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Designer Mid-Century Modern Must-Haves - PDXoriginals Interview on the Redfin Blog

As someone deep in the housing search here in Portland, I'm a frequent Redfin user, so of course I jumped at the chance to have a blurb in their latest blog post. Follow the link, or read below.

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to search for home design inspo without coming across the simple and sleek aesthetic of mid-century modern styling. This typically refers to the popular furniture, architecture, and graphic design from mid 20th Century America. Over the years this style of design has been extremely popularized for its timeless, yet current appeal. That’s why we reached out to the experts from Toronto to Sacramento to help homeowners achieve the mid-century modern design they’ve always wanted. So sit back and enjoy these tips from the pros.

Plan it out

Mid-Century Modern Design is not a random collection of glamorous pieces but a well-thought system, where every element of the space plays its part. When introducing this style, we should choose less but better, always placing quality over quantity. The attention should be attracted by bold forms and objects displayed on the simple background of walls and floors. We focus on bespoke furniture, saturated earth colors, and craftsmanship and we’re brave enough to recycle and reuse second-hand quality furniture. – Wellcome Home

It’s great to see the Mid-Century Modern motif being embraced by a broad range of design-conscious consumers – most of whom weren’t even born until well after its peak in the 1960s. Epitomized by clean lines, functional design, natural materials and period colors like tangerine, lime, pineapple (and black and white), you can discover great finds by scouring vintage sources like flea markets or charity stores, and then take the time to restore them. – Collectic Home

Make it your own

Mid-Century Modern furniture is a chameleon, it can be spirited, vivacious, or even zany, there’s a look to be found for everyone. These pieces welcome any color or pattern combination and because of their simplicity, they can be dropped into any environment. You can let your imagination rule when playing with this furniture, they will let you have your way with them. Plus, MCM is eternally cool and will let you join them and be cool, too. – Apryl Miller Zeitgeist

Keep it simple

To help bolster the Mid-century “vibe”, think MINIMAL with your furniture choices. Furniture should have muted colors and focused on clean simple lines, to better complement the simple exterior of the home. – Piece of PDX

Mid-Century vibes are easy to capture when you take a minimalist approach to your decorating scheme. The furniture you introduce should be vintage (and some true antiques actually work as well. The key is to be very discerning and price-conscious, that’s why we recommend buyers and interior designers visit to compare past auction prices realized before buying a statement piece of Mid-Mod style. – WorthPoint

Don’t sacrifice form or function

One thing that we love about mid-century modern design at My Modern Home is the breadth of design aesthetics that this style supports while maintaining certain key elements such as simplicity of form and emphasis on function. From Bauhaus to bohemian, you can stay true to the core virtues of this design style while making it your own. We recommend that you showcase natural materials – splurge on beautiful stone and wood elements – let these be the stars of the show. Incorporate a wide range of textures – this adds to the warmth and character of a place. Use restraint when it comes to color – neutral colors work best with the aesthetic and natural materials, and will stand the test of time. – My Modern Home

Embrace thoughtful practicality

Mid-century modern architecture is all about thoughtful practicality. Homes embrace the surrounding landscape, even when designed with clean, abstract lines and angles. For example, large overhangs allow for expansive windows without increasing solar gain. Post-and-beam construction made spacious, open floor plans possible, making the most of views and natural light in every room.

What’s really exciting about mid-century modern architecture today is that recent studies and psychology experts are finding that that connection to nature is incredibly powerful when it comes to our wellbeing. We are more creative, generous, kind, and energized, not to mention all of the physiological benefits like lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. A thoughtfully designed and constructed home is literally good for you. – Apchin Design & Build

There’s no need to break the bank

If you’re looking to add a little mid-century flavor to your home, but don’t have the fortune to spend at West Elm fret not. Mid-century modern furniture is still easy to find in your local thrift store and with a little bit of labor, you can make it a truly unique piece. The spirit of the times was democratic and affordable construction methods so a refinished veneer wood record table is perfectly in line with the spirit of the times and it’s a sustainable approach to furnishing your home! Add a plant and a simple geometric print or wallpaper above as an accent and you’ll be the cool cat in your circle. – Om Design

What gives that little extra to create a mid-century modern interior without breaking the bank? Many people think that a stylish mid-century modern interior will cost you a lot but it is all about combining good quality basics and investing in a few pieces of timeless design, classic furniture, art and decoration. If you want to know what ideas we have for your house just click here! – Restyle Interior

Create open, airy space

Iconic Mid Century modern homes were designed with open floor plans and floor-to-ceiling glass windows to integrate the settings with the interiors. The furnishings are understated and minimal to create expansive open airy spaces. Many Midcentury architects designed the furnishings for the homes and built-in furniture was innovative for the time.

