Classic elements of Mid Century Modern home decor have crept into the contemporary design consciousness. The nostalgic shapes and styles we love are blending with of the moment trends to form a brand new hybrid look. We already told you how to find the perfect mid century modern window treatments, read on to learn how to style mid century modern furniture today.
Here are the pieces that are essential to any mid century look today:
These futuristic silhouettes and shapes are what made mid century homes and workplaces iconically mod. New technologies allowed furniture to be made from molded plastic and formed into organic or space age shapes. Snag a vintage model or modern reproduction to give your home a nostalgic feel.
A light palette creates openness that was lacking in the low-ceilinged, wood paneled spaces of the 60s and 70s. A neutral space with strategic accent colors allows these iconic chairs to really stand out.
Space Age Lighting
Jetsons-like shapes drew out of the nation-wide fascination with space travel during the age of sputnik and the lunar landing.
Sputnik style tripod shapes and hairpin legs are making a huge comeback. This floor lamp speaks the the simplicity of mod design but incorporates the current exposed-bulb trend.
Futuristic curves began showing up in egg-shaped chairs, “UFO” pendant lighting, and of course the iconic tulip table. These tables are sturdy, kid- friendly, easy to clean, and not to mention beautifully curvy. If you’re shopping vintage, look for a Saarinen or Burke tulip.
Merge this look with contemporary style by pairing the tulip’s organic curves with more angular chairs in a bright color.
Heywood Wakefield Furniture
Simple, birch furniture swept the scene in the 50s and 60s with its roots in Scandinavian design. The organic curves and angular legs are what make Heywood Wakefield furniture easy to spot.
Scandinavian simplicity is back in full force. Make vintage or reproduction pieces look contemporary by pairing them with stark industrial design.
Iconic birch Heywood Wakefield Furniture is still in production and is all made in the USA.
Broyhill Brasilia Furniture
More iconic curves can be found in this knockout 60s collection, inspired by the architecture of the City of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
In the 60s Brasilia was often seen in complete room collections. Today a stand alone piece allows the detailing to stand out without making your home look like too much of a time capsule.
Mid Century Color Palette
Decorating in this era centered around nature inspired colors. Green, gold, yellow and orange were popular for decades and could be found in clothing, home decor and even cars. In the 1960s this same palette was amped up to psychadelic brights and neons.
Mixing brights, metallics and stark black and white were employed in decorating to create the maximum contrast.
Keep the palette largely neutral and choose a few mid century colors to incorporate in a single piece of furniture or accessories. This look stays true to mid century construction, but in a toned down palette.
Where to Shop For Mid Century Modern Furniture:
With the resurgence of Mid Century style, many stores are releasing collections that give you the vintage feel, and no restoration needed. Room and Board has furniture in mod style, but with contemporary quality and features. They even have the complete Eames chair collection. West Elm also has a great collection of low slung furniture and beautiful bent wood pendant lighting.
Huge thanks to Retro Renovation for many of the archival photos featured in this post. If you liked this post, you’ll go crazy for their extensive archival articles and active forum full of other mid century-lovers.