How to Decorate a Mid Century Modern Home

Mid century modern design is known for its sleek lines, organic shapes, and minimalistic approach. This timeless style emerged in the mid-20th century and has continued to captivate homeowners with its elegant simplicity. In this article, we will explore the essence of mid century modern design, its origins, and why it remains a popular choice for home decor.

Originating in the 1940s through the 1960s, mid century modern design was a response to the post-war housing boom and changing social attitudes. It aimed to bring functional yet stylish elements into everyday living spaces. Inspired by architectural trends and advancements in materials during that era, this design style embraced simplicity, form, and function.

What sets mid century modern design apart is its ability to seamlessly blend old charm with contemporary aesthetics. Classic pieces from renowned designers such as Charles and Ray Eames or George Nelson are still sought after today. The clean lines, organic shapes, and focus on functionality continue to make mid century modern homes relevant in today’s world.

Intriguingly versatile, mid century modern design can be personalized to suit individual preferences while maintaining its timeless elegance. Whether you’re a fan of vibrant accents or prefer earthy tones, this style offers endless possibilities for creating a cohesive and visually pleasing home. So let’s dive in and explore how you can decorate your own mid century modern home with confidence and creativity.

Setting the Scene

One of the key elements of mid century modern design is its distinctive and carefully curated color palette. This style is known for its use of both earthy tones and vibrant accents, creating a balanced yet visually striking look. When decorating a mid century modern home, choosing the right color palette is crucial in capturing the essence of this design aesthetic.

The signature colors of mid century modern design include warm earthy hues such as olive green, mustard yellow, burnt orange, and shades of brown. These colors are often complemented by pops of brighter and bolder colors like aqua blue, teal, and vibrant reds. The combination of these contrasting colors adds depth and interest to a space while maintaining a harmonious overall look.

When selecting a color palette for your mid century modern home, it’s important to consider the existing architecture and natural light in your space. Opt for neutral or lighter shades for larger areas such as walls or flooring to create an open and airy feel. Then, add bursts of color through furniture pieces, accent walls, or accessories to bring in that mid century modern vibe.

Color CombinationDescription
Olive Green + Mustard Yellow + TealA classic mid century modern combination that exudes warmth and vibrancy.
Aqua Blue + White + OrangeA refreshing and energetic color scheme that creates a sense of playfulness.
Grey + Walnut Brown + RedA more subdued yet sophisticated color palette that adds richness to a space.

By carefully selecting and combining these colors, you can create a mid century modern color palette that sets the scene for your entire home. Remember to play with different shades, textures, and patterns to add depth and visual interest. The right color choices will help evoke the timeless elegance of mid century modern design in your space.

Furniture Selection

When it comes to decorating a mid century modern home, one of the most important aspects is choosing the right furniture. Authentic mid century modern furniture not only adds charm and character to your space but also captures the essence of this iconic design style. In this section, we will provide tips on identifying genuine mid century modern furniture, explore popular furniture styles and designers from the era, and discuss where to find affordable and high-quality options.

To ensure you are purchasing authentic mid century modern furniture, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of this style. Look for pieces that feature clean lines, simple forms, and natural materials such as wood and leather.

Scandinavian influence is often seen in mid century modern furniture, characterized by minimalist designs and functionality. It’s also worth noting that mass-produced replicas can sometimes resemble original pieces, so always do your research or consult with experts before making a purchase.

When it comes to popular furniture styles from the era, there are several iconic designs that have stood the test of time. The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956, is perhaps one of the most well-known examples of mid century modern furniture. Other notable designers include Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, and George Nelson. Be sure to look out for their recognizable designs when searching for authentic mid century modern pieces.

Finding affordable and high-quality mid century modern furniture can be challenging, but there are several resources available. Antique stores and flea markets often have hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Online marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy can also offer a wide range of options at various price points. Additionally, specialized vintage stores or auctions dedicated to mid century modern design may offer curated selections with guaranteed authenticity.

As you embark on your search for perfect mid century modern pieces, remember that patience is key. Take your time exploring different sources, inspecting furniture carefully, and comparing prices. The process of finding the right furniture for your mid century modern home can be exciting and rewarding, ultimately leading to a space that reflects the timeless elegance of this iconic design style.

