Mid-century modern style is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for over 50 years! It came onto the scene after WWII, a practical and utilitarian style that matched the mindset of the time period. And, after the opulence of the 80s, it came back into vogue in the mid-90s. In the last decade, it has regained popularity once again. Now a mainstream design look, modern brands like West Elm and Article have become synonymous with mid-century design, producing furniture in the mid-century style, but made for the modern home. Mid-century design is an uncluttered style that combines clean lines, gentle and organic curves, and a poppy and fun color palette. It has a “form follows function” approach—aka, functionality is key when it comes to furniture and layout. With many iconic pieces as the cornerstones of this style’s catalog, mid-century modern is a very distinctive look that blends beautifully with other interior design styles. You could blend it with minimalism for a pared back and spare space. It mixes well with rustic for an even more comfortable and livable approach. Mixing it with industrial style gives you an “atomic industrial” vibe. And a dash of the eclectic takes all the best parts of mid-century design but gives your space the look of a collector who has designed a home over time. Honestly, there’s not many styles that mid-century modern can’t be mixed with. It’s very versatile. This is a perfect design style for those with a more minimalist aesthetic who tend to be a bit nostalgic, as mid-century design skews retro and is all about simplicity. A highly recognizable style, mid-century modern effortlessly blends comfort with modern lines. So, it’s approachable and livable, while still having a very stylized aesthetic. Mid-century modern furniture features sleek lines with geometric and organic forms, as well as minimal ornamentation. And you’ll also notice an interesting mix of traditional and non-traditional materials. While wood finishes are an absolute must in a mid-century space, you’ll also find glass-top tables, clear acrylic desks, and shiny white lacquer credenzas. These all help add that modern edge to mid-century design. When you think of mid-century furniture, you may think of some of those iconic designers from the 1950s—like Charles and Ray Eames, creator of the Eames Lounge Chair, the molded plywood chair, or the now-famous white molded plastic chairs. Or perhaps you think of Eero Saarinen’s tulip table, George Nelson’s pretzel chair, the Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, Herman Miller’s Noguchi coffee table, or Arne Jacobsen’s egg and ant chairs. All of these designers—and their furniture designs—have become synonymous with the mid-century modern design movement, and both originals and replicas of their designs remain popular today. However, authentic pieces by these designers are considered collectibles and are quite the investment. That’s why it’s so great that there are so many contemporary brands making similar designs at more affordable price points. You’ll notice that homes featuring mid-century modern design feature a whole range of color palettes—from neutral to bold. If you prefer a neutral color palette, go for whites and greys or browns, and make sure to work in plenty of natural materials, like teak, walnut, or birch woods, as well as leather and even some woven baskets or rugs. If you’re more of a bold-but-neutral person, consider a graphic black and white color palette. But if you love color, don’t hold back! Opt for furniture, decor, and paint in jewel tones, pastels, or even earth tones. You can really choose whatever color palette strikes your fancy, as long as you integrate it with the clean and modern lines of mid-century design. Ready to see this look come to life? Start scrolling. We’ve assembled all of our best mid-century modern rooms on this page, and all you have to do is scroll through to get inspired about all our favorite layouts, designs, color schemes, furniture, and decor. Enjoy!
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