How To Make Yours A Mid Century Modern Home

How to make yours a mid century home is a process of deciding your own personal style and integrating the popular designs and furniture designers of the mid century period into your home decoration. "Mid century" is a term used to describe design and architecture from after World War II through the mid-1960s, but fans of this type of style debate the exact dates included in the genre. You don't necessarily need a home constructed during the mid century period to decorate in the style, but it helps keep the decor uniform. If you don't have the house or apartment from the period, it's still possible to decorate in the style in one room or an entire house.

You will need:

  • graph paper
  • measuring tape or laser measuring device
  • research materials
  • camera
  1. Measure your home or rooms for decoration. Making your house a mid century modern home involves designing an open and modern floor plan. Bringing the outdoors in and adding lighting in key locations is also an important part of the design. Look at your furnishings and decoration and determine if it indeed is minimal. Lots of large furniture pieces, counters and bookcases filled with collectibles are fine for some decorating styles, but they're not mid century. If you're loaded with "things," de-accession some stuff. Sell it, store the things, or loan out some of your furnishings. 
  2. Research mid century styling. The term "mid century" involves hundreds of major designers and styles. Check out some books and online sites with images for inspiration. Print copies of furniture and accessories that attract your attention. 
  3. Define your personal style. Transfer your floor plan to the graph paper and pencil in some furniture. Allow plenty of space around each piece of furniture and make sure the flow of traffic is open and free. Look at your collected images and determine what fits your personal style while still matching mid century guidelines. Take photos of images of furniture in friend's and relative's houses that match your style. 
  4. Get to shopping. Figure out a budget and get down to shopping. Be sure to bring your photos and photocopies. Look for the items you selected from your research but also keep an eye out for choice pieces that may just turn up in your travels. Rather than buying a bunch of uncoordinated pieces, remember your color palette and the overall design for each room. Mix and match items until you get it right to match your tastes. If rooms open onto each other, think in terms of an overall theme and color design that blends well for all areas. Ask vendors to hold items until you have a coordinated design. This may mean putting down a small deposit, sometimes not refundable. A deposit is better than ending up with a house full of odds and ends until you coordinate everything. 
  5. Modify design layout. Use your layout as a guide. As you discover mid century pieces, pencil the measurements into your design and modify your early design concept. Choice mid century pieces will drive the overall design. Work with the treasures and supplement the designs with accessories and window coverings. 
  6. Upgrade and trade. Think of your mid century home as a work in progress. As you find new pieces, rotate furnishings and accessories to feature the new pieces. 
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