Have you noticed how most Mid-century modern homes fit beautifully into any neighborhood? Most of these are single-story beauties complete with their simple low-pitch roofs and neutral color schemes yet you know that even contemporary households would find a refuge in this dwelling place.
Mid-century modern structures are often houses that are seemingly begging for fixing but end up being keepers anyway. These could be structures that have been in existence for 40 or more years and so the traditional details have been kept.
Baby boomers who were born in the late ‘50s are naturally drawn to the interior design of that time. But if you’re drawn towards cool, sleek, sophisticated, clean, colorful, curvy, functional, and mod features, then you are similar to these people’s design preferences. This style is known as Mid-century modern design.
One of the ideas that best captured the look during the 1950s was the 1957 Chevy advertisement.
The wide array of beautiful pastels for this design was pretty hard to ignore as well as the angles and long, low designs. Just like the designs of today, there isn’t a single look that could really be categorized as the sole style of the ‘50s. There were several 1950s look that gained popularity during that time. As technology, preferences, and social norms evolved, so did the look of interiors.
Economic changes in Europe and America also led to changes inside the household. The economy for both regions grew, as a result, families wanted to widen their habitat, thus, increasing the construction of Ranch style houses.
The term Mid-century design is a term that embraces the trends that influenced interior design and architecture in post-war America.
Modernism was a global movement that spanned five decades beginning in the ‘30s till the ‘70s. Mid-century modern, therefore, is linked to the period covering the ‘50s till the early ‘60s.
You Will Surely Love Mid Century Modern Architecture
Experts agree that Frank Floyd Wright, an American architect, popularized this movement. Though this is the case, you shouldn’t discredit the contributions of artists such as LeCorbusier and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe.
It would be wrong to leave out the husband and wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames because they made the majority of Mid-Century modern pieces. They also greatly influenced many architectural details in homes during that time. The Eames couple, together with other designers, created and mass-produced furniture by using plastic, plexiglass, and glass – all new materials at the time. All the items free-floated in rooms with no defined arrangements.
The general architectural style during this era focused on industrialization and people were begging to become modern. Homes that were being built during that time were often airy and bright. The rooms were separated with screens instead of the usual walls making homes appear more spacious. Sliding glass doors were also common while windows were fashioned from floor to ceiling. It was also imperative to let in a huge amount of natural light.
This 1960s home features a sliding glass door that separates the patio from the family's living room. You just gotta love the colors in this modern home!
Home interiors during this era were inviting, homey, and bright. The wall colors were often neutral, people loved white or those light wood panels. The homes were pretty colorful despite the homeowner’s choice of wall colors and this was hugely because the flooring, furniture, and accessories all popped with bursts of colors.
Wall to wall carpeting using cork, vinyl, and concrete was also quite popular and all for the love of low-maintenance interiors. Living areas that used these materials also featured colorful area rugs that softened the floor. Take a peek at five of our most charming area rugs below.
Clean, basic lines were easily contrasted by the most interesting, rounded geometrical shapes. The said shapes were commonly found in furniture pieces, lighting fixtures as well as the decorative pieces spread throughout the home. There were occasional statement pieces but the main stuff was quite low key.
Living areas were generally minimalist insomuch that the windows were even left bare. Residential architecture in this style was famous among the suburbs during the ‘50s. It remained famous for the next decades, even up to today. Thanks to developers and architects who provided amazing examples of Mid-century modern homes across a lot of cities.
These days, modern architecture is avant-garde with sustainable materials and finishes. The overall designs, though, are still hinged to their origins.
Additionally, mid-century modern architecture offers angular details, flat roofs as well as asymmetrical features. They also come with clean lines, expansive glass walls, and open floor layouts. Bi-level structures are also common with this design.
You are likely to see iconic architectural details such as textured exterior walls. It is fairly common to find horizontal stone accent walls right next to the welcoming front door. Of course, very few materials could defeat stone in offering the needed architectural detail for any home.
Other features include the double-wide front doors (often painted with bright, fun colors), water features by the side of the front door, terrazzo flooring (often white), retro tiles, accent wall made with wood paneling, vintage pendant lighting fixtures, and vintage wallpaper designs.
It is also common to see oversized windows in living rooms and family rooms. High ceilings are also common that all offer a view of the beautiful outdoors.
If you are trying to achieve the mid-century interior design in your home, then it is best to understand what aspects to mix.
A Chance to Recreate the ‘50s Look with Mid-century Modern
You’re practically trying to recreate the mid-50’s look and onwards if you want to set up a Mid-century modern home. During this time, Desert Modernism came into existence, and pretty soon, people started calling it by its popular name these days – mid-century modern.
The demand is still high in the interior design industry to recreate this simple yet fashionable retro look. Here are ways that you, too, can turn your home into a Mid-century modern beauty –
Dramatize the Roof Lines
There are numerous roof styles that can be used with any Mid-century modern home. First, there’s the butterfly. This can be made by having two gables dip right in the middle.
The second type is the gabled roof. Whether that’s long or narrow, your home will then have a side or front entrance. Slot windows are also a part of the two sloping roofs. The Getty image below shows the perfect fusion of gabled roofs and brick outer walls.
Another type is the flat roof on either the side of the front entrance. This area is also an elevated section right in the living room.
The single slope is also a flat roof but this section is right over the carport or the garage. It is located near the middle of the house where a taller, vertical wall rises with the roof which slopes downward to the exterior wall of the structure.
Lastly, you can choose the folded plate which is the V or W-shaped units that are attached to one another, thus, creating a zigzag profile.
