10 Small Ways to Bring Midcentury Modern Style to Your Home
Bring retro-inspired decor into your home...in moderation, of course.
Even if you don't have a midcentury modern-style home, you can still do quite a bit to bring that retro '50s and '60s vibe to your space. And you don't necessarily need to make everything MCM in order to take advantage of the fun design vibes.
Check out some of our favorite ideas for bringing a bit of the MCM design style into your home without going totally overboard. Feel free to mix and match to create your ultimate MCM space.
Sputnik Lighting Pendant
Switching out some of your light fixtures is another easy way to immediately bring the midcentury modern vibe into your home. This chrome fixture is named after the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite which launched in 1957.
A great place to start MCM-ifying your home is with your cabinet and door hardware. This funky star backplate mimics the atomic age look you'd often find in kitchens between the '40s and '60s. If you don't want to go all in on your kitchen, consider using these in a smaller space like the bathroom. You can also choose from different metal finishes to coordinate with the other items in your home.
Midcentury Modern Shelving
Here's a great MCM-inspired shelf that would be perfect for someone in a smaller space who doesn't have a lot of room to spare. The shelf can be mounted on your wall, and it even includes a cabinet to keep clutter at bay.
SMEG Mini Refrigerator
These colorful SMEG refrigerators scream retro. Another great choice for a smaller space, this mini version will take up much less room than a standard-sized refrigerator. Despite its retro look, this refrigerator is brand new, energy efficient and available in four fun hues.
Retro Wall Decal
Here's a great alternative to wallpaper — a retro, midcentury modern-inspired wall decal. Available in 20 different colors, this decal comes in strips, so it's easy to install. It would work great in a smaller space such as a kid's nursery or a master closet.
Elevated Cat Bed
This funky cat perch has a great '50s retro vibe to it. And while your cat is sure to love it, it can even double as a side table if you happen to be short on space.
Adding a few throw pillows is another easy way to immediately bring some MCM style into your space. This triangle-patterned pillow has a retro feeling to it and can be combined with other MCM throw pillows for a more understated look.
Surya Hudson Park Rug
This bright-orange rug features an MCM-inspired geometric pattern. It's available in a variety of sizes, as well as other colors that fit right into that vintage '50s palette. This would pair well with a simple, solid sofa or a platform bed in a guest bedroom.
Finn Midcentury Modern Bench
This small bench features typical midcentury modern tapered legs with two drawers and a cushioned area for seating that's perfect for a stylish entryway.
Pink Mini Print
Adding a few select prints to your home is another great way to bring more of an MCM feel to your space. This pretty, pink print is a great option for a light splash of color. And if you like this print, Society6 allows you to choose from shower curtains, throw pillows, duvet covers, wall clocks and many other pieces of home decor. So no matter what you need for your space, you can pick out the perfect item.
If you're looking to add some actual midcentury modern accessories to your home, some of our favorite spots for finding vintage pieces online are Chairish, EBTH (Everything But The House) and 1st Dibs.
Clean Lines, Natural Hues
Midcentury furniture pieces are characterized by their clean, simple lines. Wood pieces, often made of teak, are simply finished to showcase their natural beauty. Here, designer Beth Haley paired this traditional midcentury table with clean-lined contemporary chairs and bold teal walls.
