Mid century modern décor is once again having a moment. For designers everywhere, Danish furniture, pastel pink and avocado green is all the rage. But while sleek, Scandinavian designs can do wonders to elevate a room, when overdone can feel like a time capsule. Find out how to perfectly balance both vintage and classic looks to strike the perfect feel of fresh design.

What is Mid Century Design?

This design style originated in America around the late 1920’s and rose in fame and recognition over the next 30 years. It relies on clean lines, natural and man-made materials, tapered legs, and geometric patterns. The color palette is on the cool side with grays, blues and teals mixing with pops of electric yellow, green, and burnt orange. It capitalizes on the post-war era where designers began moving away from purely functional pieces into something simple but fresh, comfortable with a focus on aesthetics. Mid century style is classic but also whimsical and optimistic.

What Makes Something Mid Century Design?

Some of the distinguishing features of this style include understated wood tones and minimalism. It can be summed up simply.

  • Combination of geometric and organic forms with and emphasis on quality and pattern
  • Uncluttered and sleek with fully finished legs, hardware, and details
  • No distracting details only simple ornamentation
  • A mixture of man-made and traditional materials
  • A strong emphasis on function

Famous Mid-Century Designers

While there are many designers of note, some of the most famous always rise to the top. They are distinguished by their inspiring designs for homes, furniture, and another décor. Their original pieces are highly desired and often inspire replicas and copies. Notable names include:

  • Herman Miller
  • George Nelson
  • Charles and Ray Eames
  • Florence Knoll
  • Charles Pollock
  • Edward Wormley
  • Eileen Gray

How to Capture Mid Century Style

A great way to incorporate mid century furniture into your home is to start with whatever piece your space might be lacking. From a low backed sofa to a credenza, a lamp or reading chair, begin with a single piece and work from there. Don’t be afraid to mix pieces from different eras, just focus on minimalism and cleanliness. The beauty of mid century pieces is that they blend to seamless with those from other styles. Focus on quality but be mindful that many beautiful pieces may not be solid hardwood. Many designers made use of the versatility of veneer.

Go Bold and Accessorize With Color

One great thing about mid century design is how well it stands up to making a statement. Because the pieces are so classic, they can hold their own against bright, bold artwork and funky textures. Look for abstract and eye-catching art that echoes other elements of your design. Soft items like throws and rugs can stand out with over-sized weave, fibers, or colors. Feel free to mix wood tones to keep things comfortable and shake off any semblance of formality. Finally use lighting to set the tone. Many mid century designers branched out into lamp and chandelier design. From bright brassy sputnik lamps to understated sconces, softly lit rooms capture a mood of warmth and coziness.