There’s a lot of confusion about exactly what mid-century modern is, so we first want to to clear that up and then we’ll share some tips and inspiration.
Mid-century modern design is a term that actually refers to the the Mid-Century Modern design movement, which occurred in the middle of the 20th Century. Mid-century modern can be recognized for its clean, minimalist, sleek and uncluttered styling.
This design aesthetic utilizes open floor plans and is often monochromatic or incorporates minimal color. Commonplace materials for mid-century modern furniture include chrome, wood, leather and other natural elements. The idea behind mid-century modern is an emphasis on function over form. Eames chairs or Noguchi coffee tables are a perfect example of the style.
The most important thing to understand is that mid-century modern is a static style. It is used to describe a point in design history. Even though it is still a popular style today, the style is not evolving or changing. That’s why it’s confusing, the modern throws people off--they think since it called “modern” it must be the most current and freshest style, but that’s actually called “contemporary” design.
The overwhelmingly main aesthetic of modern design is minimalism. Clutter and knickknacks do not belong in a modern styled room. Instead, go for clean lines and sleekness.
So, what are some of the key elements of mid-century modern design?
- White or neutral painted walls.
- Minimal wallpaper should be used. Stripes, geometric shapes are good patterns to use.
- Wood, cement or other industrial type flooring.
- Wall-to-wall carpeting is not ideal. Rugs are okay, but should be made of natural fibers, like wool or linen.
- Geometric patterns, stripes and abstract patterns are ideal.
- Furniture would be low-slung and not fussy. The idea is to make the furniture the focal point of the room.
- Pops of color are acceptable, but color should not be the focal point of the room.
Here are 7 stunning examples of mid-century modern design to inspire you in your home. You can choose to go vintage or purchase select pieces brand new.
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