Transform Your Home with Mid Century Modern Interior Design Styles

Mid-century modern interior design style is a popular aesthetic that has been trending amongst homeowners, interior designers, and architects alike. This design style emerged in the mid-20th century and has since gained widespread popularity due to its clean lines, sleek furniture, and simple patterns. The mid-century modern style focuses on bringing the outdoors inside with natural materials and colors. It is characterized by a minimalist approach to decorating, using a few simple and functional pieces of furniture, and incorporating bold pops of color in accessories and decor. This article will explore the key elements of mid-century modern interior design style and provide tips on how to incorporate them into your home.

What is Mid Century Modern Interior Design

Mid-century modern interior design is a popular style that originated in the mid-20th century and has since been loved and celebrated by many. This style is characterized by its clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and emphasis on functionality. It is a timeless style that is still embraced by interior designers and homeowners alike today.

The Origins of Mid Century Modern Interior Design

The mid-century modern interior design style came about during the post-World War II era, during the mid-1940s to the late 1960s. It was a time of optimism and hope for the future, and this was reflected in the design choices of the time. This style was heavily influenced by the modern art movement, and the work of designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, and Eero Saarinen who sought to create furniture and home accessories that combined practicality with elegant design.

The Key Elements of Mid Century Modern Interior Design

  • Minimal Ornamentation: The mid-century modern interior design style emphasizes clean lines and simplicity. This means that there is little to no ornamentation or decoration used in the design of a room.
  • Functionality: Mid-century modern interior design style places a high emphasis on the functionality of furniture and home accessories. This means pieces are designed to be not only aesthetic but also practical.
  • Natural Materials: Natural materials such as wood, leather, and stone were heavily utilized in mid-century modern interior designs. This helps to bring warmth and texture into spaces.
  • Bold Colors: Bright and bold colors such as orange, teal, olive green, and mustard yellow were common in mid-century modern interior designs.
  • Geometric Patterns: Geometric patterns such as triangles, circles, and squares were frequently used in furniture and textile design during this era.
  • Open Floor Plans: Mid-century modern architecture emphasized open floor plans which allowed for natural light and air circulation to flow freely throughout the space.

Elements of Mid Century Modern Interior Design

The mid-century modern architectural and interior design movement emerged after World War II. This design style is characterized by simplicity, functionality, and an appreciation for natural materials. Mid-century modern interior design consists of elements that include clean lines, natural materials, limited bright colors, and geometric shapes. With the heart of mid-century modern design being clean simplicity, the style focuses on bringing balance and harmony to every room by removing clutter and decorative elements while keeping the furnishings and colors simple.

Clean Lines

One of the most notable features of mid-century modern interior design is clean lines. This style does not allow for any excess or unnecessary decoration; therefore, clean lines help create a clean and simple space. The furniture of this style usually features long, clean, straight lines without any intricate designs. The use of sharp angles is prevalent in mid-century modern design, as they help define spaces and create visual interest. Sharp angles are seen in furniture designs, such as armchairs, sofas, and coffee tables.

Natural Materials

Mid-century modern interior design seeks to bring the outdoors inside by incorporating natural materials like wood, stone, and metal. These materials provide texture and depth that is vital to the style. Wood, for instance, is used to create warm accents that provide a sense of comfort and relaxation. Different types of wood, such as walnut, ply, teak, and oak, can be used for creating different finishes and textures. Stone or brick walls can also provide a sense of warmth and texture to a room. Metal- brass, copper, and chrome are also integral parts of mid-century design and are mostly used in furniture, light fixtures, and accessories.

Limited Bright Colors

Mid-century modern interior design emphasizes a limited color palette, with most designs favoring neutral and earthy tones. Bright, bold colors are usually avoided, but design elements like throw pillows, curtains, and art pieces in accent colors can add a pop of color to a room. Colored furniture and accessories are used to add personality and warmth to the room. Bright, punchy colors like orange, green, and turquoise are well-suited for this style due to a retro feel.

Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes and patterns are common elements in mid-century modern interior design. From furniture to wallpaper and art pieces, shapes like triangles, circles, hexagons, and squares are used extensively. Geometric shapes add visual interest to a room, giving it a sense of vibrancy and energy. They can be found in a variety of forms, including graphic prints on textiles, rugs, and wallpaper to emphasize a specific visual character.

Color Schemes in Mid Century Modern Interior Design

When it comes to mid-century modern interior design, color plays a significant role in setting the tone of a space. Generally, mid-century modern interior design leans toward subdued colors, avoiding bold and bright colors. The design style favors earthy tones such as olive greens, mustards, and rust colors. Here are three color schemes that are commonly used in mid-century modern interior design:

Neutral Palette

The neutral color palette is characterized by shades of beige, cream, and white. This color scheme creates a serene and calming atmosphere that feels cozy and inviting. To avoid making the space feel dull and lifeless, add textures or accents in different materials such as wood, metal, or glass. For instance, a mid-century modern style sofa with a wooden frame would look great in a neutral color scheme as it adds warmth and texture.

