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Featured Style: Mid-Century Modern Interior Design


From mid-century modern to traditional to eclectic, there is an interior design style for everyone. But… finding the aesthetic that reflects your personality can be challenging. How do you know which is right for you? Explore them. What if you discover that you love more than one? Combine them.

Over the next several months, we will be helping you with the discovery side of this journey by diving into the many interior design styles you’re likely to see. (Or, you can skip all this and take our style quiz for quick results.)

First up: mid-century modern, or MCM, as it’s known in the design world…



What is Mid-Century Modern Style?

As the name suggests, this style originated during the mid-1900s. It was created in response to the International and Bauhaus design movements (if you care), but more importantly, it’s characterized by blending clean lines, organic shapes, and sparingly used pops of natural color.

This design style also focuses on natural materials and organic forms, creating a futuristic yet naturally simplistic vibe. Mid-century modern architecture is often found with floor-to-ceiling windows, natural wood interiors, and very clean-cut edges.

4 Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern Design

1. Clean, Simple, and Authentic

You won’t find decorative details like trims, tassels, cornices, or fluting in mid-century modern spaces. Instead, the MCM style highlights clean lines and authentic materials — no engineered plastics or veneer here. Instead, you’ll find a combination of natural woods, glass, metals, and natural fabrics, like wool.



2. Connection with Nature

As shown in the mid-century home above, seamless indoor-to-outdoor flow is a sure way to create that cohesive, simplistic, and organic vibe of MCM design. To allow your home to blend in with its surroundings and achieve this flowing natural effect, select complementing materials for your indoor and outdoor spaces, maximize natural light and incorporate plants whenever possible.



Beach House Project | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

3. Minimal Pops of Color

The mid-century palette is rooted in primary colors and nature-inspired hues. Think deep red clay, vibrant yellow, aquamarine, earthy green, muddy brown, and muted orange. Blending bright accent colors with neutral tones and a layer of natural wood creates a warm, vibrant, and natural atmosphere.



Beach House Project | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

4. Curved Furnishings

In alignment with its appreciation for nature, organic curves (clean-lined ones) are a key feature of mid-century modern style. You’ll see furniture with rounded backs, svelte legs, and tapered edges, like the chairs in this Beach House dining room above.

There are also several iconic mid-century modern chairs you could embrace, such as the wildly popular (and timeless) Egg Chair, Eames Chair, and Barcelona Chair. Troscan Design is a great place to look for mid-century inspired furniture.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to mix pieces from different makers. The eclectic feel is one of MCM design’s values and brings a warm feeling to the modern home. For example, mix Arne Jacobsen’s pieces with Noguchi and Bertoia.


mid century modern interior designer sf bay area mission district

Discover Your Design Style

Have you fallen in love with the mid-century modern aesthetic? If so, add it to your list. If you’re still not sure what your signature style is, try our fun style quiz. Then, reach out to us to talk about how we can help you bring your style to life in your home.



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