How to achieve a Mid-Century Modern style

One of the trends that is still going strong this year is the Mid-Century Modern style.  It has been a source of inspiration for many designers and brands. So I thought it would be helpful to do a "style deconstruction" about this style and at the same time to share some style tips along with places to shop.

So the Mid-Century Modern style emerged in the 50s and 60s -like most aesthetic movements- as a reaction against the traditional ornamental design before World War II. In other words, they were not ok with that aristocratic attitude. So they expressed this discontent  in the new design that also portrays a different lifestyle.

How to achieve it
The Mid-Century Modern (MCM) style is all about the connection with the great outdoors. This idea is what developed an indoor-outdoor flow with open floor plans allowing tons of natural light.
So think nature-inspired décor with graphic, geometric patterns with lots of texture.

The furniture design is mainly about simple lines, with no ornamentation and plain upholstery. It's very common to see masculine, sleek shapes and bold curves.
Some of the most iconic pieces are the tulip table (above) and the Eames chairs (below).

Another popular element in the MCM style is of course the credenza (below). These designs incorporate warm finishes like teak and rose wood. And to add a metallic touch, opt for bar carts with brass/chrome accents.


 Long streamlined sofas with tapered legs is one of the most recognizable features of the MCM style. Over the years, these type of sofas have become a staple in décor because they are  constantly being re-created by today's designers.

Lighting from this era is my favorite of all the elements because for MCM when it comes to lighting, it's all about making a statement. Hello "sputnik" chandelier. To get an idea, just think about this: lighting is to a room what jewelry is to an outfit. Lighting can totally transform a space in the same way jewelry can transform an outfit.

5-Color Palette
The colors are darker neutrals with pops of saturated color (mainly in accessories). But be careful! You don't want to choose primary colors for this particular style. Instead opt for muted shades of blues, oranges and greens, but don't use any primary colors. They will make your space look more like a daycare facility instead of your amazing MCM inspired room.

6-Mix and Match
One important tip about MCM that I think is important to achieve it in the most creative way,  is that it can be mixed with a few number of other styles that are within the same "family". You also want to do that, so your space does not feel like you stepped into grandma's house or a museum of vintage stuff. In other words, if you stick strictly to just MCM, your space will lack depth, interest and personality. It's like wearing denim on denim on denim. Boring! So what are some of the styles that work well with MCM you are probably wondering? Well... I'll try to list some ideas to mix and match styles according to different lifestyles.

  • If  you are a global traveler, you might like MCM + Boho combo to be able to punch some color with those pillows that brought  from Morocco and to hang that handwoven piece that you bought in Peru.
  •  If you love living in a loft, you might like MCM + Industrial to accessorize your space with that antique typewriter that you scored at the store across the street.
  • If you share your space with your significant other and want to balance those masculine vibes from these style, you might like MCM + Glam. So go ahead and bring in that marble top side table, that crystal decanter to your golden bar cart, throw in some luxe textured pillows and call it a day.
  • If you like to bring in the outdoors inside, you might like MCM + Scandinavian so you can have all of those low-maintenance plants that are hard to kill.
Of course these are just some ideas, but you can be as creative and have as much fun as you want to. It helps to know the rules, so you know how to break them.

7- Where to shop
Here is a list of stores where you can find great affordable MCM furniture. Of course,  some people will prefer to shop for original pieces, so it never hurts to check flea markets, antique stores and yard sales. I'll try to update this list as soon as I learn about new places to shop.

I hope this is a helpful guide to achieve your MCM style. If you are looking for more ideas or inspiration don't forget  to follow my board on Pinterest.
Thanks for reading!

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