We love Mid-century Modern here at FURNISHD.
We love it more than Don Draper loved an Old Fashioned with a twist of cigarette smoke.
In other words, we love it hard.
Our designers are pros at transforming spaces using this styling trend, and we’ve managed to get them to spill the beans on how you can give your place the mid-century modern look.
Read on for their expert answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Mid-century Modern interior styling.
What is mid-century modern?
Even if you’ve never heard the term ‘mid-century modern’, if you’ve ever lusted after an Eames chair or binged on Mad Men, you’re probably already pretty familiar with the style it originated from.
Mid-century modern interior design is timeless, elegant, and strikes the perfect balance between function and form.
It’s the evolution of the aesthetic that first became popular after WW2 (but never really went away because it’s so damn amazing), and is a blend of the simple designs and rounded, organic shapes of the era, with more contemporary design elements.
If you’re partial to a bit of vintage styling, mid-century modern could be the home styling trend you’ve been searching for.
It’s a style that values simplicity, function, and quality, and celebrates a connection to the outdoors.
Traditional mid-century architecture used vast amounts of glass to bring the outside in and make the most of natural light, and celebrated natural materials in the home, like exposed wooden beams, wall cladding, and exposed brick.
They pioneered the open-plan home layouts that are now the norm, and kept decorating simple and sparse.
But even if you don’t have a home with enormous windows and sweeping split-level open plan living, you can still create a mid-century modern vibe.
Which colours suit the mid-century modern look?
Start your mid-century modern makeover with warm white walls to provide a fuss-free backdrop.
From there, you can have some fun choosing a colour palette for your mid-century modern space that’ll help the look work in any style of home.
Anchor your design with neutrals, but elevate it with pops of bright, rich colour.
Use shades of sage, orange, rust, olive green and dark red to complement the neutrals and natural materials in your mid-century modern living room, and glam up your mid-century modern bedroom with palettes selected from pastels, brights, and primary colours.
Alternatively, go for a more laid-back mid-century modern colour palette of black and white or shades of beige.
This is one home styling trend that gives you a lot of leeway when it comes to selecting colours.
Earthy tones are just as welcome as kitsch, bright colours, all grounded by neutrals to keep the overall look easy on the eye and not over saturated.
How do I find the perfect mid-century modern furniture?
There’s nothing fussy about mid-century modern furniture.
Form follows function in this design trend, with clean lines, sexy silhouettes and simple practicality being the hallmarks of the pieces that will help you turn your space into a mid-century modern haven.
If you’ve got the budget, searching for the perfect vintage hero piece to build your mid-century modern room around will be fun, but there’s plenty of mid-century inspired furniture readily available that can help create this look just as well.
Look for features such as hairpin legs and curved, organic shapes, along with low, streamlined seating, plastic shell chairs, and couches that will cocoon you (while you cradle a martini).
Dark and natural timber is synonymous with this style trend, as is timber veneer, Laminex, plastic and acrylic.
Practicality and beautiful craftsmanship were hallmarks of the furniture of the post-war era, so whatever you choose for your mid-century modern space should be a nod to this.
"Form follows function in this design trend, with clean lines, sexy silhouettes and simple practicality being the hallmarks of the pieces that will help you turn your space into a mid-century modern haven."
How can I style a mid-century modern home?
The mid-century modern style is defined by having minimal ornamentation, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to accessorise your mid-century modern home.
In fact, even though the look will be smothered by too much décor, it’s the décor you do include that will be key to getting this look right.
The perfect mid-century modern room is never overdone, never underdone, but always just right.
No pressure Goldilocks!
- Mid-century Modern lighting
Lighting is an area in which you can really make a mid-century modern statement. Pendant lighting will work well, but if you really want to blow some minds, look for big, arty architectural lighting fixtures heavy on the wow factor. For mood lighting, look for organically shaped candle sticks and centrepieces, and floor and table lamps in rounded shapes.
- Mid-century Modern accessories for colour
Introduce colour and typical mid-century pattern with carefully selected soft furnishings. Cushions are a great way to pay homage to the bold graphic prints of the time, without overwhelming the room or making it too kitsch. Patterned floor rugs are another way to tip your hat to the origins of this style, while artfully displayed ceramics in bright colours are another way to inject some colour.
- Mid-century Modern wall décor
Mirrors are a great way to up the mid-century modern vibe in your home and give a greater sense of the light that the style is famous for. Look for organic shapes with lacquered frames, round mirrors with bamboo petals, or a traditional sunburst style. Mid-century inspired mirrors are as beautiful as they are practical, and double as pieces of art to be admired. Speaking of of mid-century modern art, woven wall hangings and abstract prints with clean lines are perfect, and can be sourced relatively inexpensively.
- Plants and window furnishings to bring the outside in
Indoor plants will help connect your mid-century modern room to the outdoors, as will minimalist window furnishings that allow every possible ray of sunshine to flood your room.
- Mid-century cocktails – don’t mind if we do!
To go full Mad-Men at your place, treat yourself to a well-stocked bar trolley in your mid-century modern living room. Stock it with vintage-styled glasses, and your favourite poisons for Friday night drinks. To really get into the theme, check out some popular mid-century cocktails and get mixing!
If you’re as in love with mid-century modern styling as we are and would love to transform your place, FURNISHD. is here to help!