These patterns are layered in furniture upholstery, drapery, and bedding. Throughout a classic formal space you’ll see rich tones of reds, blues, yellows, and greens.

You know this is your style when…

You like antiques and a classic, symmetrical feel.

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Coastal Interior Design Style

Coastal style is meant to evoke the breeziness of the beach. It’s a style that has a clean, soft, and natural aesthetic. Nothing should feel too stiff or ultra-formal; instead, coastal style is inviting and comfortable with lots of soft fabrics and cozy silhouettes.

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The Key Elements:

Spaces decorated with coastal style should feature tonal blues and crisp whites mixed with soft earth tones. You’ll find a variety of natural textures in Coastal spaces—like jute, seagrass, driftwood, linen, wicker, and rattan. Wood tones should be light in color, like blonde maple or ash. Whitewashed wood and slipcovered furniture are also common in coastal spaces. A few beachy accessories like seashells, glass bottles, woven baskets are great, but too many and the space will start to feel kitschy and overly thematic.

You know this is your style when…

You like the easy and breezy feeling of being near the water. This style feels like a forever vacation in your home!

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Want to hear a few of our style experts talk more about these styles? Queue up the first episode of our podcast, The Render, to get some in-depth insights on all of these styles and learn to spot them in the wild with fun examples from popular movies and TV shows! Find our podcast here.

Still stumped on your interior design style? Take our style quiz!

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Living Room Layouts: What is The Best Living Room Layout For You?

One of the first things you need to do when decorating a room is decide on a layout. In the living room, figuring out the right layout for you depends on how you want to use your space.

Do you entertain family and friends often there? Are you trying to incorporate a play area for your kids? Or maybe you have an open floor plan and the living and dining spaces need to feel cohesive? Whatever your needs are, being clear about how you’ll engage with your living room design on a daily basis will help determine your layout.

To provide you with some guidance and inspiration, we’re breaking down four common living room layout ideas below. Read on to see the layouts and pick up tips for bringing the look in each setup into your home with our casual and formal living room ideas.

FOR CASUAL CONVERSATION

Living room ideas featuring laid-back layouts for conversation are common with Modsy customers. It’s easy to see why given that these designs encourage intimate conversations. If you want a cozy living room where people can mingle and relax, these are for you.

Conversational Layout #1

This layout focuses on the three mini seating areas that surround space—the sofa and woven ottoman serve as main seating in the room, while the armchairs by the fireplace are each set up as reading corners with their respective ottoman and drinks table.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Use three-point seating. Arranging your seating in a triangle, like the sofa opposite the fireplace and the inward-facing armchairs here, will instantly center your seating area.
  • Go round. Curvy designs will give your living room a less rigid look and feel. It will also create a good flow, making it easy for lots of people to move through the seating area.
  • Think visually minimal. The monochrome prints, black-and-white Moroccan rug, and white sheepskin keep the space feeling cozy rather than busy and overwhelming.

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Conversational Layout #2

Think of this split-level living room layout as the “conversation pit.” Whereas the first layout has an open flow, this one has a formal and structured formation with furnishings that play up a cozy vibe. If you’re after a simple layout, this is one of the more straightforward living room ideas.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Line up your seating. Arrange your sofa, armchairs, and benches and ottomans in a U-shaped setup so that they form a semi-closed seating area that feels intimate.
  • Keep to open bases. Because your seating arrangement has a boxy configuration, even it out with furniture that are on legs and have open bases for airy contrast.
  • Opt for classic colors. No need to go full neutral, but stick to light blues, greens, and beige tones in your accents for a cohesive look that’s punchy but easy on the eyes.

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FOR TV WATCHING

If you use your living room lmore as a place to kick back for movie nights and weekend Netflix binges with family and friends, the following two layouts have you covered. These living room ideas are centered around the TV as the main focus of the seating area.

