5 Rules For Decorating With Mid Century Funiture

Posted on: 21 May 2015

If you decide you want to decorate your home in the mid century style, you have many options. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but these five rules will help you get started with authentic mid century style. 

Maximize Your Space 

One of the main features of mid century design was its emphasis on function. Furniture of this period tended to serve multiple purposes, such as fold-out sofas or nesting coffee tables. Pieces that served multiple functions allowed for more open space throughout the home. 

When you begin to decorate with mid century furniture, you should try to maximize the feeling of space in your home. A few pieces in each room will provide ample room for sitting and storage while allowing you and your guests to walk from one room to the next without being hindered by your furniture. 

Select a 'Pop' Color 

Mid century designers introduced several new synthetic materials to decorating. Plastics allowed furniture to be built in bright colors such as orange, red, and blue. Metal allowed a shiny, reflective touch to rooms. With all of the options available, it can be difficult to choose pieces that go well together. You should start by selecting a signature color for each room. Choose one or two pieces in this 'pop' color, and keep the rest of the room in light, neutral colors. You may also choose to paint your trim or hang draperies in your 'pop' color to help tie your room into a cohesive statement. 

Avoid Patterns and Dark Woods 

With the focus on space, function, and bright colors, mid century decorating tended to avoid excessive patterns. Dark colors, especially dark woods, were rare, as they were too similar to older furniture styles. Too many patterns can cause dissonance in your rooms. If you find a pattern that you really like, you can add it in a small area, such as cafe curtains or throw pillows. You should try to keep your walls a solid, neutral color and avoid patterns on large pieces such as couches. 

The lighter color schemes common to mid century decorating were inspired by the large windows and greater amount of light that homes had. If the room that you are decorating does not have an adequate source of natural light, you will want to make sure that you install enough sources of light to give it a feeling of openness and space. Certain LED light bulbs can mimic natural light at various times of the day, allowing you to create the light, mid century feeling, even if you lack large windows in a room. 

Update Your Art 

It can be very difficult to integrate older art, especially landscape pieces, into a mid century home. If you have pieces that you must include in your mid century room, consider getting them framed in a minimalist frame, possibly in your 'pop' color. Alternatively, you can do away with art altogether, allowing your furniture to speak for itself. Your bare walls will give more of a feeling of open space. A coffee table book of a mid century artist such as Roy Lichtenstein, or one or two smaller mid century pieces placed low on your wall, can help give your room a polished look. 

Build Around a Central Piece 

The easiest way to start decorating in mid century style is to purchase a single mid century piece. This works better than trying to build matching sets that might overwhelm a room. You should not be afraid to mix and match furniture in a way that draws attention to your central piece and maximizes your space. 

Ultimately, you should keep in mind that mid century modern was about breaking the older rules of traditional decorating. You should feel free to play with the style and express yourself.  You can click here to read more about using mid century furniture in your home.