  • Beige
  • Cream
  • White

Earthy Tones

Earthy tones are the most common color scheme in mid-century modern interiors. The warm and organic hues offer a comfortable and inviting feel. Olive green, mustard, and rust are some shades that are frequently used in this color scheme. If you want to make your space feel cozy and grounded, earthy tones are a great choice. You can either go all out with a dominant earth-tone decor or mix in the colors with other neutrals like beige or white to achieve balance.

  • Olive Green
  • Mustard
  • Rust

Bold Accents

While mid-century modern interiors generally avoid bold and bright colors, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in this style. When used in small doses, bold and bright colors can add visual interest and give a space an energetic feel. When using bold colors, it’s essential to balance them with a neutral or earthy palette. For example, in a room with predominantly beige walls and furniture, a bold accent rug with shades of red or blue can add a pop of color and visual interest without being overpowering.

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow

Materials for Mid Century Modern Interior Design

When it comes to mid-century modern interior design, a few materials stand out for their iconic look and long-lasting quality. Here are some of the most popular materials used in this style:


Wood is an essential part of mid-century modern interior design. The wood is typically used for furniture pieces, such as cabinets, tables, and chairs. Teak, rosewood, and walnut are the most popular wood species used in mid-century modern design. Teak, in particular, adds warmth and elegance to any space and has a straight grain pattern that does not overpower the rest of the room. Rosewood, on the other hand, has a darker appearance that creates bold statements in smaller pieces. Walnut is softer and lighter but no less beautiful and provides a sleeker and more modern look than the other two.


Leather was a popular choice for upholstery in mid-century modern interior design. It was used in sofas, chairs, and ottomans. Leather adds warmth and texture to a space, and it is incredibly durable, making it a practical choice. Additionally, leather can be used in a range of colors to fit different color schemes and preferences. Black or brown are the most classic colors used, but cherry reds and blues were used as well to add some pop to the space.


Mid-century modern interior design is also characterized by the use of plastic – specifically, molded and curved plastic furniture pieces. Plastic chairs and stools, such as Eames chairs, were trendy during this era and continue to be popular today. Plastic is a more affordable and lightweight material that still offers the durability needed for everyday use. Additionally, plastic comes in a range of colors, making it easy to match any color scheme in a home or office.


Metal is another material that was frequently used in mid-century modern interior design. It is often used for the legs or frames of furniture pieces. Metal creates a sleek and modern look and comes in a range of finishes, from shiny chrome to warm brass tones. Additionally, metal is incredibly durable and long-lasting, making it an excellent choice for furniture pieces where you need sturdiness.

Overall, Mid-century modern interior design has a unique look and feel, thanks to the iconic materials used in its design. Wood, leather, plastic, and metal are all practical, durable, and stylish materials that work well together. When used correctly, these materials create a warm, inviting space with a sleek and modern style.

FAQs About Mid Century Modern Interior Design

Mid century modern interior design is a style that originated in the mid-20th century and has become increasingly popular in recent years. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about mid-century modern interior design.

What is the origin of mid-century modern interior design?

Mid-century modern interior design originated in the United States in the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. This was a period of great change in the world, and designers were looking for new and innovative ways to create functional and beautiful spaces that reflected the changing times. Mid-century modern design was a response to this need, combining the sleek lines and simple forms of modern art with the comfortable and livable nature of traditional design.

What are some iconic mid-century modern furniture pieces?

There are many iconic mid-century modern furniture pieces, but some of the most well-known include the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, the Saarinen Tulip Table, and the Arco Floor Lamp. These pieces are known for their timeless design, quality materials, and attention to detail. Many of these pieces are still popular today and are often used in mid-century modern interior design.

What makes mid-century modern interior design timeless?

Mid-century modern interior design is timeless because it combines classic design elements with modern functionality. The clean lines, simple forms, and honest materials of mid-century modern design are as relevant today as they were in the mid-20th century. In addition, mid-century modern design emphasizes livability and comfort, which are values that never go out of style.

What are some easy ways to add mid-century modern touches to a room?

There are many easy ways to add mid-century modern touches to a room. One way is to incorporate furniture with clean lines and simple forms. Another way is to use retro-inspired accessories, such as vintage posters or record players. You can also add bold colors or graphic patterns to the room, which are common in mid-century modern design.

Can mid-century modern interior design work in small spaces?

Mid-century modern interior design can work in small spaces, as it emphasizes clean lines and minimalism. However, it is important to choose furniture and accessories that are appropriately scaled for the space. For example, a small apartment might benefit from a compact sofa or a pair of armchairs in a bold color.

How do I balance mid-century modern style with my personal tastes?

One way to balance mid-century modern style with your personal tastes is to choose pieces that reflect both. For example, if you prefer traditional design, you might choose a mid-century modern sofa in a classic shape. Alternatively, if you love bold colors and patterns, you might choose a mid-century modern chair in a funky fabric. Ultimately, the key is to choose pieces that you love and that work well in your space.

Thank You for Exploring Mid Century Modern Interior Design Styles with Us!

We hope that we were able to give you an insightful read about the beauty and charm of mid century modern interior design styles. Bringing a piece of history into our homes gives us a sense of nostalgia and comfort. So why not give it a try and see how it transforms your living space? Don’t forget to visit us again for more design inspirations and ideas! Until then, happy decorating!

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