These Are the Essential Pieces You Need for a Mid-Century Home
Mid-century modern is one of the most versatile interior design styles and one of our personal favourites. Known for its nostalgic, lowline forms and earthy, organic shapes, the style was brought to life in the 1950s (and every decade since). The modernist look embodies a lifestyle that's characterised by sunny Californian weather, cocktail parties, and vintage cars. There's even a dedicated weekly event held every year in Palm Springs (a mid-century mecca) that's dedicated to modernism in all its glory with lectures, tours and parties.
It's no surprise that this interior style has remained a popular go-to for designers and homeowners alike for the past sixty years. The iconic designers of this period coined the term "form follows function" which means that the practicality of a space is considered first, then decoration and embellishment second. The result is comfy interior spaces that are purposefully designed to replicate that breezy Californian lifestyle. If this sounds like your kind of thing, we've compiled the essentials for pulling it off at home.
Shag is back. Here us out—shaggy rugs have gotten a bad rap in the past for being hard to clean and feeling a bit too soft underfoot if you know what I mean. The good news is that there are heaps of modern variations that have a shorter pile so you get the desired look without all the extra shag. Go for a simple pattern like the one below that gives off a Palm Springs desert vibe.
If there's one defining furniture design from the mid-century modern period, it's the Classic Lounge & Ottoman designed by Charles and Ray Eames. You've surely seen it on Pinterest, Instagram and anywhere else you get your decor inspiration. A low lounge chair is what every mid-century inspired home needs for long afternoons with a cocktail and a good read.
A mainstay of any mid-century home is the sideboard (preferably wooden). It's super useful for storing bits and pieces that you don't want on show, for example, plates and glassware for those short on kitchen cabinets. It's also a beautiful piece that anchors the room and provides a space to pop your keys, rest a piece of artwork and generally elevate your room.
To get that laidback Cali-cool feeling at your place, invest in a simple bar cart for your living or dining area. Bonus points if it has wheels so you can move it outdoors for summer gatherings. Go for something simple with clean lines, like this beautiful brass option below.
The only time using the word 'funky' is acceptable is when describing mid-century modern homes. Organic shapes were extremely popular at the height of this interior design movement, and they're equally as popular now with people swapping out the grey sectional for something more unique.
Nothing says mid-century like a hairpin leg. Continuing with the curved shapes, this style of base is popular for coffee tables, sofas, and even plant stands and is the perfect way to get an instant pop of modernism charm. If you're up for it, you could even DIY an existing piece of furniture for an original creation of your own.
Because of its desert origins, this design style is often accentuated by masses of greenery, in particular, cacti. They're most effective when bunched together at different heights in a blank corner. The best part? They're virtually invincible and require very little attention.
Homes that were built in the middle of the 20th century were designed with a connection to the outdoors in mind. With large glass windows and doors, natural stones and wood, the typical mid-century aesthetic is warm and earthy. This is easy to achieve at home with artwork, cushions and soft furnishings in deep tones that are reminiscent of clay and burnt sunsets.
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