authentic mid-century home kitchen

A Scandinavian Modern Inspired Mid Century Kitchen in a more contemporary layout.

Warm wood tones and a neutral backdrop give this Scandinavian Modern inspired mid century style kitchen a light, bright and updated feel.

For some, owning an authentic mid-century home is not practical or possible. However, incorporating some of the hallmarks of this style into a more contemporary layout is a great compromise.

authentic mid-century home kitchen

For the homeowners of this Minneapolis, Minnesota, kitchen, combining a mid-mod aesthetic with an open floorplan was just the right mix. So, when Colby Mattson, architectural designer and principal at Charlie & Co. Design (, took on the project of designing a new home for a young and growing family, he let the clean lines of Mid Century Modern design lead the way.

Letting in the Light

“The kitchen is centrally located in the floor plan, so it’s the literal hub of this home,” Colby says. 

Because the dining room and living room are found just off the 315-square-foot space, it was key to create a cohesive, yet distinct, flow among the areas.

“We used subtle beam expressions to delineate the various rooms and circulation spaces,” Colby explains.

The size and shape of the lot created some architectural obstacles, preventing Colby from utilizing natural light directly into the kitchen—a key way to achieve the clean and bright aesthetic the homeowners were after.

“The narrow lot presented some early challenges in the overall layout of the home. Homes on either side presented limited views and access to daylight,” he says. “We relied on views through adjacent rooms to bring it in.”

Pared-down Palette

To give the kitchen a light and bright look with touches of warmth, Colby used a neutral palette and wood finishes. Light quartz countertops and white-enameled upper cabinetry balanced the warm oak herringbone floor and rift-cut white oak island and lower cabinets.

“We kept the architectural color palette neutral as a backdrop for more-colorful furniture and artwork,” Colby says.

Pops of color begin on either side of the range, with wall art spilling over into the adjacent shared living spaces. Vibrant, mod dining chairs and a starburst chandelier bring in MCM flair. The overall impression is a simple, clean, updated take on a traditional mid-mod kitchen.


Originally published in Atomic Ranch
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