TV Watching Layout #1

With a deep, stuffy sectional as the centerpiece, this living room layout is perfect for families with kids or those of you who host regular movie viewings and game nights. It’s all about fuss-free comfort with this setup, where everything is designed around the fireplace and TV.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Invest in big seating. When the focus of your space is entertaining around the TV, go for the comfy sink-in sectional and chaise combo to create the ultimate lounge area. Not sure if you want a sofa or sectional? See our guide for each of their pros and cons.
  • Elevate your TV viewing. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, hang your TV a little higher to avoid having to crane your neck to watch movies. For the best way to incorporate your TV to look like decor, check out our easy hacks for working TV viewing into any living room layout.
  • Finish with extra seats. A sectional and chaise on its own isn’t enough to fill out your living space, so make it a point to include the additional pouf or armchair. This will give your living room more flexibility as a conversational area and not just for TV watching.
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TV Watching Layout #2

While the first layout gives you a sort of cozy seating alcove, this approach gives you a central boxed-in, TV-viewing spot that still has good flow and leaves plenty of walking room all around. And unlike the previous design, this layout results in a slightly more formal living room design.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Try multipart seating. Another seating option is a large multi-piece sectional that is designed to be configured and can accommodate lots of bodies. If you float this piece in the room, as in this layout, it also acts as a room divider. See why it’s especially good for large rectangular living rooms.
  • Add in more moveable pieces. With a sectional that forms a conversation ring, pair it with versatile accent tables that can easily be pulled in and out of the space. Try a round coffee table and a C-shaped drinks table for compact and convenient options.
  • Optimize space around. Tuck a bench behind the sofa so that it’s easy to bring around for extra seating when needed. It’s a great perch to have at the ready for family game nights or for an extra surface for setting down a tray of drinks.

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FOR FORMAL ENTERTAINING

Conversational but less casual and intimate, these formal living rooms are less focused on lounging and lean more toward a space for cocktail parties and book clubs. These layouts are more aligned with traditional rules of interior design so expect more classic and elevated living room ideas with furniture arrangement and decor.

Formal Layout #1

When it comes to formal living room ideas, this layout approach is tried-and-true. With its balanced furniture arrangement and elegant decor pairings, this layout offers a sense of instant sophistication that never fails to impress guests.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Double everything. Facing sofas, floor lamps flanking the fireplace, matching pillows, there’s power in pairs when it comes to this layout. Start with your sofas—more classic shapes the better—and then move to the smaller accents and accessories.
  • Symmetry rules. This is key if you want a classic formal layout. It not only provides a sense of order and structure to the space, but it also lends a tailored look and frames architectural details, like windows or a fireplace, as focal points.
  • Neutral is best. The best way to ensure this formal living room layout maintains a streamlined and elegant look is to embrace a neutral palette of grays and white tones. It will soften sharp lines and dark materials and give your space a light and chic appeal.

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Formal Layout #2

For an even more formal living room design, try this elevated and curated take on a conversational layout. The key here is to combine lots of different seating in many different styles and materials, which will usher in a refined ambiance.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Vary your seating. The most important element in this living room layout is the mix of ottomans and armchairs with a bench and sectional. Together they create a formal and balanced look that gives any living room both a sense of intimacy and elegance.
  • Center with accents. With a variety of seating, you want to make sure the seating area still appears focused. Use a set of art prints and a large coffee table as visual anchors to ground the center of your space.
  • Delineate with a rug. No matter your living space, a rug will set apart your seating area. It’s essential in this formal layout, as a light-hued rug can unify all the different designs.

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FOR A MULTI-USE SPACE

For many people, the living room isn’t just for lounging. It might flow into a dining area or need to also function as a playspace for children or as a makeshift home office. If this is you, these multipurpose living room ideas featuring flexible layouts are sure to help you tackle your space.

Multi-Use Layout #1

In a small space that needs to work as both living and dining room, clear delineation of where each area starts is key. That means how and where you place your furniture will make all the difference.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Partition with furniture. Use a sofa to divide the living and dining areas. The sofa back acts like a wall to separate the room into two distinct spaces with different functions. If you’re not sure where to start, take a peek at these open living dining room layout ideas.
  • Add tall accents. Whether it’s a light fixture over a dining table, a tall plant next to your sofa, or art on the walls, accents make for markers that will help further set apart your living and dining spaces.

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Multi-Use Layout #2

Balancing multiple functions in the living room can be tricky, especially when it involves a space for children. When you’re carving out a play area or a fun corner for kids, it’s even more important to nail down a layout that clearly provides separation between different “zones”.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Corner it. Carve out a corner for the kiddos. You can use a rug to physically zone the space and top it with children’s furniture to formalize the spot as your little one’s dedicated play area. Having trouble doing this in your own space? Check out more ways to make your living room also work as a playroom.
  • Use little kid markers. By that we mean hanging up a piece of kid art to signal that the area under it is a play space. You can also work in baskets and kid-friendly storage for toys and clutter, which will ultimately indicate that it’s a separate space from the rest of the living area.

