Since its emergence, the mid-century modern (MCM) design aesthetic has continued to dominate the home furnishings market and the style tends to cycle in and out of trend every few decades. You’ve seen its signature features everywhere––those curved silhouettes, tapered legs, durable wooden materials, and geometric lines– from small Etsy shops to big chains like West Elm and Crate and Barrel.
As the name suggests, the Mid-Century Modern movement originated in the 1940s in response to the changing needs post-WWII. The availability of new materials and mass-production technologies made high-caliber design more accessible and budget-friendly for the middle class. As a result, design trends shifted to echo the priorities of the time, favoring functionality and simplicity over the ornate design styles of the past.
Love the quirky simplicity of the MCM rooms you see on Pinterest but feeling lost about turning that inspiration into reality? No worries–we’re here to help.
Kick back, relax, and join us as we delve into the HD vault. We’ll showcase our fave mid-century modern interior design projects and guide you on mastering this ever-relevant style.
In 2019, CEO Christina Henck took on not one, but two projects that put a masculine flair on MCM-inspired interiors. The resulting spaces share a synergy of styles and colors that perfectly capture the vibrant mid-century vibe.
Our first MCM spotlight is the dining room Henck curated in collaboration with HGTV’s Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott. Henck was hand-selected by the Brothers as an industry expert to design shoppable rooms for their former e-commerce platform, Casaza.
For this dining room, she chose to put a down-to-earth twist on the classic mid-century modern style to appeal to the Brothers’ global fanbase.
In this dining room, Henck incorporates an unexpected fusion of diverse materials–like wood, steel, and faux-leather–with earthy-toned accents. The outcome? A room that has visual interest without compromising on function, staying in sync with the principles of mid-century modern design.
Throughout the room, you’ll find natural wood elements, like the dining table, credenza sideboard, and bar cart. Wood is a cornerstone of MCM style due to its durability and minimalist appeal. The different hues of deep walnut and weathered teak add depth to the room, and also create a sense of cohesion to balance the more eccentric features, like the patterned rug and abstract artwork.
The intentionally mismatched seating choices create character-building tension around the simple wooden dining table. The standout olive green curved back dining chairs at the center boast rounded silhouettes and slender tapered legs, a contrast that is visually captivating without being overly elaborate or taking up too much space.
Moving to the head of the table, the white faux-leather seats give the illusion of floating atop their L-shaped tubular steel bases. Known as cantilever chairs, this style is an emblem of mid-century modern innovation that represents the movement’s departure from classic forms in favor of more functional, open designs.
Supported by a single steel structure rather than the conventional 4 legs, the chair’s sophisticated design supports an airy atmosphere by freeing up floor space.
The white cushions tie in with the white geometric lines on the artwork above the credenza, providing a sense of symmetry and continuity.
While working with the Scott Brothers, Henck took on another MCM-inspired redesign for a male client in Philly’s Graduate Hospital Neighborhood. With a cool neutral color palette of green/gray and moody blue hues, the color story of this dining room speaks to that of the previous design.
The nucleus of this space is the sturdy wooden dining table with minimalist seating surrounding it. The gray-cushioned seats are lifted off the ground by tapered wooden legs that maximize floor space and give room for the abstract patterned rug to shine.
A dramatic brushed silver light fixture is the star of the show. Its glass bulbs protrude asymmetrically off the silver base, a striking material contrast against the walnut dining table illuminated below. This fusion of natural and manmade materials is typical of mid-century modern interior design, and HD really captured that in this space.
Nature finds her place at this aesthetic feast, with large indoor plants giving the space life and adding an additional supporting shade of green to the townhouse’s color palette. To top everything off, two flanking mirrors provide symmetrical balance and reflect light from the windows across the room.
Few furniture pieces possess the ability to seamlessly blend luxury, comfort, and history quite like the Eames Lounge Chair. This iconic chair was designed by husband and wife duo, Charles and Ray Eames, and has been in continuous production by Herman Miller since 1954.
HD’s MCM-themed townhouse redesign is complete with a black leather Eames Lounge Chair in the living room. Sitting atop a blue and green Persian-inspired rug and surrounded by lush greenery, this set-up encapsulates an era defined by innovation, comfort, and style.
We hope you love these mid-century modern interior design projects as much as we do! Make sure to follow our instagram @think_henck to stay up to date with our latest projects, and check out our carefully curated MCM Pinterest board for even more inspo on creating the retro-meets-contemporary vibe in your own home.
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