Mid-Century Modern Design:  Ways To Add The Iconic Aesthetic To Your Space

Mid-Century Modern Design: Ways To Add The Iconic Aesthetic To Your Space

Originating in the post-World War II era, spanning from around the 1940s to the 1960s, the mid-century modern design movement embraced simplicity, clean lines and functional elegance. This timeless aesthetic continues to influence modern interior design today.

Mid-century modern design is defined by clear straight lines and gentle curves. This style embraces minimalism, avoiding excessive ornamentation or clutter and blends a variety of materials including wood, metal, glass and plastic to create visual interest and add texture. 

“One of my favourite things that defines mid-century design is its integration with nature,” says Shawnna Truelove, Principal Designer/Owner of Truelove Designs. “Large windows and open floor plans are common in mid-century architecture, allowing for a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.”

Mid-century modern is a design that can complement many other styles, making it an aesthetic that continues to be popular today. “The simple details and organic shapes appeal to a lot of people,” says Ashley Bonello, who co-owns Rume Design Inc. with Michelène Segodnia. She says many modern furniture companies have incorporated mid-century modern in their designs.   

“It’s one of those that can complement so many other styles,” says Truelove. “If you like modern, Art Deco, even traditional, you can  seamlessly mix some mid-century in there, resulting in a space that will appeal to a wide range of tastes and preferences,” she says.

While mid-century modern maintains its core principles, it has evolved to reflect changing tastes, lifestyles and advancements in design and technology, such as using reclaimed wood, recycled metals and eco-friendly upholstery fabrics in response to the trend in sustainability. While traditional mid-century furniture was known for incorporating bold, vibrant hues such as mustard yellow, burnt orange and avocado green, Truelove says the style has adapted to incorporate more muted hues, pastels and neutral tones, to match the latest trends in home design.

Incorporate Mid-century Modern into Your Home

To bring the timeless elegance of mid-century modern design into your home, consider these tips:

Furniture Selection: Look for pieces with clean lines, such as a statement lounge chair or minimalist dining table. The one staple mid-century piece of furniture Truelove and Segodnia agree can make or break a space is an accent chair. Iconic mid-century modern chairs such as the Eames Lounge Chair or Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair are great options. “Look for chairs with organic shapes, tapered legs, and upholstery in bold colours or textured fabrics like tweed or leather,” says Truelove. “No matter what style you’re trying to accomplish in your home, a good mid-century chair can bring lots of character and might just be the wow piece your design is looking for,” she says.

Layer Textures: Layering materials and textures can add contrast, depth and visual interest. “Layering of fabrics, jutes, linens and faux leathers all sustainably sourced are great ways to incorporate (mid-century modern design),” says Segodnia. 

Natural Elements: Incorporate natural materials such as wood, leather and stone to add warmth and texture to your space. Plants are another great way to bring nature indoors. “Add indoor plants in sleek, minimalist planters made of materials like ceramic, fibreglass or metal,” suggests Truelove.  

Minimalist Decor: Keep decor minimal and purposeful, showcasing a few statement art pieces, geometric rugs and iconic lighting fixtures. “Don’t be afraid of colour, especially in art,” says Bonello. “Bold, dramatic art is classic when we design mid-century style.” When adding decor pieces, Truelove advises being selective to stick with the minimalist appeal of the design style, choosing decor pieces with clean lines. “Sculptural figurines featuring abstract or geometric forms are reminiscent of mid-century design aesthetics,” she says. 

Lighting: “I call it the jewelry of the home,” says Truelove, when talking about lighting. Look for pendant lights or floor lamps with clean lines and geometric shapes, such as globe or cone shapes. “Sputnik chandeliers are also a classic mid-century modern lighting option, featuring a burst of metal rods reminiscent of a satellite,” says Truelove.

By infusing your home with mid-century modern design elements, you can create a space that celebrates the timeless elegance and functionality of this iconic design era. 


Originally published in looklocal


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