● Online marketplaces (eBay, Etsy)

– Verify authenticity before making a purchase.
TipsFurniture Styles and DesignersWhere to Find
– Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of mid century modern furniture – Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames – Antique stores and flea markets
– Look for clean lines, simple forms, and natural materials like wood and leather – Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, George Nelson

Mastering the Art of Balance

Creating a functional and stylish layout is essential in mastering the art of balance in a mid century modern home. The key to achieving this balance is through open spaces and clean lines, which are defining characteristics of mid century modern design. Here are some guidelines to help you arrange your furniture for optimal flow and visual balance:

  1. Embrace Open Spaces: One of the hallmarks of mid century modern design is its emphasis on open floor plans. Maximize the sense of space by keeping furniture arrangements minimal and avoiding clutter. Make sure there is plenty of room to move around and maintain a sense of openness.
  2. Placement Matters: When arranging furniture in a mid century modern home, it’s important to consider both function and aesthetics. Start by positioning larger pieces such as sofas and tables in strategic locations that facilitate conversation and traffic flow. Place items against walls or float them in the center of a room to create focal points.
  3. Play with Symmetry: Achieving balance through symmetry can create a visually pleasing effect in a mid century modern home. Arrange furniture symmetrically by placing identical or similar pieces on opposite sides of a room, creating harmony and equilibrium.
  4. Mix Different Materials: To add visual interest to your layout, experiment with different materials, textures, and finishes. Combining wood with glass or metal accents can add depth and dimension to your space while maintaining the clean lines characteristic of mid century modern design.
  5. Pay Attention to Scale: Consider the scale of your furniture when arranging it within your space. Avoid overwhelming smaller rooms with oversized pieces, as this can disrupt the overall balance of the room.
See also
How to Decorate Your Home Screen on Iphone Ios 14

By following these guidelines, you can master the art of balance in your mid century modern home, creating a functional and stylish layout that perfectly showcases this timeless design aesthetic.


Lighting plays a crucial role in mid century modern design, creating an atmosphere that is both captivating and functional. The iconic lighting fixtures from this era are known for their sleek lines, organic shapes, and innovative materials. Incorporating unique lighting elements into your mid-century modern home can elevate the overall aesthetic and enhance the mood of each space.

Iconic Mid Century Modern Lighting Fixtures

One of the key elements of mid century modern lighting is the use of iconic fixtures. Some popular examples include the Sputnik chandelier, the Arco floor lamp, and the PH pendant lamp. These fixtures often feature clean lines and geometric shapes that are characteristic of mid century modern design. They serve as statement pieces in any room and add a touch of sophistication.

Incorporating Unique Lighting Elements

To create a mid century modern ambiance in your home, consider incorporating unique lighting elements that reflect the essence of this style. One idea is to use pendant lights with colored glass shades, which were popular during this era. Another option is to incorporate adjustable track lighting, allowing you to highlight specific areas or artworks in your space.

Enhancing Atmosphere and Mood

In addition to providing functional illumination, lighting also helps set the mood in a mid century modern home. To achieve a warm and inviting atmosphere, consider using dimmer switches on your lighting fixtures or incorporating indirect or ambient lighting options such as wall sconces or table lamps with diffused shades. This allows you to adjust the brightness according to different occasions or activities.

Overall, embracing mid century modern illumination allows you to create a captivating ambiance in your home while staying true to its timeless elegance. By incorporating iconic fixtures, unique lighting elements, and exploring different options for enhancing atmosphere and mood, you can truly elevate your mid century modern space.

Essential Decor Elements

Mid century modern design is known for its clean lines and minimalistic approach, but it also incorporates unique and carefully selected accessories to enhance the overall aesthetic. When it comes to decorating a mid century modern home, incorporating the right accessories and accent pieces can truly elevate the space.

The Significance of Unique Accessories

In mid century modern design, accessories serve as focal points that add personality and character to the space. One of the key principles of this style is to showcase a few carefully curated pieces rather than cluttering the space with numerous items. Each accessory should tell a story and contribute to the overall theme of the room.

