The midcentury modern look of the mid-twentieth century (or, as some would argue, of the years 1947 to 1957) continues to stand out in popularity in interior design. Putting together a midcentury modern living room, however, can be tricky. A room, after all, is the sum of its parts, and if you want to achieve a truly midcentury modern look, you need to pay strict attention to detail. Here is a look at the details you’ll want to pay attention to as you design your midcentury modern living room.
Know your furniture.
First, it’s important to gain a firm grasp on what denotes midcentury modern furniture. Midcentury modern furniture is minimalist in design and features clean lines, curves, and smooth surfaces. Nothing is overly boxy, heavy, or ornamental. Pieces will feature two colors at most, with no patterns. Pieces achieve an airy feel by construction—a sofa, for example, standing on four legs that suspend it from the ground, or a coffee table standing on four hairpin legs. Many furniture pieces are made of wood—especially teak, which soared in popularity during the mid-twentieth century. Furniture pieces often feature other newer materials as well, such as plastic, plywood, glass, and lucite.
Get the palette right.
Midcentury modern represents a break from the safe and neutral colors of years past. Furniture pieces, for example, come in a variety of bolder colors, such as teal blue, poppy red, and pea green. Neutral walls, meanwhile, though neutral, gave bolder furniture pieces and colorful accents (such as throw pillows and vases) a chance to shine. When selecting a color palette for your midcentury modern living room, go for a palette that combines darker neutral tones with saturated accent colors. Colors like rust orange, wine red, deep rose, and mustard yellow, for example, could all be part of a midcentury modern palette.
As you select pieces for your living room, don’t forget to consider the 60-30-10 rule. A room should be 60% dominant base color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color.
Select the right accents.
The ideal midcentury modern space isn’t overloaded with accents, but rather features a few selectively chosen accents that maximize function. Midcentury modern rugs often feature asymmetrical, abstract patterns—or a thicker shag texture in a solid color. Floor lamps and table lamps feature a geometric design and are mostly made from finished metal (though sometimes wood). Whatever you do, be sure to remember that less is more as you accent your space.