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Multi-Use Layout #3

One of our favorite open floor plan ideas for a living room is incorporating a mini office space. But it can be tricky to get the layout right as you want to make sure you add function without creating more visual clutter.

How To Set Up This Layout:

  • Back it with a desk. Tuck a desk behind your sofa to set up an open workspace for yourself. The back of the sofa acts like a mini wall that instantly sets your office area apart from the rest of the room. Can’t fit a desk behind your sofa? Explore more ideas from us on how to make an office in your living room.
  • Work in accent furnishings. By itself, a desk can feel a little haphazard in the middle of your living room. Try rounding out your office space with side tables, storage pieces, or a pair of stools on either side of your desk. This adds instant symmetry and balance while also formalizing this area as a dedicated workspace.
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(Episode 3) The Render Visual Companion: Why Is the World So Obsessed With Mid-Century Modern Design?

Welcome to the visual companion to the third episode of The Render. The Render is a podcast hosted by Modsy’s very own Alessandra Wood and Maddy Warner, and is all about the untold stories from the world of interior design.

In our third episode, Maddy and Alessandra are joined by special guest and Mid-Century Modern expert, Lark Morgenstern, as they unpack why the world is so obsessed with Mid-Century Modern design.

Listen Now

The Render is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

the render podcast

If your dreams are filled with Shell chairs and Tulip tables, you’re probably a lover of Mid-Century Modern design. But even if the sight of an Eames lounge chair makes you roll your eyes, there’s no denying that this style has dominated the interior design landscape for the past 50 years. Why is the world so obsessed with Mid-Century Modern design?

Today, we’ll be joined by an expert in Mid-Century Modern design, Lark Morgenstern from 1st Dibs, to unpack the answer to that question. We’ll talk about the style’s rise to popularity, its resurgence in the 90s, some designers to know (beyond the Eames), where the trend is heading in the future, and we even get into the surprising connection between the Playboy mansion and Mid-Century Modern design.

Brazillian Mid-Century Design

Some amazing mid-century furniture designs came out of Brazil in the 1950s and 60s.

A part of furniture and design history that doesn’t get studied or celebrated as much in popular culture. But right now, Brazillian mid-century designs are having a moment in the spotlight.

Paulistano Chair

Alessandra is a proud owner of this baby.

The Dawn of Modernism

If you’ve studied design history or even know a little about furniture, you’ve likely heard the terms “Scandinavian design” or “Danish design” tossed around in conversations about interior design. But what exactly is Scandinavian or Danish design and how do these styles fit into the larger Mid-Century Modern story?

Scandinavian Design

What Lark calls a “self-created concept,” Scandinavian design really launched onto the design scene in the mid-50 with the 1954 Design in Scandinavia exhibition. This was a beautiful exhibit where designers from all over the Scandinavian countries showcased their work, and it toured the United States for three years.

1954 Design in Scandinavia exhibition

While this exhibit was touring, we were also in the middle of the Mid-Century Modern boom in the US. American consumers, who were already primed to be partial to notions of “good design,” loved their work and snapped these pieces up.

Learn more about the Mid-Century notion of “Good Design” in Episode 1 of The Render.

Scandinavian vs. Mid-Century Modern Design

While both styles fall under the larger umbrella of modernism, there are some subtle differences between Scandinavian and Mid-Century Modern design. More like close cousins than siblings, these styles are both very focused on geometric forms and came on to the scene at the same time.

Mid-Century Modern design focused on the use of new materials like plastics, fiberglass, wire, and aluminum. By contrast, Scandinavian design took a much more organic approach to the same modernist principles. These designs feature more natural materials like wood, specifically birch and ash varieties, which are native to the area. Scandinavian design also tends to be softer, and references the organic forms found in nature.

 

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Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase

An iconic Finnish design, the Savoy vase is a glass vessel with an organic, amoeba-like shape.

 

Cranbrook Academy of the Arts

How did Scandinavian design influence American mid-century design?

Of course, design doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And in fact, designers from these different movements were looking at each other’s work and there was some “cross-pollination” between their schools of thought.

So many of the designers that we associate with the movement—think Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, and George Nelson—studied at Cranbrook Academy of the Arts. This was a school founded by Eliel Saarinen (Eero Saarinen’s father) who was the school’s architect and president.

