14 Iconic Mid-Century Modern Decor Elements
Iconic elements of mid-century modern home decor continue to be on-trend and wildly popular. Refresh your memory on these essential home decor ideas that represent the heart and soul of mid-century modern style.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Starburst Clock
The starburst clock is one of the first things that come to mind when someone asks: What is mid-century modern? The starburst clock is an immediate standout of mid-century home decor. This type of clock was first made by the mid-century masters at Nelson Associates. This design firm is responsible for a lot of iconic mid-century modern essentials that were found in many stylish homes in the ’50s and ’60s and again today. The starburst clock was conceptualized by Nelson Associates in 1949. Clocks of this style are so intricate they can be considered works of art.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Eames Lounge Chair
Charles and Ray Eames are the designers responsible for this archetype lounge chair and help answer what is mid-century modern. The couple first started to experiment with plywood moldings to create affordable, stylish furniture.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Natural Elements
Wood elements are often incorporated in mid-century modern homes in ceilings, walls and floors. This gives these room a decidedly Scandinavian aesthetic.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Unique Lighting
Lighting in mid-century homes often plays with shapes and lines. Many installations either have curves and loops or they are overtly linear.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Bio-Morphic Shapes
Biomorphic design elements were designed to resemble living organisms. These shapes (a.k.a. “boomerang”) were used in furniture design, wallpaper prints, plastic laminate countertops and more.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Lots of Glass
Mid-century design took off after World War II. During this time, designers wanted to encourage people to see and incorporate the outdoors. One of the ways they did this was by using a lot of glass. Glass walls and large windows are a staple of many mid-century modern homes.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Clean Lines
Classic mid-century modern design features minimal fuss, maximum function and clean lines. One of the most notable designers of this era was Frank Lloyd Wright.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Hairpin Legs
Hairpin- and peg-style legs are found in many mid-century modern furniture pieces. They exemplify the streamlined, simple look of the mid-century aesthetic. They are often mixed with natural wood tops to combine natural and industrial styles.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Wallpaper Designs
Mid-century design often relies on natural colors and design elements, but this changes for wall paper. Often wallpaper is used as an accent in mid-century modern homes and it features bold geometric patterns. Wallpaper is definitely DIYable and it’s an excellent statement maker.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Statement Doors
Even though these homes aren’t about ornamentation, mid-century modern homes often have statement front doors. Often times front doors are the one place homeowners play with color, shapes and design.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: New Materials
The iconic Tulip chair was created by designer Eero Saarinen for Knoll Designs in 1957. Saarinen used his sculpture background to create this chair to eliminate the need for four legs. It’s made of molded fiberglass.
Another classic is the mid-century modern console table. Make one of these great-looking tables with this IKEA hack.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Mid-Century Kitchens
Mid-century modern kitchens often mix natural wood with bright punches of color and man-made countertops.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: The Womb Chair
The womb chair, also designed by Eero Saarinen, was created in 1948 for Florence Knoll. The chair was made of molded fiberglass, covered with material. It was designed to provide the utmost comfort by Knoll who wanted, “A chair that was like a basket full of pillows.” She wanted something she could really curl up in.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas: Smart Pops of Color
Bursts of color—in furniture, pillows and accent walls—are one of the delights of mid-century homes. Color was used sparingly, not in every room. Color palettes often incorporated saturated oranges, aquas, yellows and reds. When color was used, it wasn’t subtle!