As much as we love keeping up with the hottest interior design trends, a lot of our favorite homes these days owe their inspiration to the Mid-Century Modern movement! In the ever-evolving world of captivating decor, this style has stood the test of time, and managed to merge with some of our other favorite decorating details along the way!
Bring desert modern style to life in this beautiful kitchen combining minimalist design, brushed metal details, and a patterned tile backsplash with Sand Valley And Thassos Octagon Marble Mosaic Tile that embodies the Mid-Century design aesthetic!
There’s a lot more to this interior trend than finding the perfect Eames chair or snapping up an iconic Eichler home - and there are so many ways to bridge the decades and give this retro 60’s style a modern update to create your own unique look!
The century in question may now be over, but that doesn’t mean this trend has gone the way of the 1900’s! On the contrary, the Mid-Century Modern design aesthetic is back on the rise, and we’re seeing it blend with some of the latest interior design trends, creating lovely hybrid niches that have a little something for everyone when it comes to home decor!
Check out some of our favorite ways to incorporate traditional Mid-Century details into any home style!
What Defines Mid-Century Modern Interior Style?
“The birth of mid-century modern was after the war,” says Sian Winship, president of the Southern California Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. “The houses had open floor plans and giant sliding-glass doors, which encouraged people to go outside and be healthy. In a traditional home, the window height is 4 to 5 feet, and you can’t see out as a child. With these walls of glass, children became engaged and open-minded because the environment stimulated the senses in a different way.”
- HGTV ‘What is Midcentury Modern Architecture, Really?’
With roots in the Bauhaus design movement in Germany, traditional Mid-Century Modern style focused on simple lines, uncluttered layouts, and retro-futuristic details. Repeating patterns are used in most 1960’s interiors as a focal accent to draw the eye, using geometric and organic shapes that allow for playful design elements.
Larger windows, more open floor plans, and a focus on indoor-outdoor living areas also defined this era - creating a sense of flow and movement throughout living spaces. Architecture and furniture designs were prized for their functionality, placing an emphasis on long-wearing options, natural materials, and unfussy decor for a streamlined look.
This indoor-outdoor living space embodies the Mid-Century movement with clean linens and large glass walls bringing the outside in - having a transitional flooring material like these steel-look porcelain floor tiles helps to bridge the interior and exterior and create a space that feels as open as possible!
Geometric Patterns add Retro-Futurist Style
When it comes to incorporating prints and patterns into a Mid-Century home, there’s really no limit to be found! Cubism had its heyday around the same time that this architecture and decorating style took off, meaning that angular geometric forms fit nicely in with the design scheme!
Our Hudson Cube Wooden Beige Marble Mosaic Tile uses diamond shaped Thassos White, Wooden Grey, and Athens Grey to create the impression of a 3D design that nearly leaps off the wall! The combination of repeating geometric design and wood-grain marble tiles blend in nicely with the elements of a Mid-Century kitchen as a statement backsplash, or would give an open plan living room the perfect touch as a decorative tile for a fireplace surround!
Our Geo Square Wooden Beige Marble Mosaic Tile has a similar effect but the tone-on-tone earthy colors of the wood grain tiles in beautiful marble can act as a focal point to minimalist room design, or complement bolder elements. Pairing it with mustard yellow and retro Southwestern motifs like this perfectly styled coffee bar is a surefire way to bring to life the design elements of the 60’s with a colorful modern sensibility.
The recurring ovals in this Teardrops Wooden Beige & Athens Grey Marble Mosaic Tile Waterjet tile create a playful pattern that speaks to the retro look of the 60’s! It makes for a stunning - and water-resistant - wall covering in this fun mudroom that provides a stylish welcome home and leads straight into the rest of the California modern interior!
Combining Mid-Century with Modern Design Trends -
Combining every single one of these details into one space can look as though the 60’s came to life in your home! Some people embrace the retro look wholeheartedly, and some choose to blend it with design trends that came before or after to create a personal interior that cherry-picks elements from some of their favorite home trends. Check out some of our favorite hybrid home ideas!
The industrial farmhouse style has become a major contender lately, blending warehouse designs with the craze for white country farmhouse interiors. This style blends the traditional elements of a farmhouse home - white on white, shiplap walls, high ceilings with exposed wood beams - with elements of industrial design like concrete floors and iron fixtures. Adding in Danish-inspired natural wood furniture and round globe chandeliers can give this style the perfect Mid-Century influence, like this stunning dining room designed by Treasure in the Detail!
Flip those colors but keep the white, neutral, and black color scheme and emphasis on iron accents and you have this equally rustic industrial dining room by Hartman Haus!
Eichler homes, the designer behind the ‘California modern’ movement of modernist design, have been increasingly blended with bohemian interiors to create a cozy hybrid! Dubbed ‘Jungalow’ style, this design trend is taking over Instagram with rooms that almost resemble greenhouses! The floor-to-ceiling windows made popular by the Eichler style create ideal conditions for the dozens of potted plants that define jungalow homes, bringing in vibrant greens, terra cotta pots, macramé and iron hanging plant holders, and colorful textiles to create a welcoming space that combines rigid modernist structures with organic and growing elements in on!
Add a pop of color! RetroJo5 embodies the Palm Springs roots of Mid-Century interiors with graphic patterns, color blocked wall art, and retro Finn Ostergaard chairs that were a lucky find!
Looking for more takes on the Mid-Century trend? Check out how some of our favorite interior designers have interpreted this retro modern design for current trends -
Differentiate an open floor plan by changing up your flooring styles! This keeps the space feeling open while naturally creating transitions between ‘rooms’. Use a wood grain floor tile in your living room and a patterned mosaic floor tile in your kitchen creates a clear delineation of each room without the use of walls. This allows you to design around an open floor plan while creating beautifully defined spaces throughout the home. We love how E&S Builders and The Lifestyled Co in Arizona created an open-plan living and kitchen area with unique flooring in each space. The natural wood furniture and modern iron globe chandeliers add to the mic-century aesthetic of the living areas.
Studio McGee layered warm neutral colors in shades of gray to create this retro bohemian living room! The linen and wood armchair is a perfect example of modern Mid-Century furniture, while the vintage rug and built ins are artfully chosen to add detail to the floor and walls.
Blond wood for a floating vanity, minimalist porcelain sink and chrome fixtures, and cubist art together in one space? This stunning bathroom screams modern Mid-Century design with the added dimension of Neutral Blanco Soho Porcelain Wall tiles to create a textural tile backsplash and add the coolest detail!
Are you chasing down the perfect retro finds to accent your geometric patterned wall, or are you blending in other design elements to create your own unique take on this evolving trend? We’d love to hear how you’re capturing Bauhaus style in your own home in the comments!