What Is Mid-Century Modern Design Style?

The Mid-Century Modern style refers to the design movement that began in the post-war landscape of the 1940’s and lasted into the 1960s.

The style extended from architecture and interior to graphic design to industrial design and drew inspiration from the International and Bauhaus design styles that came before it.

With the end of the second World War came a growth in the materials available in the market, which began to be used widely in Mid-Century Modern.

Source: @jessicaraesommer

The designers experimented with styles and colors to create designs that showcased their hope in the future and catered to the masses who were benefiting from the boom in the economy. The latest interest in Mid-Century Modern is spurred by its use in pop culture.

5 Factors to Create a Mid-Century Modern Space

Simplicity

The Mid-Century Modern style is understated and simple. It shuns the opulence of the pre-war era and opts to embrace minimalism. Furniture pieces feature clean lines and curves and avoid embellishments.

Streamlined furniture with sleek profiles are seen throughout here. The room layouts are open to make the spaces look large, as many people moved into urban areas during that time and lived in smaller homes.

Source: @sacramentomodern

Functionality

Functionality is important in this minimalist style. Furniture pieces by Mid-Century Modern designers save on space and are often multi-functional, aimed at the spaces of the working middle class.

Look for nesting or stacking furniture as they are Mid-Century Modern classics.

Source: @sarahshermansamuel

Diverse Materials

Mid-Century Modern designers experimented with materials unlike any other to create mass-produced designs.

Plastic, metal, glass, vinyl, plywood, plexiglass and fiberglass furniture are often seen in this style, but instead of trying to imitate wood, these pieces showcase their abilities, morphing into organic shapes with relative ease.

Materials of all types blend together to create futuristic designs.

Source: @midcentury.mayhem

Colors

Bold and saturated colors are used throughout this style to bring about a cheery look to the rooms. While the original designs used a lot of vibrant colors, today such a look is outdated.

Incorporate pops of color in one or two pieces to highlight and emphasize, while using neutrals in other places. This will give the room a Mid-Century vibe without being overpowering.

Source: @smeg50style

Nature

Mid-Century Modern style has a deep connection with nature and incorporates natural elements whenever possible. The characteristic large windows let in ample natural light and air, and plants are often used indoors.

While the materials used in this style are varied, natural materials such as wood and metal and fabrics such as cotton are used and mixed with other materials.

Source: @midmodlover

The popularity of the Mid-Century Modern style lies in its ability to showcase the American dream. Made during a period of economic prosperity, it put the troubles of the war behind and provided new opportunities to one and all.

Homes of this style are reminiscent of these times and appeal to many simply for that reason while others love that it can be adapted to small spaces.

Given its elegance and functional simplicity, it is no surprise that it is making a comeback!