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7 Design Ideas for Mid-Century Modern Homes

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From the 1930’s to the early 60’s, a design movement shook the world that revolved around a new perspective for interior, product, graphic design, and architecture. Here at Rhythm of The Home, we will be reflecting on the era as it pertains to the interior design elements to help you bring the nostalgic concepts into your own home. An emergence of mid-century design popularity can be reflected by the many homeowners who are flooding the real estate market searching for the old time modern gems.

While a fair share of the mid-century homes have been purchased and the demand for them continues to rise, fortunately, modern furniture manufacturers and designers are producing products inspired from the era with a quite affordable price tag. For many, the modern day ‘cookie cutter’ homes all look the same, but these 7 mid-century ideas can be implemented straight into the comfort of your current space.

We hope you gain a new perspective of the mass-produced society we live today and implement a few or more of the following mid-century design concepts to bring back your home!

1. Invest in Modern Made Wood Replicas

Due to the growing popularity of mid-century design, a lot of retailers are starting to offer lower-end furnishings that reflect the style. While most of our furniture today is engineered with pressed wood, keep an eye out for the walnut, oak, rosewood, and teak which are the most popular types of wood used for mid-century furniture.

From coffee tables, office chairs to study desks you should look for wood pieces that embody clean lines and simplicity. Although a major goal of mid-century design was to portray spaces of the future, wood remained the most popular material for furniture. Keep furnishings simple and functional to give the illusion of space with slim slatted chairs and open framed wooden shelves.

2. Visit Your Local Flea Market

Instead of strolling through your mass-produced furniture store, spend a day or two at the flea market to add flair to your home. Vintage shops and flea markets are famous for stocking a combination of unique modern furniture that mimics mid-century design. Don’t be afraid to embark on a small DIY project that requires you to mix and match parts of furniture together. For example, wooden peg legs from a shelf could be transformed into a lamp stand.

It’s a fun treasure hunt of the past and you’re bound to stumble through plenty of ugly stuff. Think of individual parts as components that can be worked into a complete piece of furniture, like a glass table top on an old coffee table. Focus on mid-century legs, bold graphic fabrics, and clean lines. Veneer pieces of furniture are not entirely cheap. Veneer is made for function and makes it easy to match woods. Look for furniture with veneer inlay accents which shouts mid-century.

3. Integrate Mirrors Into Your Interior Design

There are hundreds of decor options to choose from in the mid-century category, and mirrors of any style and size fit them all. Not only do they serve a functional purpose, but mirrors provide a light and airy feeling that creates a spacious illusion. By placing mirrors in certain areas in your home, you can create the effect of making spaces seem bigger than they are.

Try placing a mirror opposite of a garden or a window to highlight the landscape. Shop for the classic mid-century sunburst mirror that features a round mirror at the center of any type of materials protruding out as straight lines that gives the impression of the shining sun. Great spaces for sunburst mirrors are above the toilet in the bathroom, in the foyer of your home and above your headboard in the bedroom.

4. Design a Bar

It’s a bit over the top, but the style of the Big Lebowski mansion will inspire a handful of mid-century design ideas, most notably a bar! Bring back the 50’s with a built-in bar, or a bar cart and outfit it with mid-century vintage craft bar tools. Include a set of vintage wine and martini glasses, a few expensive spirits, and a cocktail shaker. The great thing about a bar cart is the portability, allowing you to transport it to serve up drinks from room to room.

Look for an open frame metal or wood material with the classic two-tier trolly design. Choosing a bar cart is a fast and chic way to invigorate your space with mid-century inspired parties, and it will look fabulous even when not in use!

5. Keep Your Walls Clean

Sometimes wallpapers have a place in mid-century design, but the objective was always to let furnishing and accents speak for themselves without the distraction of wallpaper or colored walls at all. The reason most mid-century homes have walls covered in white paint was because it allowed for objects in the space to take the spotlight.

Furthermore, white walls achieve a fresh and minimalist look and draw attention to hanging objects like art and photographs. If there’s a color you cannot go without, try painting just a portion of the room or a single wall.

6. Incorporate Furniture of Different Heights

A mid-century designed home should require spectators to stop and look around. To wonder why things are positioned the way they are. The design embraces uniformity through abstract methods that can best be portrayed with a little tinkering of geometry and height. Candlestick holders are a great place to start and are perfect for dining tables and fireplace mantles. Organize your furniture in a way that breaks up uniformity by placing tall lamps near low resting chairs.

Try positioning a tall bookcase or armoire nearby short love seats or armchairs to create an interesting combination. The goal is to keep every quadrant in your room active. Alternatively, you can keep your furniture the way it is and hang up tall drapery and curtains to create the same effect as tall furniture and other hardware such as mirrors.

7. Go With a Brighter Color Scheme

The use of bright colors in mid-century design started to emerge in the 1950’s in the form of bright hues to earthy colors. This style works with many different shades, but muted colors and pastels are preferred options. Every color tone of wood pops against teal and turquoise for a modern and bold look. The best way to ensure that you do not create an overwhelming color palette is to choose no more than three colors. For example, an egg yolk yellow lamp of any shade would blend beautifully with teal walls and wood furniture.

When it comes to color, and the overall organization of it you should take note of the most popular Scandinavian design trends. There is no wonder that Scandinavian design was born out of the mid-century era of the 1950’s. Try integrating colorful geometric shapes into your overall design in the form of curtains, carpets, tiles, and accent pillows.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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