When selecting accessories for a mid century modern home, consider pieces that are both functional and visually appealing. Look for unique items such as vintage clocks, ceramics, or sculptural objects that embody the essence of mid century design: simplicity with a touch of playfulness.

Incorporating Mid Century Modern Decor Items

To truly embrace mid century modern decor, consider incorporating abstract art, geometric patterns, and vintage posters into your space. These elements were popular during the mid 20th century and continue to be iconic in this design style.

Abstract art adds visual interest to walls and can become a striking focal point in any room. Look for paintings or prints inspired by artists like Jackson Pollock or Wassily Kandinsky who were influential during this period.

Geometric patterns are another key aspect of mid century modern design. Think about incorporating patterned throw pillows, rugs, or wallpaper with bold geometrical designs into your home.

Vintage posters showcasing popular movies, travel destinations or advertising from the era can also add an authentic touch to your decor. Frame them and display them on empty walls for an eye-catching statement piece.

Remember to keep in mind scale, balance, and proportion when adding these decorative elements – they should complement rather than overwhelm the space.

Overall, incorporating carefully selected accessories and accent pieces is essential to completing the mid century modern look. These unique elements add depth, intrigue, and personality to your home while staying true to the clean and minimalistic principles of this timeless design style.

Flooring and Textiles

Mid century modern design is not only about furniture and decor; it also encompasses the flooring and textiles used in a space. The right flooring and textiles can set the foundation for the overall mid century modern style of a home, adding warmth, texture, and visual interest. In this section, we will explore the various options for flooring and textiles that complement mid century modern design.

Flooring Options

When selecting flooring for your mid century modern home, there are a few options that work particularly well with this style. Hardwood floors are a classic choice that provide a timeless elegance to any space. Opt for lighter wood tones, such as oak or maple, to achieve that mid century modern look. Parquet flooring is another popular choice, with its geometric patterns adding visual interest to the floor.

Patterned tiles are another option to consider for flooring in a mid century modern home. Look for tiles with bold geometric designs or abstract patterns in muted colors. These tiles can be used in entryways, bathrooms, or kitchens to add character and charm to the space.

Textile Choices

In addition to flooring, textiles play an important role in setting the foundation for mid century modern style. Rugs are an essential element that can bring warmth and texture to a space while also defining different zones within an open floor plan. Look for rugs with geometric patterns or abstract designs in earthy tones or vibrant accent colors.

See also
How to Market Home Decor Products

When it comes to curtains or drapes, opt for simple and clean lines. Mid century modern design often embraces minimalism, so choose window treatments that are sleek and uncluttered. Solid-colored curtains in neutral shades like white or beige can complement the overall aesthetic while allowing natural light to flow into the room.

Incorporating these flooring and textile choices into your mid century modern home will help set the foundation for a cohesive and stylish design. Remember to keep the overall color palette and aesthetic in mind when selecting these elements, as they should work harmoniously with the rest of your decor choices.

Outdoor Living

The mid century modern design aesthetic isn’t limited to the interior of your home. It can also be extended to your outdoor living spaces, such as the patio or garden. By incorporating elements of mid century modern style into your outdoor areas, you can create a cohesive and stylish ambiance that seamlessly transitions from indoors to outdoors.

When it comes to designing a mid century modern outdoor space, there are several key considerations. First and foremost, consider the furniture selection. Look for outdoor furniture pieces that feature clean lines and simple silhouettes, reminiscent of the mid century modern era. The use of materials like teak or wrought iron can add authenticity to your outdoor space. Opt for furniture that is both functional and visually appealing.

Landscaping plays a crucial role in creating a mid century modern outdoor space as well. Embrace minimalism by opting for clean, geometric shapes and clear lines in your landscaping design. Incorporate low-maintenance plants with sculptural qualities, such as succulents or ornamental grasses. Adding pops of color through vibrant flowers or bold foliage can also enhance the overall aesthetic.

In terms of color scheme, stick to earthy tones and neutral hues for a true mid century modern look. Consider incorporating natural materials like stone or wood for pathways or seating areas. These organic elements will further emphasize the connection between nature and design.

Lighting is an essential aspect of any outdoor space, and this holds true for a mid century modern patio or garden as well. Look for iconic mid century modern lighting fixtures that can be used outdoors, such as sputnik chandeliers or globe pendant lights. These statement pieces not only provide illumination but also serve as eye-catching focal points in your outdoor area.

