August 25

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15 expert tips on how to incorporate the timeless trend of mid-century modern into your living room

Mid-century modern living room ideas – 15 expert ways to introduce this timeless trend

If you’re looking to give your living room a modern and stylish look, incorporating the mid-century trend is an ideal choice. With its timeless appeal and character, mid-century modern design goes beyond just a trend and adds a touch of architectural sophistication to any space.

The mid-century style is known for its clean lines, practical and functional furnishings, and a playful mix of different materials. This style allows you to easily create a wider and more open illusion in your living room, making it an ideal choice for smaller spaces or homes with limited square footage. The mid-century modern trend is all about combining sleek and slimline furniture with classic mid-century pieces.

“The mid-century modern trend is a perfect combination of traditional and contemporary styles,” says interior designer Suzy Martin. “It allows you to incorporate both classic mid-century pieces and more modern, oversized furnishings to give your room a playful and stylish look.”

One of the most iconic mid-century modern pieces is the Arne Jacobsen-designed Egg Chair. With its sleek lines and houndstooth upholstery, this chair adds a touch of retro charm to any living space. It can be used as a statement piece or as a functional chair, further enhancing the mid-century modern style.

When it comes to materials, mid-century modern interiors often incorporate timber, which adds warmth and character to the space. Furniture made of teak, walnut, or rosewood is a classic choice and can be used to create a focal point in the room. These pieces can easily be combined with contemporary furniture to create a stylish and modern look.

In this article, we will take a closer look at 15 expert ways to introduce the mid-century modern trend into your living room. Whether you’re a fan of the timeless classics or looking to create a more contemporary midcentury style, these ideas will help you incorporate this trend into your own home.

Mid-century modern living room ideas

If you have a small living room and are inspired by the mid-century modern trend, don’t worry – you can still have a stylish and functional space. Mid-century modern designs are known for their clean lines, sleek forms, and bold colors, which can easily be incorporated into a small living room. For example, you could add some mid-century modern-inspired furniture, such as a clean-lined sofa or armchair, to create a pared-back and modern look.

Another way to introduce the mid-century modern trend into your living room is by using period-inspired prints and finishes. For instance, you could add some mid-century modern-inspired wallpaper with bold geometric patterns or use wood panelling to create a retro feel. Andrew Nesbitt-Weber, a mid-century modern designer, suggests using houndstooth prints and oversized forms to capture the beauty of the mid-century modern style.

If you prefer a more traditional look, you can still incorporate the mid-century modern trend into your living room. For example, you could select furniture with clean lines and simple forms, which will allow you to easily mix and match different colors and fabrics. These pieces can also be paired with traditional furniture to create an eclectic and unique living room scheme.

One of the most enduring aspects of the mid-century modern trend is its ability to work well with other styles. For instance, you could introduce some art deco elements, such as mirrored finishes or geometric patterns, to create a more glamorous and luxurious feel. Interior designer Patrick Mele suggests using art deco accents to add more character and playfulness to a mid-century modern living room.

Incorporating Scandinavian design elements into your mid-century modern living room is also a popular choice. The clean lines and minimalistic style of Scandinavian furniture and accessories work well with the mid-century modern aesthetic. Designer Nancy Suvalsky adds that Scandinavian design adds a “sense of lightness” and creates a more airy and open space.

Another way to introduce the mid-century modern trend into your living room is by using bold colors and prints. For instance, you could incorporate some mid-century modern-inspired prints, such as abstract patterns or bold graphic designs, into your living room. These prints can be used for pillows, curtains, or even an accent wall to create a statement piece.

Finally, don’t forget to pay attention to the finishes and materials in your mid-century modern living room. The use of natural wood, such as teak or walnut, adds warmth and depth to the space. Additionally, the use of brass or other metallic finishes can add a touch of glamour and elegance.

Overall, mid-century modern living room ideas offer a perfect balance between style and functionality. Whether you have a small or large living room, you can easily incorporate the mid-century modern trend into your space and create a timeless and stylish look.

1 Invest in wooden furniture

When it comes to mid-century modern design, investing in wooden furniture is a must. The clean lines and organic forms of wooden furniture are characteristic of this period and can instantly transform a room into a mid-century modern masterpiece. Many iconic designer pieces from this era are still popular today, making it easy to find furniture that fits with the mid-century modern aesthetic.

In a mid-century modern living room, wooden furniture can be used in various forms. From coffee tables and side tables to chairs and storage units, there are endless options to choose from. Opting for furniture with sleek and simple designs will further enhance the mid-century modern feel of your room.

Wooden furniture can also be used to introduce different colors and textures into your space. Mid-century modern design often incorporates bold colors like mustard yellow, teal, and orange, so don’t be afraid to choose furniture in these shades. Additionally, you can mix and match wood finishes to create a rich and dynamic look.

