6 Mid-Century Decorating Must-Haves

For several years now, many homeowners have decided to decorate their homes in a mid-century style. Simple, clean, and sophisticated lines, along with bold color choices, define mid-century. Millennials especially love the mid-century design trend, but many people need help figuring out where to start when it comes to decorating this way. Whether you’re looking to add to your existing mid-century aesthetic or starting from scratch, keep reading for the most important mid-century decorating must-haves.

Eames Lounge Chair 

The iconic black leather and brown wood lounge chair designed by famed architects Charles and Ray Eames is coveted by everyone. While you may not have the budget for the original Eames chair, many dupes are available online or through some furniture stores. This classic lounge chair looks phenomenal in an MCM (mid-century modern) home or a more traditional home; it should be one of the first furniture pieces you seek when decorating in this aesthetic. 

Mid-Century Modern Rug 

The MCM decorating style is defined by its bold color choices in reds, oranges, yellows, and muted greens. Adding the texture and beauty of a mid-century modern rug is a way to pull this trend into the space as well as pull a room together. When shopping for a rug, it’s important to consider the size of your space; nothing can ruin a room’s appearance like a rug that is too small for the space. Mid-century modern rugs are a tough find in stores if you get lucky in an antique or vintage shop, but thankfully, there are many options available online to source this critical piece. 

Statement Lighting 

From arching floor lamps with multiple bulbs to starburst chandeliers, the lighting choices you make in your MCM space is essential. You wouldn’t add an antique federal-style lamp to a modern home, so keep your lighting choices on the scheme when decorating mid-century too. While these pieces are an investment, they completely tie the room together, not to mention how impactful the right lighting is in setting the tone or our mood. 

Glass Everywhere 

If you’re fortunate enough to build a new home or renovate your existing one to have a more mid-century feel, remember that glass was everywhere during this era of architecture. Entire walls or room dividers are made of glass. Open floor plans were huge during mid-century designs, but the trend of openness continues to the windows and exterior walls of your home. While this is less of a decor element, it can set the tone for guests visiting your home if you can afford to invest in the exterior of your home to reflect your love of mid-century design. 

Geometric Elements 

One defining characteristic of MCM decor is geometric elements. You should incorporate these geometric elements everywhere, from the textiles you choose to the wallpaper and your dishware. Of course, accent pieces you’ll display on shelves and coffee tables should also incorporate this trend. Speaking of coffee tables, another addition to your MCM decor should be a coffee table book from the mid-century.

Tulip Tables 

There are several iconic furniture pieces when it comes to MCM style, as the Eames chair referenced earlier. The tulip table is a fun update to a kitchen nook or even your dining room. Known for its wide base that tapers and then blooms again underneath a glass table top, the tulip table is the epitome of an MCM kitchen dining table. Tulip tables were traditionally white with glass tops which works well with a cleaner and more modern take on MCM design if that’s the route you’re taking. These are easy to keep clean, too, as they’re made of glass and plastic. You can invest significantly in an original or source a remake online for a fraction of the cost. 

Decorating in a mid-century style takes a significant commitment and sometimes financial investment to maintain consistency throughout your space. While it’s your choice whether to do the entire home in this aesthetic or just a room or two, it’s hard to blend with other traditional decor styles. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s worth working with an interior designer to help guide you and source the key pieces you want or need. Enjoy this classic and timeless style in your home by utilizing the above must-haves.