Creating a midcentury modern design in your living room can be a fun and rewarding project. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you achieve that iconic retro look.

Understand Midcentury Modern Style

Familiarize yourself with the key characteristics of midcentury modern design, which emerged in the mid-20th century. This style is known for its clean lines, organic shapes, minimal ornamentation, and a focus on functionality.

Research iconic designers and architects from the midcentury period, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and George Nelson, to gain inspiration.

Mood board with midcentury modern colors, furniture, and rug.

Choose a Color Palette

Opt for a color palette that reflects the era's aesthetic. Midcentury modern interiors often feature warm, earthy tones like mustard yellow, olive green, burnt orange, and shades of brown.

Incorporate pops of vibrant colors such as turquoise, teal, or coral for added visual interest.

Mood board with midcentury lighting fixtures, fireplace, and rug.

Warm Things Up

Midcentury modern style is associated with warmth and natural elements. What better way to get the look in the living room than with a fireplace. Skip all the mess of a wood burning fireplace and go for an electric.

Stacked stone and brick fireplaces are especially popular for a midcentury modern style. Topped with a wood mantel, these ooze vintage vibes and become the centerpiece of the design. An electric fireplace insert is the perfect way to update the fireplace and keep the mid-century look.

Explore Insert Fireplaces


Select Furniture with Clean Lines

Invest in furniture pieces with sleek, simple lines and geometric shapes. Look for sofas, armchairs, and coffee tables with tapered legs, low profiles, and organic curves.

Consider iconic midcentury modern furniture designs like the Eames Lounge Chair, the Barcelona Chair, or the Noguchi Coffee Table to anchor your living room.

Midcentury modern mood board with wood furnishings and fireplace console.

Incorporate Natural Materials

Embrace the use of natural materials like wood, leather, and metal to add warmth and texture to your living room. Opt for furniture crafted from teak, walnut, or rosewood for an authentic midcentury modern feel.

Integrate leather upholstery or accents for a luxurious touch, and incorporate metal elements in light fixtures, coffee table legs, or decorative accessories. A metal or clean-lined wood mantel makes a nice addition to the living room fireplace.

Focus on Functionality

Midcentury modern design prioritizes functionality without sacrificing style. Choose furniture pieces that serve a purpose and offer practical storage solutions, such as credenzas, sideboards, and media consoles.

Select pieces with built-in features like drawers, shelves, or compartments to keep your living room organized and clutter-free. An electric fireplace TV console is an amazing multi-tasker that offers ideal warmth of midcentury design alongside some extra storage and a place for the TV to live.

Check Out Midcentury Styled Consoles


Accessorize Thoughtfully

Choose accessories that complement the midcentury modern aesthetic. Look for vintage or reproduction lighting fixtures with clean lines and iconic designs, such as Sputnik chandeliers or Arco floor lamps.

Display decorative objects like ceramic vases, abstract sculptures, and midcentury artwork to add visual interest to shelves, mantels, or side tables.

Embrace Retro Patterns and Textures

Introduce retro-inspired patterns and textures to enhance the midcentury modern vibe. Incorporate geometric prints, atomic motifs, and abstract designs in throw pillows, area rugs, and curtains.

Experiment with textures like shaggy rugs, textured upholstery fabrics, and natural fiber elements to add depth and visual appeal to your living room.

Mood board with midcentury modern items like fireplace, art, and furniture.

Create a Cozy Ambiance

Layer soft textiles such as wool throws, faux fur rugs, and velvet cushions to create a cozy atmosphere in your living room.

Add indoor plants to bring a touch of nature indoors and soften the angular lines of midcentury modern furniture.

You can create a stunning midcentury modern living room that pays homage to this iconic design era while feeling fresh and inviting. Take the plunge today.

Need more style tips?

Find Out How to Make the Fireplace the Focal Point in Your Design