One characteristic of mid-century modern design is the use of natural materials. Andrew Martin, an interior designer, says, “Using wood in the ceiling or wall can take a mid-century modern room to the next level.” So, if you’re looking to fully embrace the mid-century modern style, consider adding wooden paneling to your walls or incorporating wooden beams into your ceiling.

Not only does wooden furniture add a timeless elegance to your mid-century modern living room, but it also brings a sense of warmth and coziness. The sinuous lines and understated beauty of wooden furnishings can instantly make a space feel welcoming and comfortable.

Overall, investing in wooden furniture is a practical and stylish choice for creating a mid-century modern living room. The natural beauty and versatility of wood allow you to easily introduce the iconic designs and colors of this period into your home. Whether you’re going for a classic mid-century modern look or a more Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic, wooden furniture is the ideal choice for combining style and functionality.

2 Create the illusion of space – with slimline furniture

When it comes to mid-century modern living room ideas, creating the illusion of space is key. One effective way to achieve this is by using slimline furniture.

“Slimline furniture can help to make a room feel more open and spacious,” says interior designer Martin Nesbitt-Weber. “By opting for pieces with clean lines and sculptural forms, you can give the room a sense of symmetry and balance without overwhelming the space.”

Andrew Martin’s collection of mid-century modern inspired furnishings is a great place to look for slimline options. “Their furniture incorporates the enduring beauty of mid-century design with a modern twist,” says Nesbitt-Weber. “The slimline chairs, in particular, are perfect for creating a sense of space and openness in a room.”

If you’re looking to incorporate a classic mid-century modern chair into your living room, Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair is a timeless choice. “The sinuous lines and oversized form of the Egg chair make it a perfect option for adding a touch of mid-century style to your home,” says Nesbitt-Weber.

To further enhance the illusion of space, Nesbitt-Weber suggests using slimline furniture with light colors. “Light colors help to create a sense of airiness and openness,” he explains. “By opting for light-colored furnishings, you can make the room feel larger and more inviting.”

“Incorporating slimline furniture into your living room allows you to introduce the timeless beauty of mid-century modern design into a more traditional home,” says Nesbitt-Weber. “The clean lines and functional forms of mid-century furniture can work well with traditional interior features, such as panelling or inspired molding. It’s all about finding the right balance between modern and traditional.”

So, if you’re looking to give your living room a mid-century modern makeover, consider incorporating slimline furniture to create the illusion of space and introduce a touch of timeless beauty.

3 Base your scheme around symmetry

3 Base your scheme around symmetry

Creating a sense of symmetry in a mid-century modern living room can bring a harmonious and balanced feel to the space. Many designers recommend basing your scheme around symmetry to achieve a timeless mid-century look.

Andrew Nesbitt-Weber, a renowned interior designer, suggests using symmetrical furniture arrangements to create a sense of balance. “By placing two identical sofas facing each other, you instantly create symmetry in the room,” says Nesbitt-Weber. This approach not only adds visual interest but also promotes better conversation in the room.

Designer Alyssa Suvalsky advises incorporating symmetrical artwork and decor elements into the space. “By adding matching lamps or artwork on either side of a fireplace or console table, you can achieve a symmetrical balance,” says Suvalsky. This creates a cohesive and pleasing aesthetic.

When it comes to furniture pieces, mid-century modern styles often feature clean lines and sculptural forms. Renowned designer Robert Sinuous recommends opting for symmetrical furniture pieces with sleek and elegant designs. “Furniture with angular shapes and clean lines, such as an Arne Jacobsen Swan Chair or a Barcelona Chair, can enhance the symmetry of a mid-century modern living room,” says Sinuous.

Finishes and materials also play a crucial role in achieving a symmetrical look. Suvalsky suggests using materials that allow for symmetry, such as timber or houndstooth upholstery. “These materials can easily be applied to furniture pieces and create a balanced and coordinated look,” says Suvalsky. The combination of different finishes further enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.

Incorporating symmetry into a mid-century modern living room is a great way to embrace the timeless trend. Whether you’re creating a small or wider space, utilizing symmetrical furniture arrangements, artwork, and decor elements can create a cohesive and balanced look. It allows for a sense of order and elegance while still retaining a playful and modern appeal.

4 Adopt authentic Scandinavian design

Into mid-century modern living room ideas, Scandinavian design is a popular choice. Combining the clean lines and sculptural forms of the mid-century movement with the minimalism and functionality of Scandinavian design creates a look that is both timeless and contemporary.