As such, a lot of the Scandinavian design principles trickled down through that and influenced many of these Mid-Century designers and is one of the reasons we think of Scandinavian design as inherent to Mid-Century Modern in so many ways.

The Re-Popularization of Mid-Century Modern Design

One of the big questions we’re trying to answer, is why is Mid-Century Modern design so popular again today? Over the past decade, we’ve seen Mid-Century Modern become the number one style, and it’s still our most-requested style here at Modsy.

Has Mid-Century Modern Ever Gone Out of Style?

Today it might seem like Mid-Century Modern style has always been popular, but there was a time when it was not such a popular style. In the 80s and early 90s, there was a short time period when Mid-Century Modern was equated with “grandparent’s style” in a dated, not trendy way.

This was the era of the “McMansion” and many people were looking to traditional and classic styles when furnishing their homes—think 90s sitcom style—while Mid-Century Modern felt dated.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Style

The traditional furnishings that were popular when Gen-Xers were growing up.

The Resurgence of Mid-Century Modern Style

At the end of the late 90s, we see Gen-X helping to create a resurgence in Mid-Century Modern design. At this time, Mid-Century Modern furniture wasn’t popular, which also meant that it was really affordable. You could find cool, well-designed furniture like an Eames lounge or Nakashima table (that today go for thousands of dollars) at crazy affordable prices.

 

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Wallpaper Magazine

The “bible” of the cool, urban Gen-Xers who all of a sudden have jobs and money and are ready to buy apartments and fill them with furniture. Instead of adopting the style of their parents, this generation is really defined by the Mid-Century Modern style. Wallpaper Magazine featured photo essays of cool, Mid-Century Modern houses and effectively made them the It style.

 

Tom Ford’s Mid-Century Modern Home

 

Men in Black Mid-Century Modern Set

Check out those Swan chairs, originally designed by Arne Jacobsen.

Mid-Century Modern Designers

One of the big differentiators between this time period and others was that you as a regular person can own something that was created or designed by a “genius.” This was also the era of the designer, and these people were considered almost celebrities so there was added allure to owning their pieces.

 

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Charles and Ray Eames

 

 

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Harry Bertoia

 

Eero Saarinen

 

George Nelson

 

1961 Designers Playboy Spread

 

Playboy Bachelor Pad

What’s In and What’s Out? The Mid-Century Modern Collector’s Market

Just like the stock market, in the collector’s market we see certain pieces of furniture, designers, or even design styles that go up and down in value. This is particularly evident in Mid-Century Modern designs, which are so widely copied and reproduced.

Designs Trending Down in Popularity

The pieces Lark says are losing steam in the collector’s market.

 

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Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair

Lark’s favorite example of the rise and fall of the collector’s market.

Once the market gets flooded with these widely-copied designs and the value of them drops.

 

 

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Eames Lounge Chair

Probably the most-copied design from the Mid-Century Modern era, you can get cheap knock-offs of the Eames Lounge design on sites like Amazon. After 30 years of popularity, we think these loungers are on their way out.

Designs That Hold Their Value

The pieces that have held their value for decades in the collector’s market.

Marshmallow Sofa

A piece that is definitive of the Mid-Century Modern era, Lark thinks this is a design that will never go out of style.

Mesa Coffee Table

More intricate designs tend to hold their value over time.

Designs Trending Up in Popularity

What’s trending right now in the collectors market?

 

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Cesca Chair

A design by Marcel Breuer, we’re calling the Cesca chair the new Eames shell chair.

 

Jeanneret Chair

A super chic, and cool looking chair design from India, get the scoop on the story behind this iconic design.

Mid-Century Modern Design in Pop Culture

Mid-Century Modern has always enjoyed a prominent place in our country’s popular culture. Here are a few of the ways it’s showing up on the scene in the 21st century.

 

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The Kardashians

Spotted on Kourtney Kardashian’s Instagram. It’s no wonder this chair is having a moment in the spotlight.

 

Mad Men

The show that introduced the general public to Mid-Century Modern design in the late 2000s, we couldn’t do an episode on this style without talking about the iconic interiors of AMC’s Mad Men.

The two main character’s offices are the perfect examples of two different takes on Mid-Century Modern.

Roger Sterling’s Office

A more feminine, chic take on Mid-Century Modern design. His office is much more youthful, poppy, and even fun and features pieces by designers like Eero Saarinen and Italian designers.

Don Draper’s Office

In contrast to Roger’s space, Don’s office features a much more masculine take on Mid-Century Modern design.

