Bring That Amazing Mid-Century Modern Look to Your Home

Posted by Brandon Stewart on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at 1:01pm.

by Karl Kennedy of

Mid-Century Modern Look

For most people, mid-century modern design -- which marks home and office trends from the 1950s to the late 1960s -- triggers good memories and positive energy. The style, which features sleek lines and a sense of unclutteredness, has never really gone out of style. However, in these troubling times, heads are turning back to this functional, nostalgic look.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to bring that mid-century modern feel to your home:

Keep it Practical

The idea is practicality. Furniture should be functional and have a minimal, clean,“modern” look. It should take up very little space, and not give off a feeling of being wasteful.

Use Mid-Century Materials

Plastic and wood (think teak and oak) were givens during this period. Admittedly, it’s not exactly modern thinking, but if you are going to go genuine mid-century, stay away from faux looking materials.

Be Careful of Kitsch

Kitsch is affection for somewhat cheesy nostalgia. It can be cute and fun, but you don’t want to send the wrong message that your room is outdated and tacky. Retro is permissible but you may want to keep it low key. In other words, it’s great to feature old TV sets and vintage radios, but don’t neglect the state-of-the-art home theater and smart appliances.

Go Vintage Shopping

It’s fun to hunt for actual relics of this era, which will make your design feel genuine and authentic. Try vintage shops and flea markets -- you’ll be surprised what treasures await you there.

Add a Bar

Anyone who has watched Mad Men or old sitcoms like Bewitched knows that a built-in bar or mobile bar-cart is a mid-century must. Add interesting bottles and glasses to add to the retro-beauty of this entertaining feature.

Add Retro Art

It’s a nice, long period from which to shop: the 1950s-1960s. Many styles and attitudes can bring some depth and aesthetic to your mid-century experiment. Think abstract or pop-art, pop-culture posters, prints and photographs, and even old records and transistor radios. Even some coffee-table books about the period could change it up. Also fair considerations: vases, mirrors, bowls and even electric advertising signs.

Try Wallpaper

Wallpaper is not as popular as it once was, but back in the day, wallpaper was the bomb. This is especially true with bold, colorful patterns. You may want to go easy on this -- one wall in one room. Otherwise, white walls never go out of style and always give the room a spacious feeling.

Bottom Line

It’s not difficult to achieve a mid-century design for your home: keep it clean, minimal, authentic, and functional.

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