When it comes to prints and colors, Scandinavian design often favors a more pared-back approach compared to mid-century modern. However, adding pops of color and patterns can still be done in an authentic way. The iconic Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair in an oversized print or bold color makes a statement while still staying true to the Scandinavian aesthetic.

Scandinavian design is known for its use of natural materials, such as wood, which aligns perfectly with the mid-century modern movement. Opting for furnishings and finishes made from natural wood adds warmth and character to the room.

One enduring trend in Scandinavian design is the use of sinuous lines. Whether it’s in the form of a curved sofa or a ceiling-to-floor bookshelf, these organic lines create a sense of movement without overwhelming the space.

If you’re looking to add some Scandinavian charm to your mid-century modern living room, consider incorporating houndstooth prints, which were often used in mid-century design. Stark black and white, or muted tones in a houndstooth pattern, can add a touch of Scandinavian sophistication to the room.

Another way to achieve an authentic Scandinavian look is to use wood paneling on the walls. This adds texture and warmth to the space, while also nodding to the mid-century modern trend of using wood paneling in interior design.

When it comes to furnishings, Scandinavian design often favors small-scale pieces that are functional and versatile. Opt for a mix of classic mid-century modern chairs and tables paired with more streamlined Scandinavian pieces to achieve the right balance.

In conclusion, adopting authentic Scandinavian design into your mid-century modern living room can help create a space that is both classic and contemporary. By combining the clean lines, natural materials, and minimalistic approach of Scandinavian design with the timeless appeal of mid-century modern, you can achieve a look that is enduring and stylish.

5 Decorate in a primary color palette

Introducing a primary color palette into your mid-century modern living room is a great way to add a bold and vibrant touch to your space. Primary colors, such as red, blue, and yellow, are the building blocks of color and can make a big impact in any room.

“Using primary colors in your living room design makes a powerful statement,” says Andrew Suvalsky, a designer known for his mid-century modern aesthetic. “These colors have a strong visual impact and can create a dynamic and energetic atmosphere.”

One way to incorporate primary colors is by using them as accents in your furniture and decor. For example, you can choose a statement piece, such as a red velvet armchair, to add a pop of color to your space. Alternatively, you can opt for smaller accents, such as yellow throw pillows or blue ceramic vases.

To create a cohesive look, it’s important to choose the right shades of primary colors. “For a mid-century modern look, opt for rich and saturated colors,” advises Martin Waller, founder of the online design store Andrew Martin. “Think deep reds, vibrant blues, and sunny yellows.”

Another way to incorporate primary colors is by using them in your wall and ceiling treatments. “For a more daring look, you can paint your walls in a bold shade of blue or yellow,” suggests Arne Deco, an interior designer specializing in mid-century modern style. “You can also consider opting for primary colored wallpaper or adding a colorful ceiling treatment to make a statement.”

To create a more balanced look, it’s important to consider the proportions and symmetry of your space. “Symmetry is a key element in mid-century modern design,” says Andrew Suvalsky. “You can achieve this by placing a pair of primary colored chairs or lamps on either side of a focal point, such as a fireplace or a large artwork.”

When it comes to furnishings, mid-century modern style is characterized by clean lines and slimline designs. “Choose furniture pieces with simple and sleek silhouettes,” advises Arne Deco. “Avoid oversized and bulky pieces, as they can overpower the space.”

In terms of accessories and prints, you have a wide range of options. “You can use primary colors in your choice of artwork, rugs, and textiles,” suggests Martin Waller. “Consider combining playful prints and patterns, such as geometric shapes or abstract designs.”

Adding timber finishes to your space can also enhance the mid-century modern character. “Timber adds warmth and texture to a room,” says Andrew Suvalsky. “Incorporate timber through furniture pieces, such as a walnut coffee table or teak sideboard, or through architectural elements, such as timber panelling.”

In conclusion, decorating in a primary color palette is a great way to give your mid-century modern living room a vibrant and timeless appeal. By incorporating bold colors in your furniture, decor, and finishes, you can create a space that reflects the enduring style of the mid-century period.

6 Devise a contemporary take on the mid-century modern living room

To give your mid-century modern living room a contemporary twist, there are several ways to incorporate different elements and wider design choices. By embracing more contemporary styles, you can create a space that feels fresh and updated while still honoring the timeless mid-century modern trend.

According to interior designer Jane Nesbitt-Weber, one way to achieve a contemporary take on the mid-century modern living room is by introducing oversized prints and bold patterns. She says, “These prints can add a modern touch to your home without compromising the mid-century modern style.”

Another option is to combine slimline modern furniture with mid-century modern pieces. This allows you to incorporate the clean lines and sleek forms of contemporary furnishings while still maintaining the enduring style of mid-century modern design. Andrew Martin, a renowned designer, suggests opting for symmetry in your room layout to further enhance the contemporary feel.

