Mid-Century Tips: Ways to Style Your Home Like the 1950s

Mid-Century Tips: Ways to Style Your Home Like the 1950s

The Mid-Century, at least in interior design, refers to the period between the late 1940s to the early 1970s. Clean lines, geometric shapes, and the use of natural materials characterized the style at the time.

If you’re looking to give your home a retro makeover, here are a few tips on how to style it like the Mid-Century:

Start with the furniture.

The furniture is the foundation of any mid-century modern home, so it is important to choose pieces that are well-designed and well-made.

Look for furniture that is simple and minimal, usually featuring natural materials. The prevailing style concept in this period is function over form, so furniture pieces typically embody clean lines and minimal ornamentation.

Potted Plant on Top of Stacked Books

Some iconic mid-century modern furniture pieces include the Wishbone Chair, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, the Wassily Chair, and the Barcelona Chair.

Use Bold Colors and Patterns.

Mid-century modern design is all about adding a touch of vibrant colors to sophisticated neutrals, often accentuated by unique geometric patterns. So, don’t be afraid to use bright colors like orange, yellow, and turquoise in your home décor.

Colorful living room with blue, red, and yellow accents

You can incorporate geometric patterns into the décor by using furniture with angular lines or by adding accessories like throw pillows or rugs with geometric prints. Using light fixtures that draw inspiration from the iconic Sputnik chandelier and Arco lamp is also a good way to add geometric shapes to your space.

Incorporate Natural Elements

Natural materials like wood, metal, stone, and leather are key elements of mid-century modern design.

If your home already features wooden panels and hardwood flooring, you can focus on incorporating other aspects of mid-century decor, like color and pattern.

A Man Using a Laptop while Lying on the Couch

Otherwise, focus on how to bring natural elements into your space. Opt for sleek and functional furniture crafted from beautiful hardwood, go for elegant stone countertops, and display unique treasures made of shells, crystals, and metal.

Of course, you can also add plants to bring in the natural world into your space.

Create a Focal Point

Every room needs a focal point, and in a Mid-Century-inspired home, this could be a fireplace, a large piece of art, or a vintage television.

Once you’ve chosen your focal point, use the other elements of your décor to draw attention to it. For example, you could paint the wall behind your fireplace a bright color, go for wallpaper with geometric prints, or hang a large mirror above it.

Decorate with Retro Accents

There are a number of retro accents that you can use to give your home a Mid-Century feel. These include nostalgic pieces like vintage posters, record players, and old-fashioned radios.

Interior of cozy studio with bed and couch decorated with vintage furniture and vinyl records

You can also hang prints from mid-century modern artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Mark Rothko to add a touch of the era to your home.

Keep It Simple and Functional

Again, MCM design subscribes to the “form follows function” concept, meaning the design of an object should be dictated by its purpose. This sets it apart from other design styles that may prioritize embellishment and adornment over practicality.

So, try not to overload your home with too much decor. Instead, focus on creating a few well-placed focal points and using simple, sleek lines throughout your space.

Bring in Natural Light

Modern interior style with wooden floor and cozy sofa

One of the easiest things you can do to create a Mid-Century Modern vibe in your space is to let in more natural light. Well, good access to natural lighting works for any space, not just MCM.

Large windows allow sunlight to enter the space, creating a connection between the indoors and outdoors and enhancing a sense of openness.

If your space lacks natural light, opt for colors like white, beige, and cream for your walls. Light neutrals will reflect light, helping you create a bright and airy space. And don’t forget to add pops of vibrant colors to keep the MCM theme alive.


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