What Makes a House Mid-Century Modern?

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Mid-century modern design has been gaining popularity over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why. Clean lines, organic shapes, and bright colors make for a welcoming and stylish home. But what makes a house mid-century modern, and where did this design trend come from?

First, let’s talk about the history of mid-century modern. This design movement emerged in the middle of the 20th century, between the 1940s and 1960s. It was a departure from the ornate and decorative styles that had been popular in the previous decades, and instead focused on simplicity and functionality. Mid-century modern was influenced by the Bauhaus movement, which had emphasized the importance of combining form and function in industrial design.

What are the elements of mid-century modern design? Here are some key features to look for:

  • Clean lines: The furniture and architecture in mid-century modern homes often feature straight lines and geometric shapes. This creates a simple, uncluttered look that feels modern and timeless.
  • Organic shapes: While straight lines are important in mid-century modern design, there’s also a focus on organic shapes inspired by nature. This can be seen in the curved armrests of a mid-century modern sofa or the sculptural lamps that adorn a room.
  • Bright colors: Mid-century modern design is known for its use of bold, bright colors. This can be seen in everything from a bright orange Eames chair to a turquoise accent wall.
  • Functionality: As mentioned earlier, mid-century modern design is all about combining form and function. Furniture pieces often serve multiple purposes, like a coffee table with built-in storage or a sofa that can be converted into a bed.
  • Natural materials: Mid-century modern design also emphasizes the use of natural materials like wood, leather, and wool. These materials add warmth and texture to a room.

How can you incorporate mid-century modern design into your home? 

Some examples of mid-century modern design include the iconic Eames lounge chair, the sleek and functional Noguchi coffee table, and the colorful and playful designs of Alexander Girard. By bringing these elements into your home, you can create a space that’s both stylish and functional, with a nod to design history.

Start by looking for furniture pieces with clean lines and organic shapes. Look for bright colors and natural materials, and don’t be afraid to mix and match. A mid-century modern sofa can look great paired with a more traditional rug. And as always, the most important thing is to create a space that feels welcoming and comfortable to you.

Shop Mid -Century Modern

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Mid-Century Modern Exterior

In addition to these interior design elements, the exterior of a mid-century modern home is just as important. These homes often feature clean lines and geometric shapes that are echoed in the furniture and decor inside. Look for homes with flat or low-pitched roofs, large windows that bring in plenty of natural light, and simple but striking facades. Materials like wood, stone, and brick are often used on the exterior, creating a warm and natural feeling. Don’t be surprised to find a mid-century modern home with a unique and eye-catching color scheme, like a bold red door or bright blue shutters. Overall, the exterior of a mid-century modern home should be just as iconic and stylish as the interior.

Check out the before and after photos of our Mid-Century Modern Retreat here.


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