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Style Primer: Mid-Century Modern

Clean lines. Natural wood. Bright colours blended with geometric shapes. These are some of the hallmarks of mid-century modern decor.

What is mid-century modern?

Coming out of the subdued years of World War 2, this design style celebrates innovations in architecture, furniture, mass production and technology. Think of Mad Men, classic Frank Sinatra or teak furniture from your grandparent's house. This furniture design also goes by the name "retro".

What does this style look like?

Mid-century design emphasizes a sleek look, minimalist design with man-made elements, a mix of straight lines and odd-shapes paired together, and boldly-coloured geometric patterns to make your room pop. Most importantly, form always wins out over function. The prevalent thought of the time was function will always follow form. Therefore designers would focus on the shape and look before worrying about the practical use of a furniture piece.

Below are some defining features of mid-century modern decor you can keep in mind as you shop.

Elevated Furniture

Look for products that rest on wooden legs, high above the floor. Usually the legs are light brown and go either straight up and down, or splay out to the sides slightly. This allows your room to appear more spacious and look more spacious.

Favourite Example: The Calla collection is a perfect showcase of the elevated furniture trend. Slightly angled for an interesting look, the thin wooden legs make this couch stand out in your living space.

Geometric Design

While simple geometric shapes are a hallmark of mid-century design, it doesn't mean they need to be boring. Intersecting shapes, bright colours and thick lines allow basic shapes to make your home retro-chic.

Favourite Example: Lay this Safi area rug in your living or dining room to give your space an alluring, colourful touch.

Let Timeless Pieces Shine

Certain decor items are well known for their association with mid-century modern decor. Sunburst mirrors, occasional tables featuring arched wood bases and teak furniture instantly send you into the heydays of the 50s' and 60s'.

Favourite Example: Reminiscent of the coffee table created by famous mid-century modern designer Isamu Noguchi, the Soyo coffee table makes a bold statement with its curved, wooden base and glass tabletop.

Bold Patterns

Even if they are in neutral tones, bold graphic prints add variety and spirit to every space in your home. Repetitive bubbles, intersecting rectangles and wavy lines come together to create visually stunning looks throughout the home.

Favourite Example: With ovals in red, grey and beige dotting the off-white fabric, this tub-style accent chair will complement any current furniture you own.

Create your own retro-chic space with The Brick's wide selection of mid-century modern inspired furniture pieces.