The simplicity of design exemplified by the furniture created by many architects was first marketed by Knoll and are reproduced today . Clean uncluttered simplicity is the central focus for Mid Century aesthetics. – Mid Century Modern Hudson Valley

Vintage pieces are a must

Mid-century furniture adds timeless, classic warmth to any space. Adding vintage pieces to your home will create depth and character to your interior that is rarely seen in new production, contemporary design. Each original piece tells a story and has lived its own unique life. Your vintage pieces tend to be the ones that start conversations amongst guests. – Mid Century Mobler

Aim for a feeling as opposed to an aesthetic

As I have immersed myself in the last five years in Scandinavian and a whole collection of mid-century pieces, obviously I have become infatuated with the patterns and with the look, and I don’t really necessarily think that it makes any sense for anybody — nor do I like it — to have all mid-century furniture, or carpets, or look in their house. The idea is to have the feel of mid-century, which is really kind of rather architectural, bold, very comfortable, with their own special language and colors. So you really make that kind of a non-pretentious, very comfortable look — and of course, it is very much inspired by Deco, but the whole collection of our Mid-Century Modern is a testament to what they look like. It’s a pleasure to live with them. – Rug & Kilim

Mid-Century Modern homes are characterized by lower ceilings, full-height glass walls and spaces that are more horizontal and linear. Furnishings and artwork that are low profile, simple and transparent are great compliments to this style of architecture. Natural materials like woods, concrete and steel can be used to create a warmer contemporary feel…or clean whites can transform the style into sleek modern. It’s a style with a lot of versatility. – Structure Home

Keep scale in mind

If you love mid-century modern design but it doesn’t seem right with your home’s style, don’t despair. Here’s how to incorporate mid-century design into any home. Choose a classic piece or two, like a Noguchi Table, a Barcelona Chair or a Saarinen Dining Table. As long as you keep the scale in mind, these simple pieces can blend with almost any room and will never go out of style. – A. Klein Interior Design

Find balance between inside and out

Mid-Century design is all about the indoor/outdoor connection, so be sure to integrate natural materials into your design plan – from woods like mahogany, teak, or walnut, to different types of stone such as terrazzo, travertine, or flagstone, for example. Bonus points for layering in live natural elements such as various exotic houseplants or creating built-in planters. – Mid Mod Dream Homes

Bring it to life with sustainably sourced materials

Mid-Century Modern has become ubiquitous in the interior design community because of the simplicity, functionality and variety of applications. No longer do you need a “Mid-Century” home to effectively integrate MCM furniture into your spaces, as the clean, simple lines are adaptable and play well with a variety of furniture and decor. From updating vintage pieces, or designing new tables with sustainably sourced woods, we’re often employing designs inspired by Mid-Century makers for a variety of client applications. – PDX Originals

We love mid-century pieces because they tend to be one of a kind, handcrafted, authentic and unique. Don’t be afraid to mix vintage with newer pieces. We sell mostly vintage rugs and home decor from Morocco. Many do not realize ethnic pieces from far away lands are also 100% mid-century modern too, so our best advice is to not limit your mid-century modern home design to certain more mainstream countries…search the entire globe! – Soukie Modern

Mid-century modern straddles the line between minimalism and maximalism, clean lines and minimal ornamentation is coupled with diversity in materials and an infusion of plants and nature. As with most trends, the key to this is finding a personal and contemporary version of it for your home. Exposed wood can be combined with slim steel frames to create pieces that have a mid-century vibe updated for a (typically smaller) modern home. Bespoke is our approach to creating pieces that look the part but also represent the homeowner. – Design Kraft

Be bold

Don’t be afraid to add a touch of mid-century modern style to your current home decor – it doesn’t need to be a total makeover! The great thing about mid-century modern decor is that it incorporates well with other styles. Try adding a bold, metal-frame mirror to lighten up rustic rooms that are wood-heavy in their design. When you’re looking for that perfect mid-century modern accent to freshen up your space, visit our website. – Modern Home Warehouse

Focus on curation

When choosing furniture, three simple words can help you add the mid-century vibe to your home: Curation over matching. Select unique pieces of furniture to build a cohesive – rather than overly-matched – look. By focusing on curating, design elements such as minimalism and geometric forms can be artfully incorporated in varied and interesting ways. – Michael Madley Design


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