Mid-Century Modern Design Crash Course

Despite the popularity of Minimalist interior design or even the Japanese-Scandinavian portmanteau Scandi, one interior design remains timeless and classic. It’s a design theme that many people still hold dear, and it’s often still used, especially in upscale places. We’re talking about mid-century modern interior design. Take a look at it and what makes it special. 


History of Mid-Century Modern


Mid-century design started around the 1930s and peaked in the 1960s. It spun off of Bauhaus, a German art school, and mixed with International Style, an American equivalent. Mid-century modern is largely influenced by the effects of World War II, with the sudden urbanization, mass production, and modernized tools and equipment. As a result, it developed a highly unique and era-specific aesthetic, that somehow remains timeless and elegant even if the world is more than half a century removed from the second world war.


What’s Unique About It


But what gives mid-century that distinct look and feel? It’s a mixture of many aspects, often features and aspects that have persisted through the years but taken into a different form or context. To understand the specific appeal mid-century modern has, let’s take a look at its most prominent features.


Uses Mid-Century Modern Colors. It goes without saying that one of the most iconic aspects of mid-century modern design is its use of colors. From orange to mustard yellow, from brown to ochre, it uses a lot of earthy colors, alongside a monochromatic palette to really show the organic aspects of its design language.


Wood and Faux Wood. Because of its post-World War 2 influences, this style of interior design makes a heavy mixture of both organic and inorganic materials. Seeing wood used alongside metal, vinyl, glass, or even plastic is relatively common. And because of this, most mid-century modern furniture has a unique look to them, one that’s highly representative of its design philosophy.


Organic Design Language. Instead of sharp lines and laser-cut edges, mid-century modern opts for a more organic feel. The lines are sleek and uncluttered, there’s heavy use of geometric shapes and patterns, and curves are welcome- regardless of whether they’re space-efficient or not.


How to Make Your Home Mid-Century Modern


You might be interested to turn your living space into a mid-century modern room or starting implementing mid-century modern aspects into your current space. Here are a few tips to help you out.


Utilize the Appropriate Furniture. You want furniture with organic shapes and structure, one that has a simple form that the eye can follow. Curves, bell bottoms, and rounded edges are frequent features of many mid-century modern homes, and you might want to use them as well.


Don’t Sacrifice Function for Form. An integral philosophy to this design is function alongside form. You don’t have to call a trusted plumber to redo your bathtub just to make it more mid-century themed, nor would you have to hire movers to remove your cabinets and get them replaced. You can use colors and thematic pieces to make the room feel more mid-century modern, but if you’re bending over backward just to adhere to a specific aesthetic or form, that’s going against the ideas already.


Use Statement Pieces to Amplify a Room. A prominent design quirk that mid-century modern design often has is the presence of statement pieces. They can be weird art that would draw attention, or they can be an anti-thematic piece that goes against the entire theme for that room. Regardless of what it is, use statement pieces to amplify an already-mid-century designed home. The contrast is a great barometer of the design of the house, as well as introducing a sense of “break” into the room.


Use Colors to Your Benefit. As we’ve mentioned before, mid-century has a very specific color palette. To truly make it so that your space is reminiscent of mid-century design, use this type of earthy tones and organic colors. If you don’t want to repaint your walls, that’s fine- opt for furniture that not only has curves and rounded corners but the color theme as well. Due to the popularity of retro themes, such furniture is relatively easy to find nowadays, making the process easier.


Retro themes are usually timeless, largely because of the common associations we have with them. Mid-century modern designs are great when it comes to evoking a sense of classic and timeless appeal- we often see them in old movies and era features, and have made that association. If you want to make your home look more classy, hopefully, this guide can help you out.


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