Mid Century Modern Living Room Design Tips

April 17, 2019
Mid Century Modern Living Room Design Tips

The mid century modern living room emerged as a new interior design style that was developed from the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s. For over 30 years, it dominated urban development. 

The booming postwar economy led to a rapid increase of homeowners and, in turn, a surge in the construction of smaller-scale apartments. That explains why most mid century furniture is small in scale.

The mid century modern style developed thanks to new technologies and newfound post-war prosperity. These catalysts led to the discovery and production of a wide range of new materials and made it possible to explore new forms, textures, effects, and colors.

Many interior design enthusiasts still admire this style. Some of this style’s unique characteristics are still pleasant to today’s market preferences such as the minimalistic and futuristic furnishings.

Finn Juhl 1940 Pelican Chair

Finn Juhl 1940 Pelican Chair

The Inspiration

The mid century modern style evolved from earlier styles such as the Bauhaus and the International style. In the backdrop of an exuberant post-war world, designers were inspired by materials and technology from the war years to create organically shaped furnishings.

The malleability of plywood, aluminum, fiberglass, foam, and plastic laminates enabled designers to mold furniture with rounded contours and futuristic looks. A growing obsession with science fiction was evident in the futuristic shapes and materials of furniture that was designed during this period.

Features

A mid century modern living room is known for juxtaposing sleek lines with organic shapes. It portrays a futuristic look, but not a total departure from the past.

The following are some of the distinguishing features of mid century modern style:

  • Uncluttered clean, sleek lines
  • Gentle curves, simple forms, and minimal ornamentation
  • Functionality (form follows function)
  • Organic influences
  • An exploration of different materials, both traditional and non-traditional
  • Juxtaposing of different and contrasting materials
  • Universality and mass production

Mid Century Modern Design Tips for Your Living Room

Are you one of the many enthusiasts of mid century modern style? Undeniably its appeal is timeless.

The living room provides for a great space to introduce elements that have straight lines blended with gentle curves and an overall minimalistic feel.

But you may not be exactly sure where to start. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve this modern-cum-vintage vibe into your living room.

Furniture

Furniture is a great way to get started with the mid century modern style. The designers of this sleek and timeless style created iconic pieces that are still highly coveted to date. The furniture they designed and produced are renowned for pushing the limits of engineering.

Iconic furniture from this era has been adapted and copied repeatedly. Thus, it’s easy for you to find pieces that will fit your taste and budget, even if you don’t necessarily intend to spend a fortune on furniture.

At Eternity Modern we continue to reproduce many of the exact iconic pieces created by these world-class designers. Take as an example the imposing Hans J. Wegner’s Papa Bear Chair or the Vintage Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen. You’ll be surprised that some of these furniture pieces are even more popular now than they were more than half a century ago.

A mid century modern living room would not be complete without an exquisite stand-out chair. Get one large piece to set the tone. Then, build around it.

One good selection could be towering Patricia Urquiola’s Husk Chair high back. Just looking at the chair, you visually perceive a sense of both mental and physical comfort.

To succeed, don’t be afraid to mix mid century modern furnishings with pieces from other periods. Be driven by finding pieces that tell their own stories and that will add to the unique character of the space.

Papa Bear Chair

Papa Bear Chair

Ambiance

A mid century modern living room is characteristically warm and cozy while being airy and bright. So how do you style your living room in mid century modern tradition?

You need to think clean, crisp white walls, such as pure white. But you’ll still be within the style if you’d prefer an off-white or another warmer white.

Another feature of the mid century modern style is the daring use of floor to ceiling mirrors on one of the sides of the living room. A big advantage of this is that the mirror adds depth and light in the room. Thus, the room feels bigger and more spacious.

How about the layout of the room? That is also pivotal in bringing out the mid century modern style. Floor to ceiling windows was preferred to allow natural light to enter the room during the day. The result is a living room which feels bigger and livelier, giving an optimistic appearance.

Vintage Egg Chair

Vintage Egg Chair

Color & Pattern

A significant aspect of mid century modern style is color. The abundance of color and pattern is one of the reasons why this style became so popular. For instance, there are some mid century modern living rooms with furniture that adopts rainbow colors!

As the Space Age and Pop Art culture came into existence, the earth colors of 1950 paved the way for brighter and more saturated colors. Some of the characteristic colors of this style are muted colors pastels and neutrals which never go out of style. But what colors would work well with mid century modern furniture?

First, select your accent furniture, then add some geometric fabrics, color punches and layer various textures and patterns to complement the piece. For the best results, avoid introducing too many patterns and textures. Limit yourself to a specific color scheme.

And what better way to complete the appearance than to add some mid century modern light fixtures.

Noguchi Table

Noguchi Coffee Table

Accessories

And now to the finishing touch. How do you make the mid century inspired living room complete? It’s all about how to accessorize.

For a stylish style, gravitate toward things you are passionate about and those everyday items. It could be plants, pillows, candle-holders, rocks—but be sure to remain clutter-free.

Bottom-line

Design professionals and enthusiasts praise this style whose philosophy is functionality and good living. No wonder many people today still are still intrigued by this timeless style and incorporate it into their homes, particularly the living room.

You can bring a mid century modern living room into your home without having to overhaul everything you already own and are attached to.

Despite this style’s sleek and timeless appeal, it’s all too easy for it to quickly monopolize your living room and make it look too monotonous.

Seek a proper blend by incorporating elements with a different dimension, scale, and proportion so that the living room doesn’t look too uniform. Mix it up.