Originating in the, you guessed it, middle of the

20th century from the 1930s-60s, mid-century modern design was created... match its environment: simple, nuclear families in uncomplicated, practical homes.

No frills, no fluff, just retro decor style to match all of the post-war energy.

And everyone had their own unique interpretation of it, too, of course, especially since its creators derived from all over the globe. Namesake coffee tables from Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi; Art, Swan, and Egg chairs from the Danish visionary Arne Jacobsen; and, of course, anything made by American couple Charles and Ray Eames: iconic pieces of furniture made from molded plywood, fiberglass, and stainless steel.

Characterized by its simplicity and functionality, the mid-century modern design style is still displayed everywhere today, from movies (like “The Graduate”) and television (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) to home decor magazines and restaurant concepts. (Think warm hues, minimalistic details, wood paneling — but like chic wood paneling, not the kind that rivals the interior of a HGTV fixer upper before it’s remodeled — and bubblegum pops of color.) It’s functional and uncluttered, flawlessly including both artificial as well as natural material in its composition, like plastic, vinyl, glass, and marble.

However, since it’s classic and understated — consisting of sleek, clean lines and created with nominal fuss — it needs to be handled with care and consideration. Arranged just right — embracing its organic, geometric shapes, allowing “form to follow function,” and implementing the perfect lighting (more on that in a minute) — you’ll have yourself a statement room, one to be envied by all who are lucky enough to enter. 

In order to mimic your mid-century modern style to be more evocative of “Mad Men” and less “The Brady Bunch,” here are four tips to keep in mind:

1. Bring the outside in.

Because so many mid-century modern pieces are made of wood and raw, unrefined material, they absolutely thrive when they’re further integrated with elements of nature. So, whether that’s setting them under lush plants and greenery or by large, luminous windows, find a place — and a way — to highlight their pure beauty.

2. Don’t break the bank.

Mid-century modern staples typically aren’t cheap, costing hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars per item. Fortunately, you don’t need to get a second mortgage out on your house to style your space (nor should you). By mixing a bit of high-end, heritage items with low-end, mass-produced ones in your home, you’ll simultaneously save some dough and cultivate a nice blend of various period-pieces. 

3. Incorporate a bar.

 And the bar doesn’t have to be made of mid-century modern material, either (though one made of teak wood or vinyl would be a nice touch). Adding a bar to your space not only pays homage to the ‘50s when classic cocktails and lowball glasses reigned supreme, but it also serves tribute to the iconic 20th century style in another way, too. Because while built-in bars and bar carts add elegance to any space, they’re functional items, first and foremost. Every piece had its purpose back then, which is probably why so many of them still exist today.

4. Utilize statement lighting.

Though natural lighting is the best way to spotlight mid-century modern pieces, designer lighting is a fantastic alternative, especially in small, windowless spaces. Specifically, we recommend three of our floor lamps: Eden, Emma, and Swoop:

  • Eden, an LED tripod floor lamp, will flourish in your home beautifully, thanks to its rich, ligneous legs and calming, achromatic lamp shade. Its simple – yet stunning – sturdy design and ambient lighting make it the perfect lamp for your slice of mid-century modern paradise.
  • Like you, tripod floor lamp Emma lights up every room it enters, with its walnut brown base, cream shade, and long legs. What’s more, it cares about the environment, too, thanks to its energy-efficient LED bulb. Alexa (Emma’s smart home-compatible, too!), can you play ‘match made in heaven’?
  • Due to its unique asymmetrical design and sleek black and gold finish, floor lamp Swoop is quite the conversation piece. Plus, paired with its environmentally-friendly LED bulb and pivoting head, it’ll also bring sophistication to any mid-century modern space.

Fortunately, mid-century modern design didn’t stay in the 20th century. Its timeless sophistication has continued to dazzle designers throughout the decades, ensuring it, much like diamond stud earrings and little black dresses, will never truly go out of style.

Eden Floor Lamp
Regular price $109
Regular price RETAIL $160
Emma Floor Lamp
Regular price $129
Regular price RETAIL $190
Swoop Floor Lamp
Regular price $119
Regular price RETAIL $185
Olivia Floor Lamp
Regular price $199
Regular price RETAIL $290


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