inspiration3 min read

Interior trends: mid-century modern decor and furniture

Mid century modern living room

WordsMegan Lambert


Image via Unsplash

What is mid-century modern decor?

Categorised for its use of glass, metals, warm woods, organic shapes, and a strong connection to nature, mid-century modern decor manages to appear both contemporary and vintage at the same time. In its beginnings, it was a reinterpretation of traditional designs to suit the changing times, urbanised living, and a more modern aesthetic. Mid-century modern decor, known largely for its mid-century furniture pieces, is more than just an aesthetic. Central to its design philosophy is a celebration of fine craftsmanship and furniture that is functional, efficient and most importantly, attainable.

What is the history behind mid-century modern decor?

Mid-century modern decor was originally popularised in America, following World War II, when there was an influx of new materials and design capabilities. Influenced by the Bauhaus movement, new materials such as plywood, foam, aluminium, and plastic laminates were more malleable than their predecessors and could be sculpted into organic and futuristic shapes. This, combined with a forward-facing world outlook and a utilitarian approach to design, became the origin story behind the mid-century modern design movement.

Lick home interior inspiration mid century modern living room
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Characteristics of mid-century modern interior decor and furniture

If you’re wondering how to incorporate this interior trend in your home, think about the following characteristics:

Clean, sleek lines 

Mid-century modern interior decor and furnishings are all about bringing sleek lines into your home. It can even borrow from retro styles, incorporating 70s interior design elements, so long as it steers clear of being kitsch or fussy. So when you're picking out or arranging mid-century modern furnishings, always remember to think about your lines.

Mid century modern bay window walls painted in Lick paint Red 03
sleek lines and curved furniture oozes 60s at the home of @home_at_seventythree
Mid century modern living room

Minimal ornamentation

Similar to Japandi interior style, mid-century modern style is all about simplicity and minimal clutter. It's a 'less is more' approach to decor, all about statement pieces like large sculptures or plants, rather than decorative trinkets. Use a little Marie Kondo logic when making design decisions and only include what you really love or really need.