How to design a mid-century modern look in any interior.   The mid-century modern look in both residential and commercial spaces is making a big comeback, and a refresher course in this modern style is always welcome. If you are charmed by this type of interiors and want to bring modern elements into the design of your hotel, restaurant or store, here is a fast guide on what to use.

Photo Above is from West Elm Store.

Warm Colors, Washed-Out Tones

There is an inner contradiction in the way colors are used in mid-century interior designs, that makes chromatic combinations that much more interesting. On one hand, colors are warm and vibrant, far from being shy or apologetic. However, the tones are often slightly washed out, which makes bold combinations interesting, but not visually exhausting. Attention-grabbing shades of green, mustard, orange and red mix with just the necessary amount of neutrals to create islands of color. 

As usual, decorative pillows are the easiest way to make your point when it comes to infusing your space with mid-century modern look vibes. 


Design a Mid-century Modern look

Photo: West Elm

Fun Shapes

Compared to the highbrow traditional designs, the restrictive shabby chic interiors or the raw industrial spaces for instance, mid-century design is fun. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the fabric patterns, wall paper designs or the overall look of the preferred finishes. Geometric experiments that involve lots of round shapes make up for the simplicity of mid-century lines. 

Design a Mid-century Modern fabric

Tweedy Orbs Retro Mid-century Fabric by Spoonflower, from Etsy

The patterns are sometimes inspired from objects used in the daily mid-century life (modular TV screens, anyone?) or evoke the world of science through stylized shapes.

Design a Mid-century Modern

Mid-century Modular TV Screens Retro Mod Fabric by Spoonflower, from Etsy

Even when patterns are busier, they retain a certain restrictive characteristic. One could say that the treatment of patterns has a cartoonish feel.

Design a Mid-century Modern

Atomic Space Mid-century Modern Fabric by Spoonflower, from Etsy

Rich and Simple Materials

When it comes to materials, the appeal of mid-century modern look comes from putting together contrasting attributes. For instance, light-colored wood has a less sophisticated look than the dark-toned one and perfectly suits the relaxed look of modern interiors. However, it is often paired with heavy and luxurious fabrics such as velvet, creating a very pleasant visual contrast and the comforting feel of rich textures.

Mid-century interior furniture

Photo above: West Elm chairs

Small-scale Furniture

Mid-century modern furniture is elegant and suits well the most sophisticated spaces. However, its elegance does not come from heavy ornaments or from heavy constructions. In fact, modern furniture is rather small in scale and tends to prefer simple lines. This doesn’t mean that details are absent: They just create the impression of a more orderly and stylized look. 

Mid-century interior table

Photo above: West Elm coffee table

An interesting characteristic of mid-century furniture is the way that legs typically lift the pieces off the floor. This gives modern interiors their light, airy vibe and makes this style perfect for small spaces. 

Mid-century office interior filing cabinet

Photo above: West Elm filing cabinet

Geometric Lighting Elements

Mid-century modern lighting pays the same tribute to geometric beauty and simplicity as mid-century patterns or furniture. Very popular, white spherical glass shades often combine with brass frames to create pieces with a futuristic vibe. 

Mid-century interior lighting

Photo above: West Elm lighting

If you have any other suggestions on how to design a Mid-century modern look please share them below!

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2018 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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