What is Midcentury Modern Interior Design?


What is Midcentury Modern Interior Design?

Midcentury interior design is one of the popular interior design styles in the middle of the 20th century. The design gained popularity in the United States due to its clean lines, muted tones, a combination of natural and synthetic materials, geometric shapes, brilliant colors, and the incorporation of indoor and outdoor motifs. It features minimalism and a focus on functionality. 

a living room with a yellow sofa with pillows, a blue chair, and a wooden oval table

Some of the most iconic midcentury designers include Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Mies van der Rohe. These mid-twentieth-century designers developed some of the most iconic items of furniture and architecture.

4 Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern Design

a rectangular wooden table with chairs, green apples and kettle on the table

The following are some of the interior aspects of a mid-century modern home.

Mid-century modern furniture is typically relatively simple, with clean lines and an emphasis on functionality and open spaces. 

  1. Typically, chairs and tables consist of simple pieces of material supported by wooden or metallic pin-style legs.
  2. Artificial materials (such as vinyl, plastic, lucite, and fiberglass) and natural materials (such as wood, glass, metal, and marble) are frequently combined in mid-century furniture design. Modern objects are also displayed in mid-century design with vintage showpiece pieces.
  3. The mid-century modern architecture emphasizes the combination of man-made structures and natural elements, and mid-century design follows suit. Plants and window coverings that promote a sense of continuity between indoors and outdoors are frequently used in this design.
  4. Contrasting primary neutral tones of white, black, and wood tones with bright accent hues, the mid-century contemporary design employs natural hues with colorful accents. In line with the concept of mixing indoor and outdoor spaces, the mid-century color palette is rooted in nature, consisting of earthy greens, autumnal oranges and yellows, muddy browns, sea blue greens such as aquamarine and teal, and deep clay red.


Today, midcentury design is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Many people are drawn to its simple aesthetic and functional design such as making your living room a comfortable and relaxing space. If you’re interested in incorporating midcentury design into your home, you should keep a few things in mind.

Midcentury design is all about simplicity. This means that you shouldn’t try to cram too much furniture or decor into a space. Instead, focus on choosing a few key pieces that will make a big impact.

Mid-century furniture is often made from natural materials like wood or leather. This gives it a warm and inviting feel.

Midcentury design is very versatile. It can be used in both contemporary and traditional settings. So if you’re looking for a way to add some personality to your home, midcentury design may be the perfect option. 

Tips for Decorating a Mid-Century Modern Room

Here are some recommendations for decorating the interior of your home, whether you are designing a mid-century modern living room, a modern bedroom, or a kitchen.

Build your room around a focal point.

an interior with a view of a tropical forest from the windows

Choose one or two signature mid-century modern furniture items to anchor your design.  This can be a dining table in the shape of a kidney bean, an Eames lounge chair, or a sunburst-shaped metal wall hanging. 

Use the remainder of your design elements, including the color palette, artwork, and window coverings, to compliment and accentuate these focal points.

Experiment with color. 

Color play is one of the characteristics that distinguish mid-century modernism from minimalism. 

Experiment with areas where you would want to showcase color in your furniture, such as colorful carpeting, dining room chairs with accents, or graphic artworks.  Prioritize hues from the past, such as sage green, robin’s egg blue, and butter yellow.

Keep it natural. 

Find a method to incorporate nature into your design. Choose interior colors that compliment your view if your home has huge windows overlooking a natural setting. 

Potted plants are another excellent method to incorporate nature into rooms.


A bid to emulate the entire Mid-Century Modern Style en masse can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating because it can be quite expensive and difficult to acquire the authentic stuff in this day and age. Although many designers continue to produce and revive this style, the cost will bloat the entire endeavor.


a modern kitchen with artsy lights and wooden chairs

In a mid-century modern home, wall-mounted lights and modern downlighters are uncommon.  Instead, the living room is adorned with hanging lights. 

In addition, most interior designers favor employing a variety of creatively crafted lamps, such as table lamps and floor lamps, to complement the home concept. The designer allows natural light to enter the home during the day, creating a captivating blend of the indoors and outside.

In keeping with the idea of this style, which is inventive and daring, designers frequently employ innovative mirror frames and pendant light shades. These items provide a creative and timeless touch to your home.


With so much emphasis on simplicity and minimalism, a splash of color is required to balance the aesthetics. 

Whether using monochrome or neon hues to add happiness and vibrancy to a room, one must be willing to experiment with color choices, but only in the focal point of the room.

In mid-century modern interior design, wood, metal, vinyl, glass, and plywood are utilized. The mid-century style is characterized by huge forms, bold patterns, and robust materials. The hues used may range from neutral to gold or graphic, such as black and white.

Imagine a mid-century modern living room in somber hues such as orange or rust. Other rooms permit lively tones such as bright yellow, turquoise, and vivid hues. Designers take care not to oversaturate a space and to ground the brilliant hues with neutrals.

Connect With Nature.

The windows are intended to be kept broad and unobstructed by thick draperies to allow fresh air to flow within. If possible, a touch of green elements can be included within to enhance the design, and light wood and cotton fabrics can be used to keep the space light and airy.

Reputable Mid-Century Modern Style Designers.

a retro typewriter on a wooden desk, indoor vines, a wooden shelf, a mid-century modern interior

Notable Mid-Century Modern Style Designers continue to inspire and fire the next generation of designers with their renowned and frequently imitated furniture designs.

Herman Miller is at the head of this trend in the United States, along with George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and other veterans in the field.  “Knoll” is another company that is synonymous with contemporary furniture.  

In addition, several designers have embodied this style’s genuine essence and contributed to its ongoing popularity.

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