One of the most iconic and frequently used style in interior design is the mid-century modern look. This look gets its name from the time it was first conceived, specifically during the late 40’s to early 50’s in Europe and America. This is characterized by the use of wood, specifically teak and oak; clean, simple lines and the principal of “function follows form”. A subcategory of mid-century design is the Scandinavian design.
Mid-century modern design is one of those styles that can easily be adapted into various areas of the house and is considered a timeless look. While it may look masculine in terms of concept, it can also be feminine due to the soft, precise details. That being said, here are a few tips and ideas that you can use in creating the mid-century modern interior design in your own home.
1. BUDGET , RESOURCHES AND INSPIRATION
Like with most interior design projects, the first step to consider is your budget and your resources. If there were words to describe mid-century modern, it would be retro and vintage. That being said, it is safe to say that finding pieces for your interior may prove to be something of an expensive scavenger hunt as original pieces would cost a fortune.
Fortunately, there are many companies and shops that sell mid-century inspired pieces as well as thrift stores that provide second hand quality furniture. Make a list of what you would like to find and use. You can also search online for ideas and registered shops that sell similar products. Take note of their addresses and their product line and if you can, try to compare between each supplier and see which one fits your budget and product offerings. Remember that mid-century modern relies heavily on practicality and functionality. Therefore, it is wise to have a realistic and practical budget while choosing quality over quantity.
Another tip to consider is by making what-is-called a mood board or simply a collection of photos and samples to visually aid on how the overall interior would look. You can use either a hardcopy print out of your board or Pinterest
2. COLOR PALETTE
What makes mid-century modern design iconic is the use of a neutral color base as its color scheme with a pop of color like teal, rust or even pastels. Neutral colors like grays, browns, whites and even blacks may be deemed as masculine, but with careful application, it would make your interior even more timeless. A go to tip for the walls is to use light colors such as beige, white and light browns. You can even go for some simple, geometric patterned wallpaper using these colors. Browns and darker colors can be used in furniture while pops of color can be used in accessories and accent pieces.
In terms of pops of color, you can never go wrong with these options. Teal is a go to for mid-century modern palette since it is iconic to the period and can easily be adapted into any period. Apart from teal, you can go for colors such as yellows, orange, and even soft reds for a warm and cozy look or even greens and blues for a calming and relaxing look. A rule of thumb in mid-century modern interior design is to keep color palette of your choice organized and clean.
3. FLOORS AND WALLS
Now that you have an idea on what you would like to achieve, you can start with the floors and the walls as they serve as the foundation of the overall interior. Walls, in many mid century modern interiors, tend to be done in a neutral base color of white and beige. You can however experiment with either exposed bricked walls or wood paneled walls as an accent wall. Floor tiles tend to range between light to semi dark tiles and often compliment the wall’s color. Go for off white matte tiles and avoid as much as possible glossy tiles.
4. FURNITURE PIECES
In a mid-century modern style, you need to remember that everything, including the furniture and layout must always adhere to the principle of function before form. This means that most ideal pieces for mid-century modern furniture is often times the simplest and the most practical. Iconic designers during this period are Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Alto and Isamu Noguchi have crafted iconic pieces using various materials that are still incorporated to this day.
Key characteristics of mid-century modern furniture are that they incorporate straight lines, less patterns and often times is a bold and functional statement piece.
When picking a sofa, go for those with minimal frills and details. Sofas that use light gray or beige upholstery are ideal since you can easily style it with various pillows or even a throw. If you have a small space, go for either of these options; an L-shape sofa that provides ample seating space or a 3 seater sofa. You can go the extra mile and have the sofa open up into a bed for additional sleeping space should you have any guests.
If you would like an accent chair in your interior, go for chairs with a nice wooden frame and provide ample comfort. You can even go for chairs like the Egg Chair, the Womb Chair or even the Eames Lounge chair. Take care to note the size; you wouldn’t want it to be too big or too small.
When choosing your dining set, opt for a practical and simple set made of sturdy wood. Go for simple 4-6 seaters in neutral colors or natural wood. You can achieve the mid-century modern look by getting a simple rectangular table and similarly styled chairs at any furniture store.
A good tip to try when making your mid-century modern interior design is by choosing furniture of the same type of wood and stain and upholstery and working around it.
5. ACCESSORIES and DECOR
While mid-century modern interior design is described as being straightforward and less cluttered, you can still incorporate a few decorative elements in your interior. For your walls you can create a nice wall gallery showing subtle and modern art or even a simple wall art installation. This can make your walls quite interesting.
For your sofa, you can use pillows of different materials and styles and patterns. Try mixing several plain pillows with one or two patterned pillows. Apart from the standard 19×19 inch pillows, you can also use round cushions and rectangular pillows for some diversity. You can also place a throw or blanket for that extra comfort during the cold seasons.
For that added comfort, you can opt to have a carpet on the floor. A practical size for the carpet should be around 160cmx230cm, although there are carpets that could measure up to 200cmx300xcm
Keep your coffee table top minimal with less clutter by having trays to organize all your knick knacks. You can even make it stylish by having a few modern vases on top of them. The same principle can be said for dining tables and console tables.
But for a more subtle way of showing your favorite décor, you can arranged them in an evenly spaced out manner on your cabinet, shelves or bookcases. You can arrange your books by color and size or by genre. You can then display your small knickknacks next to the books or in their own compartments.
Lighting is essential when creating your mid-century modern interior. While some styles use general lighting, mid-century modern relies heavily on task and ambiance lighting to set the mood. Floor lamps and drop lamps are often used in order to highlight a particular area in the room such as a dining set, a sofa set or even a hallway. For a warm and cozy look, use lightbulbs that emit a warm white light while a bright daylight bulb makes the room seem a lot bigger than it normally is.
Another option to consider is to take advantage of natural lighting; especially if you have a good source of natural light and large windows. Allow natural light to enter and illuminate your desired space; it will give off a sophisticated and clean look.
Another idea for your interior, especially if you have a small place is by opting for an open plan layout. Having two or more areas in one room will actually make the space less constricted, therefore adhering to the style’s principle of a clean and sleek look. But perhaps the biggest tip of all is to have patience and be creative. The whole concept of the mid-century modern interior is to bring out the most of a simple, period style and make it completely unique and stylish,
So there you have it. Simple and very easy tips and ideas on how to create a mid-century modern interior design. It may be tough at first, but you will be surprise to see a beautiful and completely unique interior once it is over.
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