So you’re a big fan of mid century modern and would like a home in that style. Join the club. The designs first introduced in the waning years of World War II have captured the hearts of countless fans today. Mid century modern homes and furniture are more popular than ever.
To bring some of this truly iconic style into your home, there’s no better place to start than the living room. Take a look at what defines mid century modern. There is something here for every home or apartment on any budget.
The Origins of Mid Century Modern
Inspired by the Bauhaus and modernist movements in Europe, the ideals behind mid century modern began their migration around the globe towards the end of World War II. Returning soldiers brought home the images they had seen abroad which led to the rapid spread of new styles and fashions.
Important designers such as the Eames brothers, Florence Knoll, Hans Wegner, and Eero Saarinen introduced what became known as the mid century aesthetic, including:
- The use of wood, leather, and other natural materials
- Sleek, curved shapes achieved with fiberglass, aluminum, and plastic laminates
- Simple, clean lines that emphasize functionality
- Soft furnishings and art produced in bright primary colors
There are still plenty of original mid century pieces on the market today. They can come with a hefty price tag. For more affordable options, look to companies that manufacture reproductions.
Use Mid Century Modern in Your Living Room
It’s easy to get the mid century look in your own home. Start with the main piece of living room furniture, the sofa. As this is a large, major purchase, you want to make sure it sets the right tone. Look for slender legs that lift the sofa off the floor combined with comfortable leather or fabric cushions.
You can opt for a right facing sectional if you need lots of seating. It will also provide you with a nice spot for an afternoon nap. Corner sectionals are another choice if your living room has awkward angles to fill.
Choose colorful soft furnishings. Teal, pink, and yellow are popular colors for throw pillows and drapes. Area rugs atop hardwood or tile floors are another way to introduce pattern and color to the space.
Other important mid century living room design elements include:
- Wood paneling on the walls
- Geometric printed fabrics
- Modern art reprints
- Light fixtures with organic shapes
Any of these ideas can be combined with more traditional styles. Go ahead and have a farmhouse coffee table in front of your Eames chairs. Mid century style blends beautifully with whatever you already have.
Begin your search for mid century ideas with quality design and architecture magazines. Draw a to-scale footprint of your living room on a piece of paper and sketch where you’d like the large furniture to go. Collect fabric swatches and paint chips to add to your idea board then check out the offerings at Poly & Bark for the latest in mid century trends. Soon you’ll be enjoying those after-work martinis in proper mid century style.