Mid-Century Modern in the Living Room
If there is an interior design that remains popular up now, it is the mid-century modern style. It was developed in 1945 up to 1975. During this 30-year period, the style influenced urban development and architectural designs. Artists and architects like Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Isamu Noguchi, and Florence Knoll designed classic pieces of furniture, lightings, and home accessories that encapsulate the essence of mid-century modern style. It is not surprising that throughout the years, homemakers want to infuse mid-century modern living room ideas to enhance the look of their entertainment area.
Living room ideas for mid-century modern space
The living room is the first indoor space that people see when they visit your home. It is a perfect area to incorporate mid-century decor and furniture with modern home furnishings. The timeless elegance of this style is defined by gentle forms, clean lines, minimalist ornamentation, and optimum functionality.
Bring back the solid wood furniture.
The masterpieces in the 50s are mostly made from real wood like oak, rosewood, walnut, and teak. Real wood has a woodgrain pattern that naturally gives textural interest. It is a handsome and durable material as well as resilient. Wooden furniture in this style is typically medium-stained brown, thin-framed and lightweight with tapered legs and simple silhouette. Hunt down classic pieces or opt for a high-quality replica of the original works of the world-renowned designers to help you create a retro-modern living room.
Find a charming accent chair to highlight the mid-century modern look.
Accent chairs are typically used to accommodate extra visitors. As time goes by, these functional seating pieces are used for another purpose- as a structural visual point of interest in the contemporary living rooms. They add new color, silhouette, or style in the living room and other rooms. If you have pieces of mid-century modern dining chairs with a vintage look, you can use them to liven up a dull corner of your living room and make it a focal point.
Retro armchairs are perfect for this purpose. Choose a modern mid-century chair with a simple but striking design to catch the attention of your guests. Iconic pieces are always conversation starters, so look for something that sparks joy in your heart and home. One of the most famous mid-century modern style chairs used as accent seats is the Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman. These sleek chairs are designed by Charles and Ray Eames and appeared in different documentaries, movies, books, and magazines. Since their creation up to our modern era, this pair continues to dominate the list of choices.
Pick a mid-century modern sofa
A sofa is a piece of staple furniture in every living room. In the mid-century living room design, the sofa has a distinct style. It is usually low and rectangular with contrasting textures that reflect the minimalist modern art style The typical mid-century modern sofa has peg or tapered legs.
If you have a large space, go for 3-seat sofas that perfectly define the classic style. A retro sofa in leather material is an excellent choice because it speaks class and opulence without the drama. Its understated yet defined luxurious look fits mid-century modern living rooms. Leather upholstery is liberally used to create furnishings and furniture during those times because it complements the wooden chair frames and legs, helping you achieve an authentic retro-modern look.
Enhance the look with vintage coffee tables.
Vintage coffee tables serve as nice center tables for retro sofas. A retro-style coffee table is a perfect pair for a leather classic sofa. This versatile piece of furniture is also a convenient spot to have your midday refreshment, do simple tasks, or display your vintage ornaments such as vases and lamps. Look for a vintage mid-century modern coffee table that features hairpin legs because this type represents the best of mid-century influences.
A mid-century modern coffee table with a glass top is another favorite. The glass element adds sophistication that blends well with other modern style living room furniture and accessories. When it comes to the most popular design, a mid-century modern coffee table with a round top is the best choice. This type can stand alone and upscale an ordinary corner by itself. So, if you want a versatile piece that fuses beauty and function to enhance the retro ambiance of the whole room, choose a lovely coffee table.
Another material that is highly-popular in the mid-century modern living room design is the textured fabric. Designers of this style aim to combine the homey elements of fabrics to the structural designs, resulting in stylish and chic pieces of home furnishings. The top choices are tweed, broadcloth, and twill because they add a touch of warmth and comfort that instantly makes the room fashionable, cozy, and inviting. Modern style living room furniture with textured fabric upholstery softens the prominent angles and lines of existing décor.
Find a retro television console.
This is a real classic piece that also highlights the golden age of television. It was during the 1950s when people began to welcome this appliance into their living rooms. To support the heavy item, wooden consoles with sturdy, tapered legs were used during that time. If you want to incorporate an old-fashioned console in your living room, search online or order a customized piece to help you create a retro-modern living room.
Other popular mid-century living room design ideas
One of the significant features of the mid-century style is wide, open, and bright space. Natural light is preferred to illuminate its orderly and clean appearance. To create this look, find compact and neat furnishings, furniture, and accessories. The wall should have minimal but eye-catching pieces to sustain the fresh and cohesive ambiance. Leave plenty of room for occupants to move with freedom.
Earthy colors versus bold, saturated colors
The prime color palette of mid-century modern living rooms is neutral, earthy tones which include shades of gray, cream, brown, and olive. These subdued colors provide a mellow backdrop for your well-chosen home furnishings.
Breaking the monotonous color is allowed in this retro style, so feel free to add splashes of vivid, saturated color. When we say saturated, expect unfiltered and pure versions of colors. You can do it by painting one section of your wall and add some retro décor or by putting a strikingly-colored piece of furniture, lighting fixtures, or accessories for a dramatic flair.
The eclectic look is another distinct characteristic of mid-century living room design. It involves mixing diverse elements and materials to achieve a worldly effect. Pick pieces of furniture and home accessories that diversify the appearance of your space and harmonize with the interior theme.
Like natural wood, another essential element of mid-century modern living rooms is wallpaper. For the earth-toned color scheme, use brown, green, and gray wallpapers with geometric patterns. Go for wallpapers with striking primary colors and complex motifs if you want a look that pops out. Those who prefer subtle refinement should select chrome-accented or gold-toned wallpapers.
The charming design of an arc lamp makes it a favorite choice for accent or task lighting. It is the perfect pair of mid-century modern style chairs or retro sofas because it gives a graceful curvature and a sleek element in the living room. There are many variations and styles of this type of lamp, ranging from sculptural pieces to minimalist with chrome finishes.
Sculptural-style table lamps
Replace your existing table lamps with stylish modern lamps that bring fresh and flamboyant ambiance in the living room. One of the mid-century modern living room ideas that is easy to do is by adding table lamps with unusual structure and artistic flair. Go all out with colors or shapes if you like drama. For a minimalist and a calm room vibe, opt for lamps with simple, sleek designs.
One of the unmistakable mid-century lighting fixtures is the Sputnik chandelier. This beautiful hanging light ornament is inspired and named after the first satellite that was sent into orbit. There are different versions of this chandelier, but a perfect replica that resembles the original work will give you the authentic retro feel. It is the perfect light fixture to hang over a dining table or a mid-century modern sofa in your living room.
Another simple way to transform your space into a retro-modern living room is to put rugs, throw pillows, or wall art that depicts atomic, modern Deco-style, geometric, and other exquisite retro patterns. Rugs with bold geometric patterns are usually used by decorators to complete the retro look of the room.
When it comes to decorating a mid-century modern living room, add abstract sculptures, paintings, and art strips with expressive elements of shape, line, and color. There are many available modern pieces of abstract décor that add personality in the room, but if you have enough budget, look for the masterpieces of mid-century artists like Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Helen Frankenthaler.
Bringing the natural element in the indoor is very important to mid-century style, so pick your healthiest potted plants and place them in the empty areas of your living room. You can also fill the ledge of your window with greenery to complement the other elements in the room.
Creating a mid-century modern space is all about accessorizing it with retro décor, vintage furniture, and functional home furnishings. Achieve the look by applying these mid-century modern living room ideas that guarantee decorating success.