Use Concrete and Steel
The fusion of concrete walls and those steel casement windows is the best frame for the luscious colors of the Comfort Design sectional and the two cushioned chairs.
Mid-century modern homes often featured wood or natural stone interiors and exteriors. Concrete and steel offered the needed breaks for aesthetic purposes.
Exposed Wood Beams
Post or ceiling beams were quite popular during the 1950s. Most of the time, clerestory windows were also incorporated into homes to provide the best view of the mountainous areas.
Dramatic Outdoor Features
Mid-century modern homes also have the most dramatic outdoor living spaces. Some have a central interior atrium while others showcase the most beautiful outdoor patios. Swimming pools are also a wonderful addition.
Open Space Layout
It is also fairly common to find kitchens that open to the living room or the dining room. Some traditional Mid-century homes also have dens that open to the family room.
If you love homes that offer these characteristics then you’re likely to love Mid-century modern structures. Get in touch with us if you want us to set up lovely Mid-century modern interiors for you.
Kitchens: The Star of the Show
Back in the ‘50s, the kitchens were no less than the heart of homes. Turquoise, pink, aqua, and other pastel colors were the leading colors used because of the carefree feelings that they evoked. The kitchen is often visited by family members to eat when they don’t want to dine formally inside their dining rooms.
Chrome and Formica dinette sets were common kitchen pieces used for informal family meals.
In California, Mid-Century Modern Is In
The movement also approached the marriage of outside spaces to the indoors. This became extremely accepted on the West Coast. The best architects of our time built impressive, custom homes while also developing modern style houses for the masses.
California became the Mecca for Mid-century modern style. Renowned developer and builder, Joseph Eichler, and architect Richard Neutra immigrated to the U.S. and started building the geometric residences in Southern California. To this day, the design is quite popular in Palm Springs, San Diego, Beverly Hills, and nearby areas.
A lot of homeowners are still looking for Mid-century modern units for a lot of good reasons. The reason for most is simple – a lot of homes are now mass-produced so they have a generic look and feel. Without a doubt, custom-made designs are being craved by many.
A lot of the real gems have already been bought, though. If you want to build from the ground up and bring back the look of Mid-century modern as if from a time capsule, then here are elements that you need to consider –
A lot of furniture these days is made of shoddily made wood pieces. Instead of this option, use high-quality furniture with a Mid-century modern appeal. Masterpieces during that time come with clean lines and were made with walnut, teak, or rosewood.
If you want to bring back the marvels of Mid-century modern, then eliminate the walls. Embrace an open space concept with an airier setup. You can also hire someone to update the look of your fireplace. Have it turned to a floor-to-ceiling focal point.
You could also consider simpler accents such as a kitchen backsplash or a mirror. Fill your head with nostalgic ideas or ask one of our expert designers for more information on how to use mid-century modern design elements.
Redesign the Lights
Search for mid-century modern homes and see how dazzling lights make the difference. Pendant lighting is common just as they are functional and decorative. There are also artists who make their designs around architectural features of the home. Look for a piece that speaks to you and shows to the world who you really are. Remember, though, that you are setting up a mid-century modern home and not a contemporary one.
Mid-century flair is added to this design featuring an hourglass-shaped base constructed of solid, black marble and is accented with stainless steel details finished in a plated gold and a thick crystal foot. The oval hardback dry shade is a beige linen fabric with vertical slubbing.
Mid-Century Modern Furniture Is Timeless
Midcentury modern tables and chairs, mid-century modern bedroom furniture, and mid-century modern office furniture are all characterized by simple, clean lines. Teak and other wood pieces are often used. Look for mid-century tables and you'd be surprised at how beautifully they pair with contemporary chairs. Have teal walls as a bold backdrop and you have just attained the epitome of this design.
Never make the mistake of hiding wood details, instead, allow them to shine. Neutral-colored walls will look great with fabrics in soft hues. Find handcrafted furniture and accessories to complete the living room mid-century look.
McCreery’s Home Furnishings provides furniture pieces that have been thoughtfully crafted by master artisans, hence, they are the perfect classic pieces if you are looking into creating the mid-century habitat.
Natural lighting can also bathe your black and white-themed living room. Draw the curtains to let in the sunlight. The black and white color scheme is best for the mid-century style as it keeps the areas looking clutter-free. This is achieved by highlighting space and light.
After considering lighting, it’s time to turn your attention to focal points. Retro lighting can be an effective focal point. Chandeliers can easily stand out against pinstripe walls. Take the retro vibe up another notch by also adding vintage art pieces. Search for striking wall hangings inspired by circles and squares.
Just look at the striking wall artwork in this living room - it's enough to make you gape in awe. And the lighting at the back of the American Leather sectional? It's sublime.
The Chance to Showcase Delicious Colors
Since mid-century spells timelessness, the use of vintage colors is also encouraged. It’s time to start loving avocado hues, also mustard, tangerine, and other '50s and ‘60s colors. Just be careful in your use of these colors or your place would come across as a garish movie set.
For more ‘60s inspired pieces, decorate with a coffee table with a hint of gold. Add glass or sculptural accents, these will pop against white walls.
Mid-century also means showcasing superior mid-century modern chair styles and sofa sets so, it is best to paint the walls white or any neutral palette. The rich, graphic patterns may appear on upholstered furniture pieces, throws, or on the textured wallpapers.
Are you ready to take a Virtual Tour of our 60,000 sq.ft. showroom to check out our mid-century modern furniture for sale?
*Photographs used are from Wikimedia Commons, Unsplash, and Pexels, and are non-copyrighted. Embedded Getty images are also legally free to use.