Mid-Century Modern Style Furniture: What's Your Style? — World Interiors, an Austin Furniture Company Skip to content
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Mid Century modern furniture

What's Your Style?

We get it. So many decor ideas, so many styles, so many choices. It can be quite overwhelming. Where should you start? There are many questions you should ask yourself when decorating your home. If you're looking for some help narrowing down the perfect style for your space, you've come to the right place. This article is part of our "What's Your Style?" series, created to help you achieve a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic that's tailored to you.

An uncomplicated, yet fresh style, Mid-Century Modern brings classic styles into the modern age, blending natural and man-made styles to create functional comfort with an elegant aesthetic.

Is Mid-Century Modern style for you?
Were you obsessed with the styles of America's Golden Age? Did you love the setting of AMC's Mad Men?
Maybe you've been feeling nostalgic about your childhood home, wanting to reminisce about afternoons in front of the TV and evening supper with the family.

If any of these descriptors fits you, Mid-Century Modern may truly be a great fit for you!
Be sure to browse the rest of our store, offering the highest quality Mid-Century Modern furniture in Austin! We also ship throughout the contiguous US.

The Origins

Mid-Century Modern was a style popular during, as one might guess, the middle of the twentieth century. It came about as a blend between the German Bahaus movement and the American International movement.

Bauhaus was a style that aimed to reunite fine art with functional design, creating practical pieces with the soul of an artwork. After the Second World War, many Bauhaus artists and architects emigrated to America, taking this style with them. This formed the foundation of what would become Mid-Century Modern.

From Bauhaus style came International, which focused on stripping extra ornaments in favor of showcasing sleek, organic curves and clean lines while still maintaining a formal tone.

New technological advances and experimental materials that came from the war combined with these two design styles to form what we know as Mid-Century Modern. Depleted materials and accelerated rebuilding requirements during the war lead to many prominent architects coming up with novel ways to make the most out of available resources.

Mid Century Modern Furniture Austin

Mid-Century Modern defining features: getting the look

Looking to make your space feel like a Frank Lloyd Wright house? Here's some of the main aspects that defines-Mid Century Modern:

  • An emphasis on functionality. The form will follow the function.
  • Uncluttered, sleek lines with both organic and geometric forms
  • Minimal ornamentation & lighter, airier spaces (though not as light and airy as minimalism)
  • An exploration of different traditional as well as non-traditional materials
  • The juxtaposition of different, and sometimes contrasting materials

Don't feel like you have to incorporate all these features. It's always important to create a space you feel proud to call home. We do recommend including a few of these elements into your space if you want it to exhibit a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic.

Form

Mid Century Modern brings nature into the home.

Large windows allow natural light to flood the space, creating a light, airy feel. At the time, this was an incredibly novel idea, as older homes had darker, more cramped interiors.

Be smart with the space! Oftentimes, less is more with this style. Don't feel like you need a piece to occupy space in every room. Remember that function is paramount when furnishing in this style; if it doesn't serve a purpose, throw it out.

Mid Century Modern Furniture Austin

The Grandby Mid Century Modern Coffee Table and Side Table

Function

Mid Century Modern is a style that, much like Industrial Modern, puts function before all else. Every piece in a space should serve a purpose, and some may serve multiple.

Consider adding compact or stack-able pieces to aid the aesthetic -- many mid century homes would have these accents in order to conserve space. Nesting tables like our Leonardo Side Tables are another great choice that add a unique flair to your space!

Mid-Century Modern style is all about clean lines and sleek curves. Pieces can either have a organic or geometric form, though organic forms tend to be more prominent. Consider adding a piece with a striking form as the centerpiece of the room.

Materials

Materials like solid wood were used in order to promote more organic forms and nature-inspired design aesthetics. The main guiding forced behind MCM designs was to bring the beauty of the natural world into the home by incorporating natural elements into an otherwise modern space.

Mid-Century Modern pieces provide a bridge between old and new. While traditional materials such as wood and iron were still prevalent in designs, new technological advances provided designers with a plethora of new materials to work with. Plexiglass and plywood are some staples of classic MCM pieces.

Just like any other style, don't feel like you need to incorporate all these materials into your space. Instead, opt for just a few select materials to use as staple materials throughout your home. If you're unsure of what materials to settle on, you can never go wrong with wood and iron. Then, add splashes of color with plastic pieces or incorporate some plexiglass accent pieces to add interesting dashes of character within the space.

Mid Century Modern Wood Example

texture

Mid-Century Modern furniture typically uses materials with smooth finishes, clean lines, and organic curves. The textures mimic the materials in that they fuse the organic, free-form curves found within nature with the clean lines and smooth finishes of manufactured pieces.

A point to remember is that this is a just a design style, not a law. It CAN be broken. Want to add an industrial coffee table with a rough, weathered texture to it? Go for it! Just be careful - going overboard can take away from the overall aesthetic more than it will add to it.

If you enjoy fusing styles, consider adding an industrial flair to your mid century home by adding a crank table as a centerpiece for your dining room or a wheeled coffee table in your living room to add some contrast in textures within the space.

color

The color palette for a Mid-Century modern home is rather wide, from neutral to bold, black and white to fuchsia and candy-apple red.

For more contemporary spaces, opt for more muted colors. This gives a more modern, reserved aesthetic to the space.

That being said, don't be afraid to add splashes of bold colors like our Avery Green Velvet Armchair. These accents can act as a great way to insert your personality within your space.

Looking to Add some Mid Century Modern Style to Your Space? Here's Some Tips:

  • Do not feel the need to make your room a period piece/time capsule. Consider incorporating a few Mid-Century Modern pieces to drive and define the space.
  • Incorporate some graphic patterns into the space. Many companies started in this era still have patterns from that period that are updated for a more contemporary look.
  • Add lighting that has a sculptural, artistic form but retains functionality.
  • Add period art and accents. You can never go wrong with a Andy Warhol reproduction or a Jackson Pollock print.

Check Out some of our Mid-Century Modern products!

Mapai Mid-Century Modern Dining Table

Mapai Mid-Century Modern Dining Table

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Nottingham Modern Live Edge Bed

Nottingham Modern Live Edge Bed

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Grandby Mid-Century Modern Live Edge Coffee Table

Grandby Mid-Century Modern Live-Edge Coffee Table

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