Mid-century modern decor – 10 expert ways to introduce this timeless design trend

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With their classical looks and pared-back style, mid-century modern decor ideas are enduringly fashionable – and it is casual to spot wherefore this look is revered truthful highly, adjacent now. 

Spanning the decennary betwixt the Thirties and the Seventies, these elemental shapes were inspired by earlier plan movements, including the Bauhaus schoolhouse successful Germany. Materials specified arsenic moulded plastics allowed world's champion interior designers to research caller textures, colors and forms.  

Here we research the precise champion of the mid-century modern décor inclination – and however to efficaciously and beautifully usage this fashionable interior design aesthetic successful your home. 

Mid-century modern decor ideas – however to clasp this fashionable trend

While the benignant is inactive utilized contiguous successful caller structures, the sanction comes from the play successful which the benignant emerged, betwixt 1945 and 1970, though chiefly betwixt 1947 and 1957.

These Mid-century modern decorating ideas volition animate you to recreate the timeless interior plan trend successful your location – in 10 elemental ways.

1. Give mid-century modern décor a biophilic update

Mid period  modern   decor

(Image credit: Studio Ashby / Philip Durrant)

Bring a classical mid-century look into the 21st period with modern materials and a soothing colour strategy – reminiscent of nature. 

'When decorating this penthouse, I chose layers of velvety botanical greenish to echo the aged angiosperm marketplace location,' says Sophie Ashby, founder, Studio Ashby. 'I find greenish arsenic a color, and biophilic plan successful general, to beryllium hugely grounding and inspiring – particularly important for your modern location bureau ideas.'

'I emotion uncovering ways of displaying books, ceramics, artwork and peculiar objects to weave quality into a space,' the decorator adds. 'The Italian-designed modular bookcase successful graphite is 1 of my favourite aspects of this strategy arsenic I bask the process of curating and exhibiting a collection.

Consider whether each constituent is indispensable and instrumentality distant those that are not. 'I’m not a minimalist, but I bash judge successful lone having things successful the enactment country that either animate oregon clasp important meaning.' 

'Most bureau chairs with the close backmost enactment are little charismatic unless you put successful a connection piece, specified arsenic this one. A important mid-century eating seat that you tin person re-covered besides ticks each the boxes.'

2. Celebrate craftsmanship with woody furniture

Mid period  modern   decor with wood   armchair

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to furniture trends, we instrumentality the substance precise seriously. Well-built pieces, made to basal the trial of clip and that pb the mode with iconic bully looks are cardinal factors for mid-century modern décor.

Despite the improvement of innovative caller materials specified arsenic plastic, fibreglass and laminates, timber sustained popularity passim the mid-20th century. Furniture designers favored durable hardwoods, specified arsenic teak, cherry, maple and beech. 

Exuding warmth, and famed for its timeless quality and durability, coagulated wood is inactive 1 of the astir fashionable materials to usage successful an authentic mid-century modern surviving room. For existent mid-century modern appeal, put successful streamlined timber pieces with tapered legs. 

3. Achieve an elegant premix of mid-century and modern

Mid period  modern   decor with classical  funiture

(Image credit: Simon Upton)

Katie Harbison of spot improvement and plan workplace Banda achieves an elegant premix of modern and mid-century modern surviving country plan successful this room. Allow the room’s beauteous proportions and archetypal crown molding ideas to radiance by keeping the backdrop neutral. 

‘Walls are painted successful a subtle grey and the level is simply a earthy oak, topped with a silky grey rug,’ explains Katie. The sofa’s rounded signifier astir embraces the angular java array by creator Thomas Markunpoika. Every portion successful this mid-century modern country is individual, but unneurotic they make a consciousness of harmony, acknowledgment to their earthy colors and subtle textural interest.

4. Add mid-century modern decor to existing rooms

mid period  modern   decor with achromatic  room  and lamp

(Image credit: Fiona Lynch)

Furniture isn't the lone mode to present mid-century modern decor ideas to existing schemes: modern room lighting ideas tin play a tiny but important relation successful your home, adjacent if it wasn't built successful the fifties.  

If you’re going for 1 connection light, marque definite it’s a keeper by seeking retired timeless design. This monochrome kitchen, created by Australian interior decorator Fiona Lynch, is punctuated by Jean Prouvé’s purist masterpiece for Vitra. Designed successful the 1950s, its pared-back concern lines inactive consciousness modern much than fractional a period later. We emotion however the tubular alloy plaything limb tin beryllium effortlessly moved betwixt descend and breakfast bar. Similarly enduring lighting brands see Flos, Lampe Gras and Louis Poulsen. 

5. Be sympathetic to the property of your property

Living country   with accepted   interiors

(Image credit: Cleveland)

Work with the property of your location to make a sympathetic mid-century modern decor strategy that is some timeless and stylish. To bespeak the property of the property, interior plan institution Sigmar utilized accepted grey for the walls, providing a modern enactment with pale-green doors and woodwork. 

A stronger colour was added with greenish Kaare Klint Safari chairs and cushions successful oversea bluish tones to make a calm but edgy look. ‘This abstraction was stripped of its Victorian details successful the 1960s,’ says decorator Ebba Thott. ‘We reinstated cornicing and heavy skirting boards, raising the doorway frames to observe the ceiling height.’

6. Bring successful warmth

Mid period  modern   decor with chamber  hessian wallpaper

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

For a cozier instrumentality connected the open-plan look, this mid-century modern chamber has a walk-in wardrobe finished successful the aforesaid textured hessian cloth arsenic the partition down the bed. It’s successful an flat designed by Italian marque Cassina astatine the Television Centre successful westbound London, a mid-century landmark precocious revamped by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. 

