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Midcentury Modern Designs That Aren’t Afraid of Color

If you think midcentury modern design is characterized by minimalism and copious shades of brown, it’s time to reevaluate. These colorful spaces are proving that happy hues and mid-mod style are a design match made in heaven.

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Photo: Adam Albright. From: HGTV Magazine.

What Is Midcentury Modern Design?

Popularized in the mid-20th century and characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes and functional materials, this post-World War II design style is often misrepresented as overly practical and simplistic, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While you won’t find exceedingly ornate pieces in a midcentury-inspired home, bright color and purposeful details prove MCM is a versatile style that only gets better with age.

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Photo: Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson® by Wyndham

Creating Warmth With Color

A subset of the modern designs of the early 1900s, midcentury modern style tends to differentiate itself with a less utilitarian and more homey and personalized aesthetic. One easy way to achieve this? Color! To further stray from the industrial vibe associated with modern style, midmod design often leans into bright hues, such as the vibrant orange seen in this Howard Johnson® by Wyndham guest room.

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Blending Design Styles

If you're looking to add color to your own midmod designs, there are several simple ways to achieve the look. Love bright paint but not quite ready to commit to one design style or four walls of color? Look up! This eye-catching ceiling is paired with crisp, white walls for a striking juxtaposition. An eye-catching globed pendant light mixes a midcentury look with a bold contemporary pattern to add interest without distracting from the art above.

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Photo: Photo courtesy of Howard Johnson® by Wyndham

Anchoring a Space With An Accent Wall

Another fun way to incorporate color without fully committing is a classic accent wall. Here, a turquoise wall behind the beds offers just the right amount of color without overwhelming the space.

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