It is often said that if you’re searching for inspiration, look to the past for your muse. Nowhere is this thought more relevant than in the field of interiors. The past brings up one trend that has remained an inspiration and shows no signs of slowing down: mid-century modern design. Often referred to as the golden era of design and architecture, it followed the Art Deco and Art Moderne periods and lasted from the 1930s to the 70s. It is believed to have grown out of the early 20th century Modernism, including the International and Bauhaus movements. Influenced by the European masters, young American designers began pushing this school of thought in a newer, fresher, and more modern direction.
These designers were visionaries who molded materials like plastic, fiberglass, and bentwood into previously unheard-of shapes. Post World War II, the design was geared toward erasing the horrors of the war while living more simplistically and minimally. Frills and excess were done away with, leaving behind what matters most in design: balance.
Standout elements of this design period include subtle but statement-making ornamentation, ample daylight, as well as interchangeable, bold furniture. Themes of connecting with nature and radically shaped décor pieces also feature prominently. Many of those elements continue to be recognizable in the design style as we see it today.
How to Modernize a Mid-Century Home
When it comes to modernizing a mid-century home, you want to keep its character and coziness while adding modern elements. Look at upgrading the old plumbing, wires, roof, switches, and lighting options. Opt for a muted color palette with neutral and white tones along with pops of orange, blue, yellow, and olive green in true mid-century style.
Your furniture can be more freestanding than fixed, and you can swap heavy sofas for more lightweight chairs like an evergreen Eames chair that can be placed in any room to make an impact. Wood details such as teak, oak, walnut, and rosewood can add warmth to your furnishings. Go big with your lighting by adding in unique, sculptural pieces. Decorative mirrors, quaint or vivid wallpaper, and retro art can make your home come alive.
Remodel a Mid-Century Kitchen
The kitchen in a mid-century home is both spacious and stunning. To upgrade it to the 21st century, add new finishing touches, ready-to-access, modular storage space, and modern cooking equipment. Mid-century design often features sleek, simple lines and open-plan kitchens, but you can add warmth by bringing in green plants, wooden accents, and uniquely shaped furniture, including quirky chairs and tables. Think neutral, natural elements like light maple flooring. To finish this area in style, get in period pieces like stunning lamps or even 1950s style American pottery.
If your space allows it, you can even add a floating kitchen, one of the biggest trends of mid-century homes. This classic style does away with any exterior walls and looks expansive. Ceiling-to-counter windows that amplify natural light make the most of this area. Another option is to have open shelving between the kitchen and the living room, which creates a division but retains the open connection that was the soul of this period.
Add Romantic Flair with A Remodeled Mid-Century Bathroom
Where do you stand on pink? If it’s not too bubble-gum a shade for you to try, opt for a pretty pink palette, which was the most favored color of the 1950s. Pair it with chintz or graphic, geometric or abstract patterned wallpaper to complete the look. Then add in an eye-catching element like a mosaic tiled feature wall. Typical elements from this period include metal-rimmed sinks, laminate countertops, and wall-to-wall mirrors. Fiberglass bathtubs save space and pay homage to the period at the same time. If this is too vintage for you, opt for a marble-clad shower stall instead of a tub altogether.
You might need to replace your fixtures with modern ones. If you would rather retain the vintage ones, modernizing the tank mechanisms or finding faucets to fit could be hard. For tiles, your best bet is square field tiles, which will last long. Glass tiles are an option, but they need to be installed carefully. To add an imaginative flair to this space, go with ceramic and porcelain: true mid-century materials.
Make The Exterior of Your Mid-Century Home Stand Out
A significant element of the mid-century is the idea that a home is an integrated whole. Here, the exterior of the building is considered to be a vital part of the design and not just from a structural aspect. So, when remodeling, pay attention to how your exteriors look and feel. One way to stay true to this period is to add in large glass windows to make a seamless connection between the outside and the inside, or you can even install an open-plan staircase. Make the most of nature by placing plants and natural elements like stones all around. Then to really make a statement, make your door a focal point by using a quirky, bold color that is different from the rest of your interiors.
Contact Us Today
The legendary mid-century architect, William Krisel, believed that the mid-century modern style would be applicable forever. He went on to call this a ‘living concept’ that could change the way you live. If you would like to remodel your home using this timeless style while elevating it to remain visually contemporary, get in touch with us today.