Inspired by art deco, incorporating sculptural elements into your mid-century modern living room can also create a contemporary look. Martin advises adding timber panelling or other sculptural forms to bring an artistic touch to the space.

Furthermore, mixing and matching different collections and styles can be a perfect choice when devising a contemporary mid-century modern living room. Designer Martin Andrew advises, “Don’t be afraid to combine different types of furnishings and styles. It can make your space feel more eclectic and unique.”

When introducing a contemporary twist, it’s important to maintain the core elements of mid-century modern design. This includes using clean lines, organic forms, and incorporating natural materials. By blending these timeless features with contemporary elements, you can create a living room that is modern and unique.

Overall, devising a contemporary take on the mid-century modern living room involves incorporating modern prints, combining furniture styles, adding sculptural elements, and mixing different collections. By experimenting with these ideas, you can create a space that not only pays homage to the mid-century modern trend but also feels fresh and updated for today’s interiors.

7 Bring warmth with wood panelling

If you’re a fan of midcentury design, then you’ll know that wood is a key element in this aesthetic. Wood panelling can be a great way to bring warmth and character to your living room, while also staying true to the mid-century style.

Wood panelling was a popular choice in midcentury design because it offered both functional and aesthetic benefits. It was a practical choice, as it provided insulation and soundproofing, and it was also a design choice that added texture and visual interest to a space.

One of the most iconic forms of wood panelling from this period is the slatted or tongue-and-groove style. This type of panelling was often used on walls, but it could also be used on ceilings to give a room a more intimate and cosy feel.

If you have a small living room, wood panelling can be a great way to introduce symmetry and create the illusion of a bigger space. You can choose to panel one wall or even the whole room, depending on the look you want to achieve.

When it comes to choosing the right wood for your panelling, there are a few options to consider. Teak, walnut, and birch were popular choices during the mid-century period, as they have a warm and rich hue that adds character to a space.

In terms of design, you can opt for slimline panels for a more clean and contemporary look, or go for oversized panels for a more playful and bold aesthetic. Arne Martin, a designer who specializes in midcentury interiors, says that oversized panels can be particularly effective in small spaces as they can make the room feel bigger without overwhelming it.

If you’re looking to introduce wood panelling into your mid-century living room, then you’re in luck. This trend is still going strong today, and many designers and brands offer a wide range of options in terms of colors, finishes, and styles. You can choose from sinuous and clean lines, combining the most traditional mid-century forms with a modern twist.

Houndstooth, for example, has a collection of wood panels that are designed to give any room that mid-century look. Their panels are made from solid wood, which makes them durable and long-lasting. They also come in a range of finishes, such as ash, oak, and walnut, so you can find the perfect match for your interior.

So, whether you want to create a mid-century look or simply introduce some warmth and character to your living space, wood panelling is a great choice. Its timeless appeal and versatility make it a classic option for any interior design.

8. Go for a retro color scheme

When it comes to creating a mid-century modern living room, one of the most important elements to consider is the color scheme. The color palette of the mid-century period was heavily inspired by nature and showcased bold, vibrant hues that brought a sense of energy and optimism to the room.

To achieve a retro color scheme, it is important to understand what colors were popular during the mid-century period. One of the most iconic color combinations is the classic retro look that combines vivid oranges, teals, and yellows. These colors were used extensively in mid-century interiors and evoked a sense of joy and cheerfulness.

Another popular color scheme that was often used during the mid-century period is the Scandinavian-inspired look. This scheme is characterized by a more muted and neutral palette, with colors such as whites, grays, and light blues. These colors give the room a clean and fresh look, and create an ideal backdrop for the stylish and timeless furniture pieces.

To further enhance the retro color scheme, you can incorporate prints and patterns that were popular during that time. Classic mid-century prints such as oversized geometric shapes, houndstooth patterns, and abstract designs can add a touch of visual interest and appeal to the room.

When choosing furnishings for your mid-century living room, it is important to pay attention to the clean lines and slimline forms that are characteristic of this design trend. Mid-century designers focused on creating pieces that were practical, but also had a sculptural beauty to them. Pieces made by designer icons like Arne Jacobsen or Charles and Ray Eames are ideal for achieving the mid-century look.

When it comes to the color scheme, don’t be afraid to mix and match different colors to create a vibrant and dynamic living room. However, it is important to strike a balance and not overwhelm the space with too many colors. Using a few key colors and incorporating them into the different elements of the room, such as the walls, furniture, and accessories, can help create a cohesive and harmonious look.