On Set With the Eames Lounge Chair

A piece of furniture associated with very “cool” people, we often see the Eames lounge chair in more masculine environments.

 

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Shark Tank Set

Even on the new set of Shark Tank, all the investors now sit in white leather Eames Loungers.

 

 

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Frasier Crane

Another TV character who owns a lounger.

What’s Next?

Some of Lark’s predictions on the designs that will soon be trending.

 

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Mel Smilow’s Designs

A new designer to take a look at.

 

Ernest Race’s Antelope Chair

Lina Bo Bardi

An Italian designer who moved to Brazil after WWII.

organic modernismOrganic Modernism

You heard it here first folks! The Mid-Century Modern trend is taking an organic turn. This style pulls in rustic elements to a Mid-Century framework and infuses the style with a sense of warmth and creature comforts—something we could all use right about now.

Take the Organic Modern home tour

Thanks again to Lark Morgenstern for Joining us!

Lark Morgenstern is a decorative art and design specialist. She has a B.B.A in Strategic Design + Management and an M.A in History of Design and Curatorial Studies from Parsons School of Design. Over her career, she has worked in furniture and fine art galleries. In 2016, she founded the 133 Design Collective, a network of artists, designers, and performers, and curated exhibitions showcasing young designer’s work.

She currently works as the Senior Business Associate for the 1stdibs Art + Design Research team where she acts as team lead for design specialists that review the 1stdibs marketplace and develops partnerships with archives, designers, and artist estates. This past year, she served on the vetting committee for the Salon Art + Design Fair. Prior to 1stdibs, she worked as a Curatorial Assistant at the Brooklyn Museum in the Decorative Arts and American Art Department.

Recently, she co-founded Coco + Morgenstern, a company geared to helping those at the entry and mid-career level find jobs in the art + design world.

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 furnitureFurniture 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 furnitureA 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 retro 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: It 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 furnitureNatural 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 furnitureAccents 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 furnitureGeometric 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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modern living room ideas

8 Ways to Bring a Mid-Century Modern Look to Your Living Room

modern living room ideasThe Mid-Century Modern interior design style may have begun in the 1950s but this timeless look is more popular today than ever! Defined by simple forms, organic influences, and minimal ornamentation, the look is so versatile that it can blend in with a variety of different interior design styles. It’s the perfect choice if you’re merging tastes with a partner/roommate or if you want to showcase multiple styles in one design! And if you’re looking for modern living room ideas, this post will walk you through 8 rooms that show just how many ways you can bring a mid-century modern living room to life!

modern living room ideasThe Pure Mid-Century Modern Living Room

Up first is a room that showcases pure, undiluted Mid-Century Modern style at its best. Think of this style as the look popularized by shows like “Mad Men” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It’s all about the classic, retro look.

The key mid-century elements in this space are the use of primary and secondary colors and the perfect blend of organic shapes and abstract patterns that really polish off that Mod, 1950s look. Also don’t miss all the tapered legs, which are another notable staple of iconic Mid-Century Modern style.

minimal modern living roomThe Minimal Mid-Century Living Room

If you like mid-century style but don’t want to go overboard with it, take a cue from this minimalist-inspired look. This living room mixes mid-century with minimal design elements for a space that feels crisp and clean.

The muted, neutral palette is minimal but the use of natural woods adds just the right amount of warmth to the space. Sculptural forms, like the light fixtures and coffee table, help keep the design clean and refined and there is no additional ornament on any of the furniture items. While mid-century styles love patterns, if you’re going for this look try only incorporating them into your decor. This will help preserve a minimal vibe in your modern living room design.

The Transitional Mid-Century Modern Living Room

For a more approachable take on modern living room ideas, try mixing mid-century with transitional design. The key elements of the Mid-Century Modern style are at the core of this look, but we mixed them in with more contemporary vibes for a fresh look where comfort is on par with style.

Need an example? Look to the gold/marble coffee table, wall art, lamps, patterned pillows, and sofa to see what we’re talking about. This style is a great choice if you like to dabble in trends but don’t want to go all-out with any mid-century modern living room ideas.

modern living room ideasThe Eclectic Mid-Century Modern Living Room

If you want to amp up the already bright personality of mid-century style, add in a little eclectic flair. This is a look that shows off your individual taste with a unique approach to art, layouts, and decor. You can see all the essential mid-century forms and design principles topped off with a twist. Think bold colors, pops of pattern, and tons of texture for a more vibrant and eclectic look.

