If you dream of low-slung sofas, tapered furniture legs, daring geometrics, and sultry tweed and velvet, you're dreaming of Mid-Century Modern style. Stay tuned to learn everything about this blast from the past and how to put it to work in your here and now.
The world was racing to explore space, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry rocked the radio, while Marilyn Monroe and James Dean graced the silver screen. Slim legs and crushed velvet gave design a new allure that rivaled the stars of the time. The 1950's and 60's brought mid-century modern into full swing. The war was over and design was more avant-garde than ever before. Designers and architects such as Arne Jacobsen, husband and wife duo Charles and Ray Eames, and Verner Panton set the stage with essential period pieces.
The Egg Chair, the Eames Lounge Chair, and the Panton Chair changed what it meant to have comfortable furniture with aesthetic perfection. Ergonomic furniture and simple decor live within a Mid-Century Modern home. Not only were design elements beautiful and well-structured, but they also created a livable feel in any space.
To start your Mid-Century Modern redesign, imagine a sterile modern style and slowly add in pieces that are adorned in shades of pumpkin orange, avocado green, and mustard yellow. Pick smoky greys for walls to showcase pops of Mad Men-inspired shades, be brave in choosing more intense accent hues. On the other hand, if you leave your walls lighter, you give yourself the freedom to be daring with your Mid-Century Modern furniture and accessories.
Mid-Century Modern design became iconic because it successfully combines urban decor with natural materials. Exposed wood, earth-tone palettes, and natural light are all key components. Pull in plants and chic terrariums to breathe life into any space.
Although there are many materials that make up a Mid-Century Modern home, wood may be the most prominent. Both elementary and polished, exposed wood brings nature's best decor inside the home. Wood surfaces and details take the edge off Mid-Century's sharp lines and teak takes center stage in many pieces of furniture.
Of course, every space needs a little shine. Sharpen your home's look with metallic accents in light fixtures, mirrors, and other accessories. Space race-inspired metals — think brass and chrome — take flight! Starburst clocks and Sputnik style light fixtures are important for a curated Mid-Century Modern design.
Don't judge this book by its cover. Tweed and wood combine their powers to pull playful patterns and chic accessories down to Earth. Tweed may look rough and scratchy, however it can be quite soft and is an ideal way to add a textured touch to the clean lines that dominate this design aesthetic.
For a Mid-Century Modern home, incorporating abstract patterns is a must. Find patterns that feature neutrals and bursts of secondary colors, such as orange and green. Think Pollock and de Kooning as you choose art for your Mid-Century Modern design.
These explosive, star-like patterns are a reaction to America joining the atomic age at the height of Mid-Century style. With molecule-like structures branching off a central point, atomic patterns add a burst of excitement, featuring stylized versions of rockets and bombs in bright and muted colors.
Use throw pillows to add patterns and solid blocks of color to create interest in an otherwise neutral design.
Forget heavy oak furniture and embrace tapered table and chair legs, clean lines, and comfort. The Mid-Century Modern living room features bold colors and low profile furniture. Here we love the look of a neutral-toned scheme with color-saturated accessories. Invite quintessential pieces such as an Eames Lounge Chair or an unusual coffee table.
Architects and artists took the design world by storm with sleek furniture and thoughtfully made pieces that never sacrificed style.
Textured upholstery, wood, plastic, and metal are all welcome in a Mid-Century Modern living room. Enjoy the diversity of mixed media, and don't be afraid of putting different materials together.
Choose sofas and chairs that are low to the ground for a relaxed look. Low profile seating, storage, and tables all create a look that is undeniably at ease and uniform.
An iconic piece designed by Charles and Ray Eames at the height of the Mid-Century Modern design movement, the Eames Chair is ergonomically designed for comfort.
Whether you want to showcase intense colors in throw pillows, decorations, or upholstery, a pop of color is always a plus when it comes to Mid-Century Modern design.
The 1950s and '60s defined the art of the perfect dinner party.
A Mid-Century Modern dining room boasts tapered legs, wooden furniture, geometric art, and a slim dining room table and chairs that allow for plenty of movement and easy mingling. After all, the 1950s and '60s defined the art of the perfect dinner party. Eat and entertain in a space that is both fun and functional.
This type of pendant lighting is aptly named for its zany look designed after the famous spacecraft that holds a significant place in the 1950s and 60's. An accent piece like this makes for simple but exciting focal point in a Mid-Century dining room.
The beauty of Mid-Century Modern furniture lies in slim, tapered legs that give way to a lightweight look. Tapered table legs and chair legs keep your dining room looking simply beautiful.
Take your dinner party and entertainment to the next level with a bar cart. Not only is it a fun feature and a convenient space for cocktails, a bar cart usually has wheels that allow you to transfer the fun from room to room.
A slim, Mid-Century Modern dining room table should be centered in the room for plenty of open space. Opportunity for movement is key for a room that is focused on socializing and entertaining guests.
Begin and end your day in a minimalist room arrangement that channels plenty of personality without the clutter. Cool blues, cozy seating areas, soft lighting, and neutral colors create the perfect atmosphere for settling down at the end of the day. Soft grays and shades of white provide a basic backdrop to be outgoing with colorful accessories.
Cool blues, cozy seating areas, soft lighting, and neutral colors create the perfect atmosphere...
This room keeps things Mid-Century with simple furniture like a no-fuss platform bed. The geometric accents and walnut finish bring warmth to the room in the house you can always count on for a good night's sleep.
Give your Mid-Century Modern bedroom a soft glow with window treatments that allow natural light inside. Your bedroom will feel clean and peaceful with the help of relaxed lighting.
Here, the bedroom tones down the pops of color and saturated hues. Neutral colors are preferred to create a calm, simple Mid-Century Modern bedroom.
It's hard to wind down in a messy bedroom. Mid-Century Modern design celebrates organization and a lack of clutter, even when it comes to decor. Declutter by keeping shelves and surfaces tidy and wall art minimal.