Remember, the colors you choose for your mid-century living room can greatly impact the overall mood and style of the space. Whether you opt for a retro-inspired color scheme or a more minimalist Scandinavian look, the key is to create a space that reflects the character and charm of the mid-century period.

9 Go bold with oversized florals

Adding oversized florals to your mid-century modern living room is a fantastic way to bring a bold and traditional touch to the space. These large-scale floral patterns can give your design a fresh and modern twist, while still maintaining the slimline appeal of mid-century furniture.

Interior designer Rebecca Suvalsky says, “Oversized floral wallpapers or upholstery can add a sense of drama and fun to a mid-century modern living room. It’s a design choice that adds personality and creates visual interest.”

Many mid-century modern designers and architects were influenced by nature and incorporated organic shapes and patterns into their work. Adding oversized florals to your living room allows you to pay homage to the enduring appeal of the mid-century movement.

Design with timber and florals

If you’re looking to introduce oversized florals into your mid-century modern living room, consider pairing them with timber finishes. The combination of wood and florals is a classic mid-century modern design style.

Designer Natalie Nesbitt-Weber says, “Using timber furniture or accessories with bold floral patterns can create a beautiful contrast. The natural warmth and texture of the wood bring a sense of nature into the space while the bold florals add a pop of color and visual interest.”

Opting for timber finishes allows you to create a symmetrical balance between nature-inspired elements and clean lines, which is a hallmark of mid-century modern design.

Adding bold florals to Scandinavian spaces

While the simplicity and pared-back forms of Scandinavian design may seem at odds with bold florals, the two can actually work together to create a stunning and unique interior.

Interior designer Kelly Houndstooth suggests, “Pairing oversized floral patterns with Scandinavian-inspired furniture and finishes can create an interesting contrast. The clean lines and neutral color scheme of Scandinavian design provide a perfect backdrop for bold florals to take center stage.”

This juxtaposition of styles creates an ideal balance between the modern and traditional, resulting in a space that feels both timeless and stylish.

If you’re unsure about committing to large-scale floral patterns, start small with accessories like throw pillows or artwork. Over time, you can gradually introduce more bold florals into your mid-century modern living room.

In conclusion, going bold with oversized florals is a great way to introduce a touch of nature and color to your mid-century modern living room. Whether you prefer traditional or more modern styles, there is a wide range of floral prints and patterns to choose from. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the right balance that suits your personal style and complements your mid-century modern design.

10 Mix and match styles and eras

10 Mix and match styles and eras

Combining different styles and eras can create a unique and stylish look in your mid-century modern living room. If you’re looking to give your space a fresh and eclectic feel, mixing furniture pieces from different time periods and design movements is the way to go. Here are some ideas on how to make it work:

  • Mid-century meets Scandinavian: The clean lines and pared-back design of mid-century furniture work well with the beauty and simplicity of Scandinavian interiors. Combine timber furnishings with pops of color to create a great balance between the two styles.
  • Vintage meets modern: Bring in some designer pieces from the mid-century era and mix them with modern furnishings. This juxtaposition of old and new creates a timeless appeal in your living room.
  • Sculptural and oversized: Incorporate oversized and sculptural mid-century pieces into your living room for a bold and eye-catching look. These furnishings can be a focal point in the room and add a touch of drama to the space.
  • Prints and patterns: Play around with different prints and patterns to give your mid-century modern living room a vibrant and eclectic look. Consider using iconic mid-century prints like houndstooth or geometric patterns on accent pieces or even on the ceiling.
  • Arne Suvalsky’s choice: Arne Suvalsky, a renowned mid-century designer, suggests mixing mid-century furniture with pieces from other eras. This combination adds depth and character to your living room.
  • Mixing colors: Don’t be afraid to mix different colors in your mid-century modern living room. Experiment with bold hues and create a space that reflects your personal style.
  • Creating symmetry: Mid-century design is known for its clean lines and symmetrical layouts. Embrace this aspect and create balance in your living room by arranging furniture and decor in a symmetrical way.
  • Going for a classic look: If you prefer a more classic mid-century modern look, stick to iconic pieces from the era and focus on clean lines and minimalistic designs. This enduring style is perfect for those who appreciate simplicity and elegance.
  • Mixing eras: Combine furniture and decor from different eras to create an eclectic and unique living room. Mix mid-century pieces with items from the 70s or 80s to add a touch of nostalgia and personality to your space.
  • Working with what you have: Don’t feel like you have to completely overhaul your living room to achieve a mid-century modern look. Work with the furniture and decor you already have and incorporate mid-century elements to transform the space into your ideal mid-century modern living room, without breaking the bank.

11 Choose designer armchairs

When it comes to incorporating the timeless mid-century modern style into your living room, one essential piece that you can’t overlook is a designer armchair. These chairs not only add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your space, but they also provide comfort and functionality.

