7-Step Guide To Designing A Mid-Century Modern Space

Mid-century modern is one of the most popular design styles still today. Inspired by architecture and design from the 40s and 50s, mid-century modern is a style that embraces minimalism and functionality. If you're thinking Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen's Tulip table, or an Eames chair or two, this is the design style for you.

To achieve this mid-century modern feel in your home as you design and remodel, we have a few key tips for what to consider along the way.

Rendering of mid-century modern kitchen design
Designing the mid-century modern home is almost an exercise in finding the perfect balance between minimalism and warmth, playing with texture, color, and materials to do so. Kitchen Design by Lisa Wirth. 
  1. Let the light in. Creating a Mid-Century Modern space relies on the right amount of light to do it. You'll want to open up your space as much as possible, think large geometric windows, and bringing the outside environment into your design. Not blessed with natural light in your space? Get creative about how to brighten it up with lighting design.
  2. Don't be afraid to use a brave color palette. Sure, you can create a natural canvas with white walls if it pleases you, but contrast that backdrop with strong tones that add warmth to your design, and eye-catching pops of color and texture to replicate mid-century modern style.
  3. With that said, the mid-century modern space is also elegant, timeless, and classy. So keep it simple. The sort of ethos of the era was focused heavily on the functionality of materials, clean lines, and simplicity. So avoid cluttered solutions at all costs, and thoroughly consider how you will use the space and each element of your furnishings - whether you are designing a living room or a kitchen.
  4. Seek out authentic – Vintage pieces are a designer’s best friends. Original furniture from the era brings a touch of Mid-Century design movement to your space. Mixing and matching is encouraged with this style, the right pendant lamp, perhaps assorted dining chairs as opposed to a set but do make sure that the pieces work together.
  5. This brings us to our next point: experiment with textures and materials. Mid-century modern design is almost an exercise in finding the perfect balance between minimalism and warmth. Wood, glass, vinyl, cane, the list goes on. Texture, and materials, as much as color and authentic pieces, is an opportunity to experiment. With care, of course. ;)
  6. Don’t forget the bar! A chic wet bar is a staple of the mid-century modern home. Just think Mad Men and stirred cocktails - even a sleek metal bar cart will do in a pinch.
  7. And last but not least, if you can swing it? An open floor plan. Again, mid-century modern design is all about bright, open spaces, clean lines, and uncluttered simple living. The more you can create that sense of openness in your design, the closer you will be to invoking the spirit of this era that spurred this design movement.

Dreaming of creating your own mid-century modern space? Explore designs from Beam, or start your own design today.