When it comes your decorating style, we know what we like and what we don’t like. We don’t always fit into one decorating “category” but probably span a few different ones. For example, I am more traditional but prefer modern, classic items with some industrial pieces. So you will find a mix of these items in my home.
Younger generations tend to go for the contemporary look, farm house look or the mid-century modern (MCM) look. MCM is defined as having clean lines, curves and geometric shapes. We will focus on the mid-century look and what elements make it look that way.
Mid-century furniture is a style descriptor based in the 1950s. Frank Lloyd Wright was a huge influence in this time frame. Furniture had a basic look and was not ornamental or frilly. Straight lines with skinny table legs or geometric shapes are examples of furniture used in that time. You may also find pieces that are tufted on the back of the couch, where the fabric is pulled closer to the frame giving it a buttoned look.
If you are looking for a Mid-century modern dining chair, these might be harder to find in a store. More than likely you will have to order them online unless you live in an urban city where stores tend to carry more of this style. Stay with sleek lines and add color or texture with the fabric.
Mid-century modern homes had lots of windows that encouraged people to go outdoors and allow for a lot of light. Even their lighting fixtures tend to be big and geometric shapes. Gold is a prominent color in these light fixtures but don’t think you have to go with gold. There are some fixtures in brushed nickel. it’s really the large round shapes that make it mid-century modern pieces.
MCM colors are vibrant colors such as red, yellow, green and blue. To really get the mid-century feeling in your home, don’t be afraid to try out some color. Notice that they are one solid color and not flowered or have a pattern. Sometimes a blue couch is just the ticket to create your living room space.
Wall colors tend to be more neutral gray or white colors so they don’t take away from the mid-century look. Other times, you may see vibrant wall colors and some more neutral furniture pieces. It all depends on how you want the room to feel. I always find it easier to change out accessories than the wall color. The furniture pieces and accessories are meant to take center stage, not the wall. Wood is also an element you can use for your mid-century look. You can add it on the exterior of the home especially by the entrance, or on a wall in a living space.
AccessoriesLarge geometric shapes with bold colors on rugs or throw pillows are reminiscent of mid-century modern decor. While the sofa may be one solid color, add punches of color using the rug or pillows in different shapes to bring in your decorating style. It may give off a retro-kind of look when you are done decorating, but know that is part of the decor. As I said before, while you may not like ALL the aspects of one style, you can certainly mix and match mid-century modern with more modern pieces. Artwork is another way to show off your mid-century modern vibe. Use bold colors to help pick out canvas or printed artwork or embrace the gold and use it in metal artwork pieces. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Notice that most artwork will incorporate the geometric shapes whether it’s circles, triangles or squares so you know you are on the right path.
Places to shop for Mid-Century Modern items
Sometimes you can find mid-century modern items at a thrift shop or antique store. Other great places to find MCM furniture is on Wayfair, Hayneedle, Joybird, World Market, Target, and Overstock. You never know when you will find pieces that fit your mid-century modern decorating style. If you stick with sleek lines, geometric patterns and bold colors, you can’t go wrong.