The Mid Century Modern style remains popular to this day and for good reason. It’s stylish but relatively simple to pull off, and it can be adapted to all sorts of situations and needs. You don’t have to pay out a fortune for genuine vintage items either, especially if you are doing a simple version, as described below. Read on to find out more.
You don’t have to go full retro
First of all, before we get into the details of creating a simple mid-century modern look in your home, it’s important to outline our goals here. What you do not want to end up with is an ode to the 1960s that includes clashing carpets, wallpaper, and soft furnishings in orange and brown.
Indeed, such space is unlikely to be practical or restful. However, the good news is that to pull off a mid-century-inspired space you do not have to go full retro. Instead, you can use some of the shapes, colors, and styles of the time in a restrained way. It is this that will give you beautiful, functional living space with a nod towards the retro, rather than an Austin Power’s type ‘shag pad’ that’s only value is in its novelty!
Begin with the walls and floors
While it is becoming increasingly easier to source wallpaper, and flooring with big bold retro patterns, it’s much better to exercise caution at this stage. Indeed, unless you have a very specific vision in mind, it’s best to opt for a simple neutral color base such as white walls with a beech wooden floor. It is this blank canvas that will allow you to accent your living room with mid-century details without it becoming overwhelming.
Find a sofa and seating that evokes the period
Next, you need to find a sofa and seating that will work well in your living room. Indeed, often in our lounge spaces the sofa and seating become the focal points of the entire room so you must get these right.
Happily, there are plenty of mid-century style new options that you can choose from, many of which will not break the bank. In particular, the Ikea EKENÄSET chair with its wide cushions and high wooden arms is not only stylish but comfortable as well. The range even includes a sofa in the same style, and you can find similar chairs from other providers very easily online in a range of colors and patterns.
Another option is to choose a leather sofa, preferably in a medium tan brown. Avoid ones that go all the way to the floor, or have rounded or ornate armrests. Instead choose sofas that sit off the ground on tapered wooden or metal legs, that have thin square armrests for an authentic look.
Choose a vintage-style sideboard
Once you have your seating sorted you’ll want to find a piece of furniture that you can use to house your TV and other media. Fortunately, low sideboards were very popular in the mid-century, and these make excellent TV stands.
Indeed, you will have the opportunity to go and find a vintage mid-century piece from your local charity shop. Although it’s worth remembering that they will need some restoration and a little modification to be suitable. In particular, you may need to cut holes in the chipboard at the back to accommodate your media cables.
If all this sounds like too much work, you can choose a piece that is already crafted and designed to be a media unit. Again you will want to look for the key stylistic features that will ensure that it fits in a mid-century modern setting. These include, it being wide and low, having hairpin legs, and being made from a medium light wood. Although there are also options that are made with contrasting light and dark woods that can also work well.
Pick a table with hairpin legs
Similarly, when it comes to finding a side or console table that will work well in your mid-century setting, getting the shape right is crucial. Again, this means looking for pieces that are wide but not too deep, and that have those iconic mid-century hairpin legs. The good news is that if you find something that will work well as a table (or even a sideboard) you can buy Metal Table Legs in this style to convert it into a functional piece for your living room. Indeed, with this option, you can transform a simple piece of wood or on an Ikea shelf into a piece that will perfectly fit the style you are looking for.
Make things warmer and more homely with a rug
A rug is also a great way to bring your mid-century style room together, as well as make it more warm and homely. Now that you have most of the other items that you will need, you are also in a good position to decide whether a colorful rug or a more subtle one will suit your space.
Probably the most simple mid-century option is a sheepskin rug or something that resembles it. Place it centrally in the room and arrange your seating around it for the best effect.
Decorate with 1960s-inspired framed pictures and ornaments
Last, of all, you will want to complete the finishing touches to your room. Here’s where you can go a bit crazier with color, and pattern, and the good news is there are plenty of items to choose from.
First of all, for cushions and throws use a site like Redbubble where you will find lots of fun mid-century designed brand new items. This is particularly good because you don’t need to worry about that vintage fabric smell!
Secondly, head on over to places like Etsy where you will be able to find plenty of mid-century style art, both graphic and abstract. To make sure that the pieces you choose fit into your design, stick to a colour scheme of no more than 3 shades, and match these in with any other patterns you have already picked.