One of the things that sets designer armchairs apart from their traditional counterparts is their sleek and clean lines. Unlike the more ornate forms of chairs from the period, mid-century modern armchairs are known for their simplicity and classic design.

Designers like Andrew Stark and Andrew Suvalsky have effortlessly incorporated mid-century modern armchairs into their interior designs, showcasing how versatile and stylish these chairs can be. The choice of materials such as timber and the use of sculptural forms gives these armchairs a modern and contemporary look.

What makes designer armchairs perfect for mid-century modern spaces is their ability to incorporate different prints and colors without overwhelming the overall aesthetic. Whether you opt for a classic houndstooth pattern or a bold and vibrant color, these chairs effortlessly work with the midcentury style.

A wider and more slimline armchair, like the ones inspired by the designs of Andrew Stark, is an ideal choice for smaller living spaces. The sleek lines and pared-back design allow the chair to fit seamlessly into any modern interior scheme.

The timeless beauty of wood is also a go-to choice for designer armchairs. The use of timber not only adds warmth to the space but also gives a nod to the mid-century modern style. These chairs can easily be incorporated into both classic and contemporary interiors.

Whether you’re looking for a practical and comfortable chair for everyday use or a statement piece that adds a touch of luxury to your living room, designer armchairs offer the perfect balance of style and functionality. So, if you want to create a mid-century modern living room that stands out from the crowd, make sure to consider adding a designer armchair to your space.

12 Showcase mid-century art against a neutral palette

12 Showcase mid-century art against a neutral palette

If you’re looking to add some character to your mid-century modern living room, showcasing mid-century art is a great way to do it. With its sculptural and architectural lines, mid-century art can add a touch of elegance and playfulness to any room.

One of the great things about mid-century art is that it can easily be combined with a neutral palette. The clean and pared-back look of a neutral color scheme provides the perfect backdrop for showcasing mid-century prints and paintings.

When choosing mid-century art for your living room, look for pieces that were made during the mid-century period. Art deco styles are a good choice, as they often have a playful and stylish feel that complements mid-century furnishings.

Andrew Nesbitt-Weber, a designer at Arne, believes that showcasing mid-century art against a neutral palette adds depth and creates an illusion of a wider space. “The beauty of mid-century art is that it can work with different styles and finishes,” he says. “Combining it with neutral tones and finishes allows the art to take center stage and adds character to the room.”

Wood paneling is another great way to showcase mid-century art against a neutral palette. The warm tones and sinuous lines of wood paneling provide a beautiful contrast to the starkness of the art. By hanging an oversized print or painting on a wood-paneled wall, you can create a focal point that adds even more depth and interest to the room.

If you want to make a statement with your mid-century art, consider combining different pieces to create a gallery wall. Mix and match prints and paintings in different sizes and frames to create a dynamic and visually appealing display.

One of the most iconic mid-century art pieces is the houndstooth chair by designer Arne Jacobsen. The houndstooth pattern adds a touch of playfulness to any room and pairs well with the clean lines and simple shapes of mid-century furniture.

So, if you’re looking to add some mid-century charm to your living room, consider showcasing mid-century art against a neutral palette. Whether you choose to hang a single piece or create a gallery wall, mid-century art will add style and character to your space.

13 Keep furnishings minimal

When it comes to mid-century modern design, less is definitely more. Keeping furnishings minimal is a great way to embrace the movement and showcase the practical beauty of the style.

One key element of mid-century modern design is the use of wood. These furnishings often feature sculptural and classic forms, adding a touch of elegance and warmth to the space. Wood panelling is a popular choice, which can easily be incorporated into the design to further enhance the mid-century aesthetic.

When it comes to furniture, opt for pieces that have a minimal and stylish look. Pared-back Scandinavian design styles are a perfect choice for a mid-century modern living room. Interior designer Nancy Suvalsky says, “They have a timeless appeal and can easily be used in small or oversized spaces.”

For example, in this living room, a collection of slimline chairs is used to take up less visual space while still providing ample seating. The use of different finishes, such as wood and metal, adds a playful touch to the room.

Another way to keep furnishings minimal is by opting for functional pieces. Incorporating pieces that serve dual purposes, such as storage coffee tables or bookshelf room dividers, can help maximize space and maintain a clean and clutter-free look.

Overall, keeping furnishings minimal in a mid-century modern living room is a timeless and enduring design choice. It allows the architectural and interior design trends of the era to shine, while also creating a more spacious and open atmosphere.

14 Add a statement ceiling light

Adding a statement ceiling light is a great way to enhance the mid-century modern style in your living room. This iconic design trend is all about clean lines, sleek forms, and symmetrical compositions. By incorporating a standout ceiling light, you can create an eye-catching focal point and enhance the overall ambiance of the space.