The Industrial Modern Living Room

Elevate modern living room ideas with the edgy, raw elements of industrial design. This room, for example, features industrial materials, like metal, raw woods, and leather which give it a more rugged appeal. This is a perfect complement to the clean, modern sophistication of mid-century style and a great way to merge two seemingly distinct looks together.

modern living room ideasThe Bohemian Mid-Century Living Room

For those who want a fun, trendy modern living room design, try this bohemian approach. Sometimes called “modern rustic,” this look is a mix of eclectic, rustic, and mid-century styles all combined into one cohesive design.

Check out the bold colors, patterns, natural materials, and textures galore. All of these pieces combine to make the room feel cozy, approachable, and very on-trend.

This Chic Mid-Century Living Room

This modern living room idea offers a chic, upscale take on the mid-century aesthetic. Glamorous touches are woven throughout the room—from streamlined silhouettes to playful geometry on the pillows and art. The room has a super refined and serene feel thanks to the neutral decor. Don’t miss the pops of pink and blue which bring it to life in color.

The Organic Modern Living Room

This is one of our favorite modern living room ideas because it incorporates the natural, organic trend we’re loving so much right now. The look mixes up industrial elements with an eclectic arrangement of different styles and shapes. Create this bold look with a blend of organic and curved shapes and a neutral color scheme with lots of contrast. Earthy materials and textures are also a perfect complement to the mid-century shapes and design elements!

 

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mid-century modern interior design

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

We don’t need to explain the mid-century modern interior design trend, which has been a fan favorite for the past decade. A style that’s been in the spotlight for years, mid-century modern is the most popular look among our customers. Read on for the full scoop on this iconic style and where it’s headed for 2020 and beyond!

What is Mid-Century Modern Interior Design?

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

mid-century modern bohoWhat’s the Current State of Affairs With the MCM Trend?

As we enter a new decade we’re noticing a shift away from “Mad Men” mid-century design to something more organic and collected.

From a high-level trend perspective we’re seeing beloved mid-century elements such are beautiful woods and iconic pieces mixed into more eclectic or organic interiors as opposed to rooms that feel themed as “mid-century.” The softer approach to mid-century design allows iconic and special pieces to be the stars of a space. We’re also seeing bolder styles that introduce glam elements in dramatic and sophisticated ways.

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!

mid-century modern interior designWhat Will Mid-Century Modern Look Like in 2020?

We’ll still be seeing mid-century elements and iconic pieces, but they’ll be used as accents in the space, as opposed to the overall theme of the design.

We’re seeing a softer, earthier side of the mid-century look come out to play with bohemian, collected elements, and organic shapes and forms. It feels more eclectic, mixing in worldly patterns, pops of color, natural textures, and lots of plants.

We’re also seeing the use of iconic pieces beyond the Eames chair. 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.

Minimalist Maximalist design is also 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. Look out for all of these trends in 2020!

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Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

7 Tips for Designing a Mid-Century Modern Bedroom

Even if you’re not obsessed with mid-century modern interior design, chances are you know what it is. A style popularized in the 1940s and 60s, the Mid-Century Modern design movement was born out of the romantic idea that “good design could change lives.” It was a style that was all about functionality, accessibility, and modern simplicity.

Still an incredibly popular style today, the mid-century modern look is great for anyone living in a smaller space; who likes a clean, modern aesthetic; or if you just want to embrace that Mad Men look in your home. And while this is a style that you can bring to life in any room, today we’re offering up some tips for designing a mid-century modern bedroom.

If you’re looking for bedroom design ideas, look no further than these mid-century modern bedroom ideas!

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

1. Look for Tapered Legs

Not sure how to spot mid-century modern furniture in a lineup? Check out the legs.

Round and slender, the tapered leg is a signature of mid-century modern furniture. Distinctive and sleek, these legs give the sense that your furniture is floating. This is great for small spaces, as it won’t clutter up the visual plane, and helps your room look more open and airy.

If you’re looking for mid-century modern bedroom design tips, shopping for pieces atop tapered legs is the perfect place to start.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

2. Add Natural Woods

The 60s, in particular, were all about going natural, and the furniture of this period reflected that philosophy. Natural and unstained woods are a huge part of mid-century modern design, so look for pieces that aren’t painted and unafraid to show off their grain.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

3. Opt for Organic Forms

Curved lines, rounded shapes, and asymmetry, were another defining trait of mid-century modern design. Designers embraced curved, clean, and sculptural forms that evoked the natural world and even the human body.

