Category Archives: Mid-Century Modern

mid-century modern white living room

10 Essentials for Your Mid-Century Modern Interiors

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Maybe it’s the compatibility with contemporary life. Perhaps it’s the elegance and functionality. Whatever the reason, the keen interest in mid-century modern design over the past decade remains strong. 

Getting the look isn’t hard once you know its basic elements. Here’s the breakdown: 

1. Aim For Light and Airy  

Even if a true, open concept, split-level floor plan isn’t possible, you can still create the light and airy feel of the mid-century modern (MCM) style with the right colors. Use white or neutral walls and create layers with saturated brights and patterns. The standard rule for color schemes is 60% dominant color, 30% secondary color and 10% accent color.  

mid-century living room

Mid-century Living Room

2. An Indoor / Outdoor Motif 

Nature plays a prominent role in MCM interiors. Showcase any outdoor views, flower gardens, rock gardens and patios by making the most of wide windows, sliding or folding glass doors. Locally sourced stone to clad fireplace mantels and accent walls is another way to achieve this interplay.   

mid-century modern white living room

Photo credit: Homepolish


3. Large House Plants  

The Monstera, Rubber Tree and Snake Plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue were the house plants of the period. The use of potted house plants in floor arrangements is common for this style and helps reinforce the nature motif.  They’re easy to grow too. 

Rubber Tree Plant

Rubber Tree Plant, Photo Credit: Sunset Magazine

Monstera Plant

Monstera Plant Photo Source: Pinterest

4. Simplicity and Clean Lines  

These are mainstays of the mid-century modern style. Furniture is mostly smooth surfaces with tapered legs and simple, deliberate embellishments, if any. Any accessories are highly curated to keep the look uncluttered and on point.   

5. Wood Elements  

Keeping with the nature theme, Teak was the favored wood for MCM interiors, but Rose, Oak and Walnut were also used for furniture as well as wall coverings. 

Teak Paneling in bedroom

Teak Paneling

6. Iconic Pieces   

The Bertoia Diamond Chair, Saarinen Tulip Table or a Nelson Clock are unmistakable pieces of the period. Whether original or reproduction, adding even one of them would go far toward anchoring the look.


7. Geometric and Graphic Patterns  

Here is where this design style gets playful. The restraint required in order to achieve those smooth and simple lines gets rewarded in the iconic patterns in wallpapers, rugs and fabrics. 

8. The Home Bar  

Cocktail culture was big part of the lifestyle during this period. Every home had some sort of bar, be it large or small, for mixing drinks.  

9. Statement Lighting   

Lighting is key to the MCM style. It should have a sculptural look and make a bold statement. If  there is enough space,  put in a floor lamp. Brass, bronze, chrome and copper finishes all work well with this style. 

10. Abstract Art  

Whether using sculpture, framed artwork or both, abstract art was the art of the times, so it fits well. It also adds a lot of character to a room, so include it with confidence. 

That wraps it up. Have fun incorporating any or all of these elements into your MCM project then leave a picture in the comments.

Roger Sterling's view from his modern office

Roger Sterling’s Mid-Mod Office

Roger Sterling's view from his modern office

Roger’s Office Window View

A Look Inside Roger Sterling’s Office

Some recent binge-watching of the Mad Men tv series inspired this post.  Another foray into Roger Sterling’s office, a study in mid-century modern period design. And why not? Set decorator Claudette Didul populated it with all the finest components of the time period: the Saarinen tulip tables and stools, a Nesso mushroom lamp, a Volther Corona chair, arc floor lamp, the Le Corbusier chaise, etc., etc. This room has it all. (Interior design students, N.B.)  And how about that fabulous, steel and glass bar cart?  Continue reading

Coast Seating collection in jewel tones

Bright, Versatile Seating by Nevins

Coast Seating collection in jewel tones

Nevins’ Coast seating collection

This Coast seating collection by Nevins is all about variety and versatility for public spaces.  There are seven shapes, seven base styles and 12 colors. These are so nice, I’d seriously consider using them at home.

 Coast seating collection by Nevins in turquoise with caste rs

Long Pebble design in turquoise with casters

Nevins Coast seating collection in violet and grey with disk base

Drop in charcoal and Driftwood in violet with disk bases


Spareparts' custom showcases

A Mid-Century Modern Redux

Props to Canadian retailer Spareparts for contributing some visual interest to the mall environment for a second location. Apparently satisfied with the outcome of their Calgary store, Spareparts has once again selected both the Cutler design firm and a mid-century modern look for their Edmonton location.  Continue reading

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