Tips for Decorating Your Home in Mid Century Modern Style

Jon Fesmire | June 28, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

Think back to when you were a kid, visiting your grandparents or great-grandparents. What sort of furniture did they have? It may have seemed simple but solid, sometimes blocky, but with interesting curves.

That’s what people are talking about when they refer to mid century modern. This style covers the sort of furniture and home design aesthetics popular from about 1947 to 1957.

This type of decor has made a comeback in recent years, perhaps due to nostalgia. If you like this style and are looking to redecorate your home, here are some tips.

Traits to Look For

Mid century modern style isn’t about frills and glitz. Instead, it follows the adage “form follows function.” A chair is made for sitting, a table to sit at, a desk to work at, a lamp for light. As such, trimming and decoration on furniture is minimal.

Furniture may have curved or straight lines, so long as they’re simple. Pressed wood or particle board is not mid century modern. Instead, you’ll find solid wood used. You will also find items made with metal and other materials. Sometimes, colors or materials used in one piece may contrast each other in interesting ways. Cushions and drapes use solid colors, not flowery or fancy patterns.

Items to Consider

Naturally, you’ll want to get your standard furniture items, including tables, chairs, couches, beds, dressers, and bookcases. You may want to consider popular mid century items that otherwise might not enter your mind.

For example, you might want a bar or even a wet bar for your office or living room. These can be made of metal or wood, and need space to store and serve alcoholic drinks. You might also consider wallpaper, which isn’t so popular now, but was during the mid century modern period.

There’s a fine line between classy and tacky, though. Use good judgment when planning what you’re going to get. Make sure the items look good together and aren’t garish.

Your Shopping Options

We have three good options for locating mid century modern furniture and decor for your home. These are brick-and-mortar furniture stores, online shops, and thrift or antique stores.

Brick-and-mortar furniture stores can include stores that sell only furniture and home decor, and larger department stores. Look for quality items. We recommend looking for, or waiting for, sales, since new items can be expensive.

Online shops can save you time and give you more choices. You will definitely have to pay for shipping, but you also might save money by finding great deals. Sites like World Market, YLiving, Jet, and Wayfair have large selections of mid century modern items.

Finally, try thrift and antique shops. Thrift stores that sell furniture often have high-quality items, including solid wood, at surprisingly low prices. Check their sales days as well. Some will have a day or two a week when even their low prices are discounted. Prices at antique shops can vary, but you’re bound to find some good deals at them, too. You may find fewer furniture items, but you might find mid century modern paintings, which often present simple shapes in pastel colors, or other decorations.

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of mid century modern style is its simplicity. A clean, clear environment is conducive to clear thinking. The lack of frills with this style means fewer visual distractions as you work or relax. With the information provided here, you have all you need to start planning a mid century modern redesign of any room in your home. We hope you create your ideal living space.

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