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

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

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

mid century living roomA Touch of Glam

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

mid century living roomNeutral Territory

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

mid century living roomDown-to-Earth Style

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

Mod Enthusiast Living

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

Mod Visionary Living Space

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

Iconic Mid Century Living

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

Mod Collector Space

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

Pastel Chic Mid Century

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

Relaxed and Retro

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

Atomic Industrial

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

Boomerangs And Sputniks

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

Peachy Mid Century

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

Organic Modernism

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

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Modern Rustic Living

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

Edgy Modern Style

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

Pure Retro Vibes

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

Mid Century Minimalism

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

Mod Enthusiast

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

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

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

Mid-century modern style also offers the perfect marriage between form and function. It features minimal ornamentation, so it’s super easy to care for and keep clean. The design seamlessly blends clean lines and 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.

If you want to learn more about the history of mid-century modern furniture, check out our podcast episode that’s all about how this became the world’s favorite design style.

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

Mid-Century living room furniture

Furniture With Tapered Legs

No mid-century modern space would be complete without tapered-leg furniture, 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 sleek lines and triangular shape of tapered legs draw the eye up and make smaller spaces seem more open and airy. Not only do they look clean, 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 modern furniture movement. Their functionality and streamlined forms make them perfect for almost any space, truly giving this trend a leg (or four!) to stand on.

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Mid-Century living room furniture

A Retro Side Chair

Part of what makes mid-century style so distinctive is its clever mix of strong shapes, vibrant colors, and materials. A fun mid-century chair design, like this one, is the perfect piece of mid-century furniture to complete your living room design. Look for one with a frame made of natural wood and cushions with colorful upholstery. Mid-century modern style is all about simple, streamlined shapes and organic forms, which an accent chair like this really shows off.

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

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Mid-Century living room furniture

Natural or Acorn Wood Finishes

While mid-century modern design is known for popularizing a slew of man-made materials for the home (think: fiberglass, vinyl, and concrete), its use of natural wood is truly exemplary. Warm finishes in teak or acorn tones are super common in mid-century designs and they are used for their warm, inviting quality. West Elm, a brand known for its mid-century-inspired designs, has a full line of mid-century furniture in an acorn finish, bringing this trend to life in modern homes.

If an acorn finish isn’t your vibe, you can also opt for darker walnut finishes, or you can give your space a more Scandinavian Modern vibe with a natural wood finish. Whatever wood finish you choose, streamlined mid-century shapes and minimal ornamentation bring out the beauty of the wood.

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

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Mid-Century living room furniture

Accents in Primary Colors

One of the most fun components of mid-century design is its playful use of color! Historically, mid-century spaces utilized a mix of bold, primary colors, with yellows and blues being especially popular. 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 the mid-century design aesthetic. It adds a sense of levity and joy to the serious designs and geometric shapes of the movement.

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Mid-Century living room furniture

Geometric Shapes and Accents

Eye-catching geometric accents are absolute mid-century necessities. These shapes can show up in both mid-century modern furniture and home decor.

Hugely popular in mid-century design, the tripod lamp is a great example of how to incorporate geometric shapes and sleek lines into your mid-century space. Tripod legs add stability while maintaining a simple and elegant form—it’s both functional and design-savvy.

A starburst mirror or atomic light fixture are also popular staples of mid-century style. Both feature a whimsical and retro look that creates an immediate focal point in a room. End tables, bookcases, and coffee tables with strong geometry in their design are another great way to bring both form and function into a mid-century modern design.

It’s a “must-have” because… The dynamic shapes used in mid-century design are not only eye-catching, but they also 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 in your furniture and home decor is still a great way to bring a room together today.

Looking for ways to do this? A square leather ottoman features a simple shape that can bring out the vintage of the leather. A patterned jute rug gets double mid-century style points for its groovy geometric pattern and organic material. And a marble-top coffee table adds a bit of luxury to the more down-to-earth design elements in a mid-century space. Plus, when paired with slender metal legs or tapered wood legs, it gives a piece like this 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 (whether it’s an original or a reproduction) that’s perfect for your own take on mid-century.

What are some of the most iconic furniture pieces that came out of the mid-century modern design movement? The Noguchi coffee table designed by Isamu Noguchi, is a classic representation of bold mid-century style, with its tear-drop-shaped glass top and boomerang-shaped legs. The Eames lounge chair and ottoman or the Jeanneret Chair designed by Pierre Jeanneret are a few other classics. 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 modern 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

Want to bring those Mad Men vibes into your living room? A simple, clean-lined bar cabinet serves up plenty of mid-century charm while giving a home to your bottles and barware. Look for a bar cabinet with a simple shape, tapered legs, and a warm wood finish. Antique brass hardware is a refined detail present in lots of mid-century furniture pieces, so those details add to the retro style of a modern bar cabinet!

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… This retro piece of furniture is a great way to incorporate more mid-century shapes into your space while offering plenty of functional closed storage.

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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 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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Mid-century modern dining room with yellow walls, green chairs, and geometric art work

Mid-Century Artwork

Another great way to drive home the mid-century vibes of your space is through home decor—especially wall art. Artwork is like the crown jewel of a room—so it can really pull a whole mid-century modern space together.

Non-objective, abstract art grew in popularity in the 50s and 60s, so look for pieces that have that abstract quality. Graphic patterns and geometric shapes were popular motifs in the mid-century, as were primary and bold colors—so, look for pieces with these qualities. You could also look to popular mid-century artists, like Jackson Pollock, for inspiration. Framing a print of a famous piece of artwork or looking for pieces in a similar style are great ways to bring your space to life.

It’s a “must-have” because… Mid-century modern art is so recognizable and iconic—so a mid-century space really needs some statement art.

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Mid-century bedroom with a white color scheme and geometric rug

Geometric Rug

Since geometric patterns were so popular in mid-century design, it makes sense to incorporate geometric shapes in a large piece like your rug. An area rug with a geometric pattern adds movement, plush texture, and dimension to any room. (Rugs are also great for zoning open floor plans and adding a plush base to any seating area.)

It’s a “must-have” because… Adding a geometric rug is a great way to bring mid-century modern design elements and patterns to your space while also offering a practical element.

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This post was updated on June 28, 2021

 

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

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

Mid-Century Modern 101 at a Glance:

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

mid-century modern living roomShop This Room

What is Mid-Century Modern Interior Design?

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

1961 Mid-Century Modern Designers Playboy Spread

The History of Mid-Century Modern Design

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

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

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

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

mid-century modern bedroom

5 Tips to Bring This Look to Life in Your Home

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

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1. Opt for Clean Lines

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

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2. Incorporate Plenty of Wood Tones

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

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3. Consider Your Color Scheme

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

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4. Insert Pops of Patterns

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

 

mid-century loft apartment

5. Look to Pop Culture for Inspiration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Organic Modernism

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

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Scandinavian Design and “Japandi”

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

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Mid-Century Boho Design

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

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Minimalist Maximalist

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

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

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

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

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This post was updated on March 26, 2021

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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.

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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!