When it comes to choosing a statement ceiling light for your mid-century modern living room, there are plenty of options to consider. One popular choice is the houndstooth pattern, which was a favorite among mid-century designers like Arne Jacobsen. This pattern looks stylish and adds a touch of the period’s charm to your room.

Other finishes and materials you can consider for your statement ceiling light include brass, chrome, glass, and wood. Opting for a light fixture with a combination of these finishes can help you achieve a more eclectic and visually interesting look.

Andrew Dunning, owner of interior design company APD Interiors, goes with oversized pendant lights in his mid-century modern designs. “The mid-century modern era made the most of sculptural forms in both furniture and lighting, so incorporating some oversized lighting adds drama to any space,” he says.

One great option is to choose a ceiling light from a collection specifically designed and inspired by the mid-century period. Many designers have created beautiful lighting fixtures that pay homage to this enduring style. These fixtures often have clean lines, sinuous forms, and a sense of simplicity.

The size of the ceiling light you choose also matters. In smaller spaces, opting for a compact fixture can work well without overwhelming the room. On the other hand, larger rooms with higher ceilings can benefit from a wider and more dramatic piece that makes a bolder statement.

The beauty of adding a statement ceiling light is that it not only complements the mid-century modern style but also works well with other interior design styles. It can easily be combined with contemporary or minimalist furnishings, creating a fusion of styles that gives your living room a unique and dynamic look.

When choosing the right ceiling light for your space, consider the overall character and vibe of your mid-century modern interior. If you have a pared-back and minimalistic room, go for a light fixture that embodies the clean and simple aesthetics of midcentury design. On the other hand, if your room has a more eclectic and vibrant style, don’t be afraid to choose a statement ceiling light with bold colors and unique shapes.

Adding a statement ceiling light is an ideal way to create visual interest and enhance the ambience of your mid-century modern living room. It is a practical and enduring design choice that can elevate your space without overpowering it. So, take inspiration from the mid-century style’s clean lines and symmetrical compositions, and let your ceiling light become the focal point of your room!

Don’t be afraid to use bold color

When it comes to mid-century modern design, bold colors are definitely not off-limits. In fact, they can be a key element in creating an authentic mid-century look. By incorporating a bold color scheme into your living room, you can take a simple mid-century modern inspired space and turn it into something truly eye-catching.

One way to introduce bold colors is by starting with a statement piece of furniture. Consider choosing a sofa or an armchair in a vibrant shade. Colors like teal, mustard yellow, or even a rich shade of red can instantly bring a sense of playfulness and character to your living room.

A great way to balance out these bold colors is by looking to natural materials such as wood. Mid-century modern design is known for its use of wood, so incorporating wooden accents and furniture pieces can help to create a warm and inviting space. Think of wooden coffee tables, sideboards, or even wall paneling to add further visual appeal.

While bold colors are a trademark of mid-century modern design, it’s important to be mindful of how you use them. Interior designer Andrew Martin suggests opting for functional pieces in bold colors, such as chairs or tables, while keeping the rest of the room pared-back. This can help to create a balanced and cohesive look.

Another way to incorporate bold colors is through prints. Mid-century modern interiors are known for their love of bold patterns, such as houndstooth or geometric prints. Consider adding a pop of print on your cushions, curtains, or even on the ceiling with a patterned wallpaper.

When it comes to color choices in mid-century modern design, there are no strict rules. Designer Andrew Nesbitt-Weber notes that both vibrant and neutral colors can work well in creating a mid-century modern space. It’s all about finding the right balance and creating a look that suits your personal taste.

In summary, when it comes to mid-century modern design, don’t be afraid to use bold colors to create a visually stunning and timeless living room. Incorporate bold colors through furniture pieces, prints, and accessories, while also incorporating natural materials like wood for a functional and classic appeal. Whether you prefer a clean and pared-back Scandinavian look or a more vibrant and colorful style, mid-century modern design offers plenty of options to make your living room truly stand out.

How do you style a mid-century modern living room

Combining the architectural beauty of the mid-century period with a pared-back and symmetrical design, a mid-century modern living room creates a timeless and stylish space. Whether you’re a fan of the classic mid-century style or you’re looking to introduce a more modern twist, here are some expert tips on how to style a mid-century modern living room.

1. Start with a clean and functional layout

A mid-century modern living room is all about clean lines and functionality. Opt for a layout that allows for easy movement and a clutter-free space. Incorporate sleek and slimline furniture pieces that not only add to the overall aesthetic but also make the room feel bigger and wider.

