How to get the mid-century modern look in your home

Make everything old new again and give your home a style makeover with this retro trend.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Originally an interior style in the mid-1940s to 1970, the mid-century modern trend is now all about nostalgia. Thanks in part to popular TV shows set in the era, such as Mad Men, the design is once again all the rage and taking modern-day homes back in time. With classic concepts and shapes, it's easy to see the appeal of the style.

In an increasingly mass-produced, urban world, giving your decor a mid-century modern twist will help make your home feel unique. Committing to a total home makeover can be a little overwhelming though, so here are some simple ways that you can achieve the mid-century modern feel in any room.

Image: Pinterest

1. Add metal elements

Non-traditional materials, such as metals, are often used to create the mid-century modern look. Giving a rustic feel, metal accents can be used both on their own and with other materials.

Try adding it in simple ways, such as by replacing your taps or door handles with gold metal ones. For a real throwback look, shop furniture pieces that use metal juxtaposed with other material elements.

Image: Pinterest

2. Bring back wood

Proper wooden furniture is something that less and less people seem to opt for in recent years. Because of this, the majority of furniture is now made with engineered pressed wood. Bring back the feel of decades gone by investing in some high-quality furnishings in materials like walnut, oak and rosewood.

If hunting down real wooden items proves to be too difficult (or too costly), there are now plenty of replica furniture items available. Many retailers take the designs of older wooden furniture and recreate them at a much lower cost. This means you can still get the wood-style look, but at a much lower price point.

Image: Pinterest

3. Make a statement with your lighting

Investing in some bold lighting is another simple way to give your home a mid-century modern look. From blown glass bubble lights to geometric chrome designs, the lighting fixtures for this style are works of art.

Whether you invest in an elaborate chandelier for your dining room or opt for a brassy overarching floor lamp in your living room, eye-catching lighting is a must-have accessory to take your home back a few eras.

Image: Pinterest

4. Go thrift shopping

The easiest way to add a true mid-century modern feel to your decor is to shop pieces that are actually from the time. Rather than shopping for reproductions of original pieces, visit vintage and thrift shops to score authentic designs.

You should be able to pick up coffee tables, accent chairs or decorative lamps in traditional mid-century modern materials. The best part? You might just score a bargain by shopping too.

5. Accessorise with mirrors

Mirrors are always a great addition to any decor, regardless of the design. They invite light and create the illusion of a larger space, while also adding artistic design to your walls.

For a real mid-century feel, keep an eye out for "sunburst" style mirrors. The retro design is both eye-catching and absolutely iconic of the era.

Image: Pinterest

6. Stick to sleek designs

The mid-modern century design is all about creating simple, clean lines. "Sleek" should be the word to keep in mind when selecting furniture pieces for this style. For instance, look for a dining room table with slender legs and without detailing, and opt for simple, matching chairs.

By picking a few key pieces of furniture and keeping everything else sleek and clean, it will allow those items to take centre stage and give off that mid-century vibe. Best of all, you won't have to completely re-do your decor to achieve the look.

Image: Instagram user

7. Invest in bold artwork

Bold graphic art is the perfect way to add a mid-modern century touch to any room. Choose art displaying a single subject or opt for a piece that is represented in a whimsical way.

Not only is this one of the most simple ways to update your decor, but it will also provide a talking point the next time you have guests over.

Image: Pinterest

8. Add a bar cart

Bar carts are a unique way of bringing a 50s vibe to your room. Stock it up with vintage glasses, hard liquor and a cocktail shaker for a true nostalgic aesthetic.

Did we mention they can also be wheeled from room to room? Not only are they a big hit at parties, they're also the perfect addition to any mid-century modern inspired home.

Best retailers to shop mid-century modern furniture designs

Top mid-century modern furniture picks

Vincent Dining Table with Bench and 2 Chairs
Vincent Dining Table with Bench and 2 Chairs


Main image: Pinterest

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site