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10 simple ideas for decorating an apartment in a mid-century modern style

We talk about the main features of mid-century modern, a style that emerged in the post-war period of the 1940s and is again gaining popularity, and give tips on how to create a stylish interior in the spirit of the mid-last century. 

1. Give preference to an open layout

Designers of the mid-20th century were inspired by Scandinavian and Brazilian interiors, which have a lot of air and a minimum of partitions. If you have the opportunity to create an open layout in your apartment, do not miss it. Or choose lightweight partitions, such as wooden slats or sliding doors with glass inserts. 

2. Strive for minimalism

Minimalism is another reference point for designers of the mid-20th century. The desire for minimalism is also due to historical events. In the post-war period there was no time for surpluses, so the mid-century modern style was created according to the principle: less is better, but better quality. 

3. Choose natural materials for decoration

Various types of wood, bent plywood, and paper wallpaper – there is no place for artificial materials in mid-century interiors. Plain paint or plain wallpaper is sufficient on the walls, and parquet or wooden plank covering is sufficient on the floor. Use varnish and plywood for the finishing coat, because mid-century is, first of all, democratic. And forget about concrete, brick walls, and any classic accents – they are taboo in this style. 

4. Give preference to light shades as base shades 

The main range of mid-century modern is warm shades: beige, brown, ocher. Choose these colors as the “base” of your interior. The big advantage of a neutral finish is that you can safely add colored accents – they will definitely take root there.

5. Add color accents

Forget about very bright, “acid” colors. For a mid-century style apartment, it is important to choose basic color accents – burgundy, plum, olive, and carrot. 

6. Don’t be afraid to make accents with prints 

Geometric prints are what you need for this style. You can add small accents, like choosing a throw pillow with a patterned pillowcase or adding a geometric-patterned rug. Or go further and make an accent wall from wallpaper with this print.

7. Choose geometric furniture shapes

Geometry can also be seen in the shapes of furniture of this style. Straight or corner sofas on thin legs with a straight back, chests of drawers on thin legs, round armchairs and tables. By the way, one of the iconic types of furniture of this era is the Eames Lounge Chair from Charles and Ray Eames. Today, its analogs and copies can be seen in almost every interior of modern style, and minimalism, as well as in the design of cafes or co-working spaces. 

8. Restore old furniture

If you have woodworking skills and a desire to own furniture that truly “came” from a bygone era, start restoring old things. For example, chests of drawers “from the 40s” on thin legs are exactly that mid-century spirit and style. The same goes for chairs with wooden frames and fabric seats. Contact your parents or look for such items at flea markets.

9. Add unusual lamps 

The mid-century modern style was greatly influenced by the philosophy of aerodynamics, and to a greater extent, this influence was manifested in the style and shape of lamps. Streamlined, stylish, but laconic forms of brass lampshades or chrome-plated chandeliers with one round or semicircular lampshade, floor lamps – perhaps, in the style of the middle of the last century, it was the lamps that were the main art object. 

10. Choose light and expressive decor

Today, vintage details play a big role in interiors of this style – so look for similar things from the past and introduce them. You can also use textiles and minimalist paintings with abstract patterns as light decor (you will still have to abandon popular posters – they will simplify and visually reduce the cost of this style). 

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