By extending the principles of mid century modern design to your patio or garden, you can create an inviting and harmonious environment that complements the style of your interior. Remember to maintain a balance between functionality and aesthetics, and to infuse your personal style into the space. With careful consideration of furniture, landscaping, color schemes, and lighting, you can evoke timeless elegance in every aspect of your mid century modern home.


In conclusion, creating a mid century modern home is an opportunity to evoke timeless elegance in your living space. By understanding the essence of mid century modern design and incorporating its key principles, you can create a stylish and functional home that stands the test of time.

One of the essential aspects of mid century modern design is the color palette. Earthy tones and vibrant accents are signatures of this style, and choosing the right colors can play a significant role in capturing its essence. By carefully selecting colors that complement each other and reflect the era’s aesthetic, you can establish a cohesive and visually pleasing atmosphere throughout your home.

Another crucial aspect is furniture selection. Identifying authentic mid century modern furniture can be challenging, but it is worth the effort to ensure you have pieces that truly embrace the style. Exploring popular furniture styles and designers from the era will give you a better understanding of what to look for. Additionally, there are plenty of affordable and high-quality options available today, allowing you to furnish your space with authenticity without breaking the bank.

To achieve a functional and stylish layout, open spaces and clean lines are paramount in mid century modern design. Arranging furniture for optimal flow and visual balance is crucial. Emphasizing simplicity and minimalism while incorporating unique lighting fixtures can further enhance your mid century modern home’s atmosphere.

Incorporating carefully selected accessories, such as abstract art, geometric patterns, or vintage posters, will also contribute to achieving the desired mid century modern look. Don’t forget about flooring options that align with this aesthetic-hardwood or patterned tiles-and textiles like rugs or curtains that add warmth and texture to your space.

Finally, extending mid century modern style to outdoor living spaces can create a seamless transition from interior to exterior design. Applying similar principles-such as clean lines or integrating iconic outdoor furniture pieces-can help establish a harmonious connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Overall, embracing your own unique style while incorporating mid century modern elements will result in a home that exudes timeless elegance. By recapping the key principles of mid century modern design, we hope this guide has provided you with inspiration and guidance to create the home of your dreams.

Remember to enjoy the process and have fun as you transform your space into a mid century modern oasis. For additional inspiration and assistance, don’t hesitate to explore further resources available on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to furnish a mid-century modern home?

Furnishing a mid-century modern home involves using furniture and decor that reflects the design aesthetic of the mid-20th century, typically from the 1940s to the 1960s. Key elements of this style include clean lines, organic shapes, and a combination of natural materials with bold pops of color. For furniture, opt for pieces with tapered legs, minimal ornamentation, and sleek silhouettes.

Look for vintage or reproduction mid-century pieces such as low-profile sofas, lounge chairs, coffee tables, and credenzas. Incorporate materials like wood, metal, and fiberglass into your furniture choices. Accentuate your space with retro-inspired lighting fixtures, abstract or geometric art prints, and vibrant textiles in graphic patterns.

What style pairs well with mid-century modern?

Mid-century modern pairs well with various styles to create an eclectic yet cohesive look. One popular pairing is blending mid-century modern with Scandinavian design. Both styles share a focus on functionality and simplicity while incorporating natural materials like wood and neutral color palettes.

By combining Scandinavian minimalism with mid-century flair, you can achieve a warm and contemporary aesthetic. Another compatible style is bohemian or eclectic design. The mix of textures, colors, and patterns in bohemian style complements the clean lines of mid-century furniture while adding artistic flair and personality to your space.

How do you make something look mid-century modern?

To make something look mid-century modern, pay attention to key design elements that define this style. Start by focusing on clean lines and sleek minimalist forms; avoid overly ornate or fussy designs. Incorporate natural materials like wood or leather into your chosen piece as these were commonly used during the mid-century era.

Consider using specific finishes such as walnut or teak for furniture to evoke a vintage feel. Aim for balanced proportions within each item’s design; symmetry was often emphasized in mid-century modern aesthetics.

Send this to a friend