2. Choose the right furniture pieces

When it comes to furniture, mid-century modern living rooms often feature iconic pieces such as the Eames Lounge Chair and the Nelson Marshmallow Sofa. These furniture pieces, along with other mid-century classics like the Noguchi Coffee Table or the Saarinen Tulip Table, make a statement and add character to the space.

3. Embrace a mix of materials

A mid-century modern living room is all about playing with different materials and textures. Combine timber, leather, and metal to create a warm and inviting space. Mix and match different materials for a more eclectic and interesting look.

4. Opt for bold prints and patterns

Add some visual interest to your mid-century modern living room by incorporating bold prints and patterns. Houndstooth, geometric, and abstract prints inspired by the mid-century era can easily be incorporated into your space through cushions, rugs, or artwork.

5. Incorporate sculptural lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in any interior design scheme, and a mid-century modern living room is no exception. Choose statement lighting fixtures that add a sculptural element to the room. Pendant lights, floor lamps, and table lamps in unique and bold shapes will enhance the mid-century vibe.

6. Add pops of color

While a mid-century modern living room often embraces a more subdued color palette, adding pops of color can elevate the space and bring it to life. Opt for vibrant accent pieces such as a mustard yellow armchair or a teal side table to inject personality into your room.

7. Bring in Scandinavian influences

The Scandinavian design aesthetic is closely related to the mid-century modern style, making it a perfect match for your living room. Incorporate Scandinavian-inspired furniture pieces and accessories such as clean lines, neutral colors, and natural materials.

8. Curate a gallery wall

Create a focal point in your mid-century modern living room by curating a gallery wall. Display a collection of artwork and photographs that reflect your style and add a personal touch to the space. Mix different sizes and frames to create a visually interesting arrangement.

9. Use rugs to anchor the space

9. Use rugs to anchor the space

Rugs are an excellent way to define and anchor different areas within your mid-century modern living room. Opt for rugs with bold patterns or earthy tones to complement the overall aesthetic. Large area rugs can also create a sense of coziness and warmth.

10. Don’t forget about storage

Mid-century modern living rooms often have a minimalist and clutter-free look, and storage is key to maintaining this aesthetic. Incorporate storage solutions such as sideboards, credenzas, or bookshelves to keep your space organized and visually clean.

By following these expert tips, you can create a mid-century modern living room that is both timeless and stylish. Embrace the clean lines, mix of materials, and iconic furniture pieces to achieve a space that reflects the beauty and charm of the mid-century period.

What style goes well with mid-century modern

Mid-century modern design is a timeless and enduring style that has its roots in the mid-20th century. It is known for its sleek lines, organic forms, and a mix of different materials. While mid-century modern can stand on its own as a style, it also pairs well with other design styles and can be easily combined with various elements to create a unique and eclectic look.

1. Art Deco

One style that complements mid-century modern is Art Deco. Art Deco incorporates geometric shapes, bold colors, and luxurious finishes. The combination of the clean lines of mid-century modern and the glamour of Art Deco can create a stunning and sophisticated look. Incorporate Art Deco elements such as mirrored surfaces, chrome accents, and bold patterns to add a touch of glamour to your mid-century modern room.

2. Scandinavian

2. Scandinavian

Scandinavian design is another style that goes well with mid-century modern. Both styles emphasize simplicity, functionality, and minimalism. Scandinavian design is characterized by light colors, natural materials, and clean lines. Add Scandinavian elements such as light timber finishes, slimline furnishings, and understated prints to achieve a sleek and stylish look.

3. Industrial

For a more edgy and contemporary look, consider pairing mid-century modern with industrial design. Industrial design is known for its use of raw materials, exposed finishes, and utilitarian aesthetics. Combining mid-century modern furniture with industrial elements such as metal accents, brick walls, and distressed finishes can create a unique and urban feel in your living room.

4. Bohemian

If you’re looking for a more eclectic and relaxed style, consider combining mid-century modern with bohemian design. Bohemian interiors have a free-spirited and artistic appeal and are characterized by bold colors, various patterns, and a mix of different textures. Add bohemian elements such as oversized rugs, textured fabrics, and vibrant prints to infuse your mid-century modern room with warmth and personality.

Style Key Characteristics
Art Deco Geometric shapes, bold colors, luxurious finishes
Scandinavian Light colors, natural materials, clean lines
Industrial Raw materials, exposed finishes, utilitarian aesthetics
Bohemian Bold colors, various patterns, mix of different textures

By combining mid-century modern with these different styles, you can add depth and character to your living room. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look, a bold and glamorous aesthetic, or a more eclectic and relaxed vibe, there is a style that will complement your mid-century modern design and allow you to create a space that reflects your personal taste and style.


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