The warmth of the earthy hessian is accentuated with woody shelving successful the dressing room, amber solid lights – Ficupala by Cassina – and a airy plush carpet, which heightens the consciousness of enveloping softness. But to support a airy feel, the surrounding walls and the ceiling are simply painted successful an off-white shade.

7. Don't forgo the things you love

Home bureau   ideas unused space

(Image credit: Robert Stilin)

In this mid-century modern location office, Robert Stilin, the famed American decorator expresses his curatorial oculus and innate quality to put art, furnishings and objects from varying eras with a sparing usage of color combinations. With an accent connected elemental lines and purity of design, combined with the enduring quality of wood, mid-century modern décor has a timeless appeal, which sits good with different styles some aged and new.

This country is successful my ain flat successful New York City,' says American decorator Robert. 'It’s a ample living-dining country which faces westbound with floor-to-ceiling glass. I don’t often big dinners, truthful it makes nary consciousness to person the eating array taking up each that abstraction and acceptable for the 10 times a twelvemonth it’s used.'

'When designing a mid-century modern décor scheme, I ever commencement with function. Having said that, the Guillerme et Chambron array is simply a instauration piece, arsenic are the 2 Wade Guyton prints down it. If I ever alteration the artwork, I’d inactive ever person 1 oregon 2 ample pieces connected the partition and the salon-style hanging of smaller ones to the near due to the fact that it conscionable makes consciousness successful the space.'

'I americium a large collector and the neutral, textured backdrop is casual connected the oculus and comfy to unrecorded with. But, arsenic expressed successful this room, I besides similar layers: they make extent and character. Mixed with the relation of the furnishings selected, the layers support the abstraction from feeling similar an creation assemblage oregon a museum.'

8. Craft a grown-up scheme 

Living country   with wood   panelling by Studio Ashby

(Image credit: Studio Ashby)

Interior decorator Sophie Ashby reveals that quality provided the inspiration for this scheme’s welcoming, earthy palette. This is rather a grown-up mid-century modern room, and the seating statement reflects this, with a brace of bespoke, classical couches successful a sage-green velvet, teamed with a tan daybed. 

‘The palette was inspired by Holland Park successful London and features neutral colors: greens, blues, russets, oranges and yellows,’ says Sophie. ‘We started with the rug, which we designed arsenic an ode to the park, incorporating peacock feathers arsenic good arsenic leafage motifs.’

‘When looking astatine softer aspects wrong a space, opt for richer colors that tin springiness a consciousness of warmth. If you are looking for a much inclination led plan past absorption connected investing successful items with fringing oregon trims arsenic it adds much extent to the design,’ advises Holly Gannon, Design Manager, Milc Interiors.

9. Make the astir of vintage finds from antithetic eras

Mid period  modern   decor with wood   panels and vintage furniture

(Image credit: The Ingalls)

'I americium a steadfast believer that successful each epoch determination is unthinkable plan and I propulsion from tons of antithetic periods – I emotion mixing deco, Bauhaus, mid-century; sticking to 1 epoch tin beryllium a spot 1 note, says renowned interior decorator Kelly Wearstler. 'If you bargain each your furnishings caller it’s going to commencement to look dated quickly, but if you instrumentality the clip to curate and store successful a assortment of places, you extremity up with a overmuch much timeless room' 

'I commencement sourcing furnishings aboriginal connected successful projects, and taking clip to find the close pieces makes each the difference,' she adds. 'I’m ever looking for a equilibrium betwixt vintage and contemporary. If I bargain a caller sofa possibly I’ll look for a vintage java table, truthful they offset 1 another.'

'There’s thing I wouldn’t bargain vintage – I’ve adjacent installed 1960s carpets before. Vintage carpets tin beryllium truthful beautiful, the fading of the colors and the patina of the rug.'

10. Choose mid-century modern airy fixtures

Mid period  modern   decor with eating  furnishings  and light

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

When looking for mid-century lighting ideas – proportionality is cardinal for an understated look. This is impeccably demonstrated successful the East Hampton location of American decorator Robert Stilin, wherever a Mid-century metallic plan strikes the close enactment implicit a vintage array and chairs. 

‘Even though I support it dimmed rather low, the mode it glows from the extremity of each limb creates a large mood,’ says Robert. Ideally, the spread betwixt the basal of an overhead airy and the apical of a eating array should beryllium 30-40 inches – this gives functional illumination portion inactive feeling lukewarm and cozy.

Like Scandinavian design, the main intent of mid-century modern decor is to amended regular life. Lighting should truthful not lone astir stylish elegance, but besides astir functionality – it should service a intent and basal the trial of time. 

What makes schemes Mid-century modern?

Mid-century modern décor is predominantly focused connected consecutive lines, wood furniture, geometric shapes and minimal colour schemes. 

Invest successful unfussy, utilitarian-style furniture. Go for functional, fluid designs and abstract prints based connected earthy shapes – rediscovered and reinterpreted for today’s modern interiors, architecture and lifestyles. 

For ideas, look to icons similar Florence Knoll and Arne Jacobson for inspiration – some of whom were salient designers during the mid-century modern period. Their enactment inactive serves arsenic plan inspiration for immoderate of the world’s apical creatives.

What shapes are Mid-century modern?

Mid-century modern décor is characterized by cleanable consecutive lines and flowing integrated curves. Simplicity successful plan and styling is key, on with a deficiency of ornamentation and a constricted colour palette. Although mid-century modern décor was driven by advances successful technology, it was besides inspired by the earthy world, and wood is the astir wide utilized worldly for furniture. 

Geometric and circular shapes were different cardinal constituent of aboriginal mid-century modern décor and architecture. Launched into prominence passim occidental schemes successful the roaring 1920s, geometric designs lent themselves to the bold, angularity of Art Deco plan and aboriginal with mid-century modern décor.