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3 Tips for Decorating A Mid-Century Modern Living Room

I’m so excited to be studying mid-century modern style! Talk about a classy time period that really stands the test of time. Today, let’s talk about what it takes to create a mid-century living space. Just 3 simple tips but they pack a lot of punch. Let’s get started!

1. Find Affordable Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Genuine mid-century furniture can break the bank. But no worries. If you do a little digging, you can find great pieces on Facebook Marketplace, Goodwill, rummage sales and your local flea markets.  There are also decent knock-offs at budget prices available at places like Ikea, Wal-Mart and Target. To create an updated mid-century vibe, you will need the right couch. Look for straight lines, a low back and avoid over-stuffed cushions. Within those parameters there are a lot of options for shape (curves are fun), upholstery (make a bold statement with color or pattern) and frame (exposed wood legs are my favorite). A great coffee table is a mid-century hallmark. Keep it all wood (teakwood is popular) and low to the ground. And look for sofa side tables to match. Think short for the tables and tall for the lamps. Add a couple accent chairs to complete your living space. As always, bring the furniture in from the walls to center the room. Now, it’s time to fill in your room’s corners and outer edges. Look for a clean-line low dresser, buffet table or console to use as an entertainment center. Add open shelving and fill in with books and accessories.

Before we move on from furniture, let’s talk about salvaging vintage pieces. If you’re a thrift store/garage sale shopper, you’ve probably seen a few mid-century pieces. Oftentimes the upholstery is bad or the wood veneer is damaged. But if you look for pieces with good bones and design, these problems can be fixed. Getting a piece reupholstered is an investment but most furniture repair people will tell you older furniture is made better and worth saving. Wood veneer can be repaired or replaced. So develop an eye that looks beyond what is to see what can be.

Check out this video (I’m in my garage 😂😂) where I am painting a great mid-century piece!

Here is a beautiful dresser that could be used as a media stand. I added a geometric stencil and the mixture of colors really helps your room pop!


2. Do the Right Color Thing

Polished decorating always comes down to a consistent color scheme. Teals, corals, gold, brass and neutrals are mid-century color highlights. Primary colors are also popular. Keep your walls neutral and light and go for an oversized statement art piece to establish your color scheme. Work from there. Geometrics and color blocking are good ways to start. Pick a primary color and 2 complementary colors. Metallics are also amazing in a Mid Century space.  In this video, I’m showing you how to add and blend metallic paint!


I love how this room is pulled together.  Note the statement art and the clean lines!


Image source: https://tenisextreme.com/mobel/photo/verpassen-sie-nicht-die-gelegenheit-das-coolste-raumdesign-der-welt-zu-erhalten/

This is great mix of metals, color and style!


Image source: http://postris.com/list/599/16-modern-mid-century-living-rooms-to-find-your-inspiration/

3. Mid Century Modern Accessories Make the Difference

The finishing touches pull a room together. Keep surfaces uncluttered except for a few well-placed accessories like glass vases, geometric décor, coffee table books and plants. One of my favorite artists, Mark Rothko, has designs that are perfect for the Mid-Century Modern look.  You can find a really amazing coffee table book about his art right here.  A well-curated quirky collection is also a great addition like vintage brass geese or mid-century office supplies. Brushed metallic finishes (brass and gold) will add depth to your room. And don’t think you have to put everything out at once. Keep a tote with decorative items you can rotate. It’s fun to change things around!


Image source: Pinterest – author unknown


Image source: https://www.chairish.com/product/1253037/1960s-mid-century-modern-brass-flying-geese-sculpture


I love so many of these office supplies, and you can use them in so many different ways: the type-setting box can hold small collections in such a cool way, the metal drawers can add height and a pop of color, and that clock! So cool.


Image source: https://www.core77.com/posts/18225/funretro-vintage-office-supplies-and-more-18225

While we’re talking collections, drop me a line and share your favorite thing to collect!

Until next week,

xoxo Jane


Note: This post may include affiliate links.  I make a small commission on them to help bring you new ideas and tutorials for you and your home





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