A Newbie’s Guide to Mid-Century Modern in Your Home

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Mid-century modern décor was first born in the late 1940s, shortly after World War II. Its modern visuals, sleek lines, vibrant colors, and nods to everything in the cosmic era were more than just a new design style, a hope for the future expressed through home decor. Much of the world has just experienced the challenges of war and longed for something fresh and encouraging. In a unique way, the mid-century decoration responded to that call.

Interior design certainly doesn’t save the world, but it can make us feel more enjoyable. Small acts that improve our home have proven to be healing ointments throughout these difficult times, and decorations help us feel as if we are dominating our little universe. ..

If you were thinking of starting to collect mid-century decorations yourself, now is the time. Our collective love for mid-mod style shows no signs of decline. Your entire home doesn’t have to be a homage to the 1950s either. Instead, you can start small and build from there (for example, consider a single lamp instead of an entire living room filled with mid-century furniture).

If you want to start looking for a truly special Midmod piece, but don’t know where to start, start with these tips from the top five Mid Century experts. Good atmosphere and mid-century decoration — I’m here.

Photo by Carry Waller

Do your homework

“If you want to start collecting real vintage decorations, you need to find good ones and be educated so that you don’t overpay,” says designer Emily Henderson. She encourages you to visit websites like Chairish and 1st Dibs to learn about names and prices, what you really want to look for, and what you own.

There are some mid-century buzzwords you can learn and find during the quest. For example, Audrey Magill, who dressed up a 1960s home with the discovery of a real midmod, shares that Charles and Ray Eames are particularly iconic designers. She states: “Designed in 1956, their Eames lounge chair is one of the most famous works of the mid-century era. The design was considered groundbreaking and has been duplicated many times.”

She adds that Danish modernity is a special style of this era, known for its refined minimal lines and high quality materials. “The use of teak and oak was very popular,” she says.

Magill says Hans Wegner, known for his “Papa Bear” and “Wishbone” chairs, and Arne Jacobsen, famous for his egg and swan chairs, are just a few of the notable Danish contemporary designers. If you’re looking for mid-century discoveries and really want to go bankrupt, check out the period (1945-1969) to learn more about the designers and specific design movements associated with that period.

Don’t count thrift shops

Contrary to what you’ve heard, mid-century works aren’t everytime Expensive. In fact, you might be able to win some great pieces on Goodwill on the street.

“The great thing about mid-century vintages is that they’re easy to find in many vintage shops, flea markets, and even Goodwill,” says David, designer and creative director of Old Brand New. “Before embarking on an interior design career, I started saving and found a variety of chair and lamp options. These are some of the easiest ways to incorporate mid-century decoration into a space.”

You can buy anything that appeals to you, but if you want to be serious, Carrie Waller, the founder of the lifestyle and DIY blog DreamGreen DIY, should look for the original label.

She states: “Always look inside the drawer or under the table or chair to see if you can find the original brand stamp or label. This will provide you with the genuine manufacturer’s mark and date of manufacture. . “

Photo by Brad Nipstein for the chair. Prop styling by Mikhael Romain

Become a vigilant online shopper

Some of the best treasures of the mid-century can be found online through select spots such as Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, Craigslist and Chairish.

Noel Fahden, Vice President of Merchandising at Chairish, states that it is very important to pay attention to the item description.

“When the description says’in style’, it can mean a lot,” she says. “It can be a modern reproduction, or it can be a genuine vintage piece made in an iconic design or manufacturer’s style. A piece-style vintage is a more friendly price and excellent quality. It’s a matter of the source and price you’re really looking for. “

There are also some things to keep in mind when starting a quest. There is a difference between the actual vintage and the new reissued (at the rights of the original manufacturer) mid-century decoration. Whenever you incorporate a style into your home, you can combine the old and the new.

Ferden also proposes to actually study the photos on the list. Ferden said: “When shopping online, take a closer look at the images of the products you are considering. Especially for vintage pieces, small scratches are part of the aging process and probably add personality to the piece. If you look at the or brass ornaments, they add a wonderful patina over time. “

Small start

As we said, you don’t Have Start your full-fledged MCM collection with a top-to-bottom mid-century living room with a retro sofa and chimenea. It’s a good idea to start with small, available accessories like ceramics, small furniture like shelves, and even bedside lamps. Ferden agrees that lighting is an ideal starting point.

“The best place to start small in MCM style is with lighting,” says Fahden. “Consider something like a Verner Panton table lamp or a Louis Paulsen PH5 mini pendant to add an atmosphere to your space and personal style without making a big commitment.”

And finally…

If you’re not a vintage enthusiast (it’s totally awesome), but still enjoy some mid-century-like pieces in your home, there are plenty of retailers who have just such a thing. Remember that there is. Buy furniture, lighting and decorations from brands like CB2, West Elm, Article, Joybird and even Target to make a new piece that looks real or clearly contemporary while hinting at past designs. Let’s look for.


Are you a modern fan of Mid Century? What is your favorite work of that era? Please let us know in the comments below.

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