Let Wood Details Take Center Stage
Don't hide wood details; let them shine. In this living room, a neutral wall color and soft-hued fabrics lets the handcrafted arms of these Danish modern chairs be the star. Design by Domicile Interior Design
Less Is More
Subtlety and thoughtful craftsmanship are much of what makes midcentury style timeless. When Eero Saarinen designed his modern classic, marble-topped table in 1956, he wanted to eliminate any extra parts, including extraneous table legs. Paired with molded plastic Eames chairs, the simple lines of the table still look fresh and modern in this slate gray contemporary kitchen. Design by Joel Snayd
Let There Be Light
Midcentury table lamps lend themselves well to any space featuring low-slung furniture, and they're easy to find at vintage stores. Look for curvy bases in bold hues, paired with tall, slim lampshades, like this Murano glass lamp designer Kenneth Brown used atop a vintage Knoll nightstand. Photo by Mayer Bowden Photography
An Affordable Focal Point
Flea markets are another great source for retro lighting. A brass helix-style chandelier purchased for $200 is the focal point in this midcentury-menswear mashup. Black, silver and gold pinstripe wallpaper covers the walls and lets the entryway's bargain chandelier stand out. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn
Find Retro Art
Add an unexpected element to your home with a vintage art piece. Look for graphic wall hangings using squares or circles, like this red, orange and brown piece. Or, find a vintage-inspired print on sites like Etsy.com.
Pick a Traditional Color Scheme
Embrace the era of mustard, avocado and tangerine with a '60s-inspired color scheme. This living room from designer David Scott nods to the classic hues without seeming like a movie set.
Keep the Walls White
Midcentury style is all about showcasing quality pieces, so try keeping your walls white. This room's neutral palette allows the artwork and the rich blue velvet on the vintage Robsjohn Gibbings chair to stand out. Design by David Scott
Embrace Pattern and Texture
Graphic patterns and midcentury modern style go together like milk and cookies. In this vintage-inspired room, a neutral palette allows designer Sarah Richardson to play with pattern and texture, from the angular gray-and-white upholstery to the textured wallpaper and throw pillows.
Try a Bar Cart
If you've ever watched an episode of Mad Men, you know cocktail culture was almost as important to the show (and the era) as Don Draper's hair gel. Embrace it by picking up your own bar cart and stocking it with vintage glassware, cocktail shakers and ornate decanters. Design by Emily Henderson
Go Totally Retro
Take the midcentury look a little further by creating a space entirely furnished with '60s-inspired pieces. A George Nelson bubble lamp floats atop the vintage table and chairs, and retro vases, sunbursts and abstract wall art adorn the mustard-hued walls. Design by Alicia Friedmann
Mix Traditional and Modern
Midcentury style isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. This bachelor pad combines the clean lines of the tufted midcentury sofa and table lamps with more traditional elements, like the bronze-and-glass coffee table. Photo by Brian Patrick Flynn
Feature One Standout Piece
Even if you're more contemporary than retro, a single midcentury piece can warm up your space. In this red and white living room, an iconic wood-and-glass Noguchi table is an unexpected focal point. Design by Marie Burgos
Cozy Up With Midcentury Style
Midcentury furnishings in a nursery? Believe it. Designer Sarah Richardson used this orange chair, inspired by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen's iconic egg chair, as cozy seating in a nursery on Sarah 101. Find an iconic piece for your nursery to give it high style and a shelf life long past toddlerhood.
Restyle Classic Pieces
Don't be afraid to update midcentury pieces to suit your style. In this Los Angeles home, a classic Eames chair is reupholstered with an African fabric to add a bold pattern to the space. Design by Commune Design
Try Modern Industrial
The clean lines of midcentury modern furnishings are the perfect juxtaposition to rough-hewn industrial spaces, which makes this mix of styles ideal for urban loft living. Image courtesy of CB2
Shop New Midcentury-Inspired Pieces
As midcentury style grows more popular, many retailers are stocking new pieces that evoke the feel of midcentury greats. These chairs from CB2 are inspired by classic Bertoia Knoll wire chairs, but offer a slightly more streamlined silhouette and an on-trend, emerald-green hue. Image courtesy of CB2
Preppy style and midcentury modern pieces can be a design match made in heaven. Here, designer Tobi Fairley used an iconic midcentury accessory, the sunburst mirror, to create a quintessentially preppy look with houndstooth pillows, a classic color scheme and lots of symmetry. Photo courtesy of Tobi Fairley Interior Design
Modern Eclectic Style
A vintage Mies chair is right at home in this reading nook. The geometric leather pillow from South America adds dimension to the space. Design by Luis Caicedo