Characterised by the perfect balance between comfort and chic, the mid-century modern era saw the mid ’40s to late ‘60s turn to sleek lines, statement lighting and organic styling, without forgetting that pop of colour and feature pattern. Think Palm Springs; low roofs, timber features, oasis-style outdoor spaces and understated elegance throughout.
With a strong emphasis on functionality, forms were geometric, natural materials like timber and leather were paramount, and colours were invited to make a statement amidst the minimalist spaces. Today, mid-century modern characteristics haven’t left the scene, with many pieces taking influence from this era. The clean lines, raw fibres and open spaces of mid-century modern styling is sure to be a talking point in any home; just be careful not to overdo it.
Living & Dining
What we now consider as a given, open plan living became one of the strongest features of mid-century modern spaces. People wanted their homes to be social, family orientated, bright, efficient and functional, without losing style. Living and dining was distinguished by geometric designs, simple lines, tapered legs and flared-back chairs. Furniture was stripped back to its natural form and texture and unusual materials became the focus.
Introduce this style slowly - a couple of pieces at a time, to make sure you get the aesthetic just right. Begin with larger pieces; a sofa such as the Joel Three Seater, Volda Sofa or Jensen Two Seater or dining table; Madrid or Renmin, entertainment unit or console, such as the Barcelona Sideboard or Bari Bar, and from there move onto your lighting and mirrors. Introduce an occasional to make a statement such as the Cassino Lounger or Ashwell Armchair. Eventually complete the space by accessorising with decorative elements, wall art, throws, cushions and rugs.
One of the most prominent features of mid-century modern styling was the bold lighting choices. From table lamps to floor lamps, pendant lights to wall lamps, lighting was paramount to balance the large windows that saw homes flooded with natural light, the first real appearance of indoor-outdoor living.
Mid-century lighting saw the introduction of dome shaped lamps, chrome features, gold chandeliers and strong colours; functional yet so stylish that it doubled as art in the home. Remember that mid-century modern was all about the understated statements; don’t go putting three table lamps, a chandelier and a floor lamp in the one room. Choose one piece and use it wisely.
Chandeliers are a beautiful way to pull focus to a living or dining space and are the ultimate feature in mid-century modern homes. Liang & Eimil have an incredible range including the Orius Pendant, Olsen Pendant, Neptune Chandelier and Starburst Pendant or look to RV Astley for the Ealga Chandelier, Laik Antique Chandelier and Dean Antique Pendant.
Light up your living with these mid-century modern style floor lamps from RV Astley, Gallery Direct and Liang & Eimil; Vienna Antique Floor Lamp, Brisa Brass Floor Lamp, Argenta Wooden Floor Lamp, Vali Floor Lamp.
Mirrors deserve their own specific mention when discussing mid-century modern styling. They were an important feature during this era, and were dramatic, yet chic, understated yet bold. Think starburst frames, asymmetrical shapes, curves, splashes of gold and the warmth of timber. From hallways to living spaces, you can’t go wrong by opening up your space and drawing attention to your walls.
The RV Astley range has an abundance of mirrors perfect to make a mid-century inspired statement in your home from the Sun Antique Mirror to the Tulla Antique Oval Mirror, Adel Round Mirror, Moher Antique Oval Mirror and Corran Antique Mirror. You’ll also find some gems from Gallery Direct; Kurva Mirror, Herzfeld Starburst Mirror, Quill Mirror, and we can’t go past these by Liang & Eimil; Paris Antique Mirror, Tarah Mirror and Maxwell Mirror.
Mid-century styling is somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to the colour palette. It heroes raw, natural fibres and earthy tones like olive and orange, but also doesn’t discriminate against a touch of blush, teal or grey. To keep it chic, a combination of timber, white and shades of brown with a splash of just one or two feature colours will do perfectly. You can invite these colours in via both accent walls and your selected furniture pieces and accessories.
We love the below for serious mid-century vibes;
Humber Armchair by Gallery Direct
Debonaire Occasional by Desire Designs
Fabien Footstool by Hudson Living
Linear Throw by Gallery Direct
Carmel Pillow by Liang & Eimil
There’s just something about this design of the 40s, 50s, 60s that has a sense of optimism and lightness, posing the question; why wouldn’t you invite this into your home?