One of our favorite mid-century modern bedroom ideas, bring organic forms to your space through lamps, chairs, and artwork that are sleek and free of frilly ornamentation.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

4. Go for Graphic Patterns

Hand-in-hand with organic forms, geometric shapes and patterns were just as important to the designers of the Mid-Century Modern era. Nothing spelled groovy more than graphic patterns – imagine wild curves, boomerangs, kidneys, and spiky starbursts.

For your bedroom, don’t be afraid to experiment with pattern. Invite geometry into your space through your art, pillows, or even wallpaper.

Love the look? Shop this room.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

5. Mix Your Materials

The mid-century was all about shattering norms. No one wanted their mother’s matching bedroom set anymore. Designers were embracing new materials like plywood, metal, glass, and even molded plastics. These materials were often mixed together and juxtaposed in the same room or even same piece of furniture.

Mixing materials and even different kinds of furniture are great mid-century modern bedroom ideas. Incorporate pieces made of wood, metal, leather and even fabrics that appeal to you. Don’t be afraid to use pieces in creative ways, like a chair as a nightstand, or a bench as an accent table.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

6. Incorporate Earth Tones

When bringing mid-century modern bedroom ideas to life, be sure to play with color. If you want a more authentic take on a mid-century bedroom, skip the pastels or jewel tones. Instead, embrace the colors of choice of the Mid-Century era.

Mid-century designers loved earth tones like brown, rust, and green combined with the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. Play with these hues in your accents (like pillows and art) or even invite them in bolder ways (like wall color or a statement rug).

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

7. Add Retro-Inspired Accents

Create your special mid-century modern signature by infusing retro-inspired accents into your space. It isn’t difficult to find contemporary pieces with a retro edge, items like a Sputnik chandelier or an Eames-style side chair are sure to do the trick.

 

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Style Spotlight: Mod Visionary

Style Spotlight: Mod Visionary

 

Do you dig a retro look almost as much as you crave a clean space? Do sleek forms and modern styling set your heart aflutter? If so, then chances are your style is what Modsy calls “Mod Visionary.”

The Mod Visionary look combines Mid-Century Modern forms with minimalist styling and colors. Our most popular style, browse through some of our favorite customer spaces to see if Mod Visionary is the look for you!

Big Space / Small Space:

No matter how many square feet you have to work with, our Mod Visionary collection is poised to work anywhere. Ripe with open-base pieces, this collection is full of furniture perched atop tapered legs to ensure an open and airy feeling in any room.

 

This small living room looks full and functional without feeling stuffed. The elevated sofa and coffee table create the illusion of weightlessness while also visually balancing the two dense side tables.

 

This open living room/dining room feels equally full and thought-out. To fill up the larger space, we opted for the sectional version of the mid-century styled sofa, a dynamic piece that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit any interior.

 

This customer’s space also features our Mod Visionary collection, but it takes on a whole new function as a dining room. The open space accommodates a storage piece and an expandable dining table. Pro tip: place your extra dining chairs on either side of the credenza to avoid over-crowding your dining table.

 

A much smaller space, this dining room lives in close proximity to the living room. To work within such a small footprint, we swapped a glass-top dining table to visually open up the space and create an uncluttered look. No space for a credenza? A petite bar cart provides just the right amount of storage for a small space.

In the Zone:

Two spaces are better than one, and our Mod visionary collection is ready to tackle them all. This customer’s open floor plan was in need of some zoning to create two distinct areas. Turning the sofa away from the dining area helped visually divide the room, while still keeping the visual harmony of the space in tact.

First Impressions:

Have an entryway in need of a spruce? Mod Visionary has you covered. This customer had a lot of wall space to work with, so we ramped up the storage with a dining room credenza. We also love the play between the geometry of the doors and credenza. Yes way, entryway!

Architecturally Accommodating:

What really makes this style such a crowd pleaser, is its ability to work in a variety of environments. You don’t have to own a modern, all-white everything kind of home to enjoy Mod Visionary decor. A style that agrees with all kinds of homes, Mod Visionary works in contemporary estates to Southwestern bungalows, and it even looks right at home amongst high ceilings and Victorian cornices.

 

 

 

 

Want more Mod Visionary? See how it looks in your own space and get started today!