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Mid-century modern living room on budget

  • Bugdet Friendly Décor
Jan 05, 2022
Mid-century modern living room interior design - Beautiful Homes

Transform your living room into a retro paradise with these mid-century modern design styling tips. Here are some tips to incorporate this style while working with a budget

Mid-century modern style, is a design style that gained popularity in mid-twentieth-century America. Heavily influenced by the German Bauhaus school, the Mid-century modern style prioritises functionality and minimalism.

The Mid-century modern style is primarily characterised as retro, quirky and chic. It is a design style that never truly goes out of vogue. The reason is you can just as easily dress it up for a glam look as you can dress it down for a more minimalist approach.

Mid-century modern is an excellent style for your living room. There are certain staple elements of this style that give it a distinct look. To nail this aesthetic, you must first understand what makes it an iconic aesthetic.

5 Essential Elements of the Mid-century Modern Interior Design Style

1. Colours:

Any Mid-century modern interior design uses neutrals to anchor the bolder pieces. Shades of tan, beige, white, grey, and black are backbones of Mid-century modern colour schemes.

The walls, most upholstery and other textiles like curtains, blinds and rugs are typically neutral-hued. Brightly coloured statement furniture is typical in mid-century modern interior design

Neutral colour shades for your mid-century modern living room - Beautiful Homes

These accents are usually bright primary or secondary colours. Clay red, olive green, tangerine, mustard yellow, teal, etc., are some popular options. Mid-century modern’s flexibility gives you enough room to stray away from this traditional colour palette. Pastels work just as well as earthy tones. Do not be afraid to put your spin on it to personalise your living room design.


2. Shapes: 

The statement ‘function over form’ inspires the minimalism at the heart of Mid-century modern style. Geometric and biomorphic shapes are dominantly featured in mid-century modern designs because of their clean and uninterrupted lines. These shapes are seen not only in the furniture but also in the artwork of the era.

Organic and geometric shapes are easy on the eyes, allowing visual continuity. This lends to a bright and airy aesthetic so typical of the mid-century modern interiors. Artists and designers used these same shapes to make a bold statement, as seen in abstract artwork and use of sculptural furniture and lighting pieces.


3. Material:

The mid-century modern style utilises diverse materials. Natural ones like wood, metal and stone feature heavily in Mid-century modern designs. Acrylic, vinyl, plexiglass, plastic, etc., proved to be cheaper options in this early era of industrialised mass production. Wood and wood veneer pieces still dominated Mid-century modern décor.

L shape sofa with wooden flooring for your modern mid-century living room - Beautiful Homes

The textiles used in Mid-century modern designs highlight texture and patterns. With the minimalist approach, textiles became the way to introduce visual interest in the room via colours and patterns. Many upholstery fabrics mirrored the general colour scheme and shapes typical to Mid-century modern style.


To keep the clutter at a minimum, throw pillows, rugs and curtains were used to add accents to the décor. Textured fabrics like velvet, boucle, chenille, etc., are pretty commonplace upholstery materials in Mid-century modern décor. Leather was another popular choice for couches.

4. Lighting:

Mid-century modern design is heavily inspired by nature. It is no wonder then that natural light is given the centre stage. Large windows covering an entire wall, sliding doors, etc., are hallmarks of this interior design style. The idea is always to have easy access to the outdoors.

All the different elements of the Mid-century modern style contribute to the feeling of spaciousness resulting from so much natural light. From light wood finishes, heavy use of metal to neutral colour palette and accessories made of transparent material like glass or plastic and sleek shapes.

Light fixtures, especially lamps and pendants, highlight the futuristic aesthetic of MCM designs. Some iconic light designs include sputnik chandeliers, tinted glass pendants, overarching floor lamps, gold sconces, brass desk lamps and strobe chandeliers.


5. Furniture:

Low profile furniture with tapering, hairpin shaped legs is arguably the most recognisable feature of Mid-century modern design. Easy chairs, leather sofa sets and arm chairs are memorable pieces from the era.

The Egg chair, the Noguchi table, the Barcelona chair, chair No. 70 and the Saarinen dining table are archetypal Mid-century modern pieces that beautifully employ organic curves. On the other hand, the tete-a-tete sofa, the Cesca and the Wassily chairs, Florence Knoll sofa, the LC3 Grand Modele Armchair, the Nelson bench are excellent examples of sleek furniture with clean lines.

With the Mid-century modern style, the design of each piece is laid bare; there's no hiding behind ornamentations. That's where the beauty lies.


Style Tips for your Mid-century Modern Living Room Interior Design

With this foundational knowledge of the mid-century modern style, you are now ready to transform your living room into retro-chic heaven. With these tips and tricks, you can achieve this look on a budget.

Tip #1:

Remember, less is more! Functionality is paramount. Make a list of all the essentials you need in the living room. Once you have the list, do not rush into buying all of it together. Take your time to browse through your options. Do not buy a sofa set for the living room impulsively. Choose only those pieces that truly speak to you.

Since minimalism is at the core of this style, the best way to incorporate it is to downsize. Get rid of all the unnecessary clutter. When only the requisite pieces remain, you can figure out ways to remodel them to fit the Mid-century modern style. And if you want bold accessories, get an abstract painting for the living room.


Tip #2:

Pick the right colour palette for your mid-century modern living room. This will help you choose your accent pieces. The quintessential pop of colour may come from the statement couch. Or paint the walls a bright colour and keep the furniture and the textiles neutral. Yet another option is to select a colourful painting for the living room and then mirror the colours across the room. For example, in the rug, throw pillows, vase or flower pots, etc. Add a dash of your personality to the room by making the artwork yourself.

Pastel colour & colourful cushions to brighten up your modern living room interiors - Beautiful Homes

Some mid-century modern colour palettes:

  • Keep it neutral with white, steele grey, charcoal and warm it up with tan and copper.
  • Combine the earthy tones of ochres and browns with muted yellows and oranges.
  • Aqua blue and tangerine add just the right amount of pzazz to an otherwise light neutral palette.

Tip #3:

Bathe the room in natural light. You don't need to go through the trouble of remodelling or reinstalling bigger windows. Just make sure that your windows aren't blocked. Choose light and almost sheer fabric for curtains. A trick for hall interior design to enhance the effect of natural light is to place a mirror in your living room or two strategically.

Tip #4:

Getting the shapes right is crucial for mid-century interior design. When you buy pieces for your living room, ensure that it has clean lines and exposed tapering legs. Don't focus on acquiring all authentic pieces. Many look-alike options are significantly cheaper.

Tip #5:

Recreating the mid-century interior design in exactitude may lead to an outdated look. Find ways to incorporate Mid-century modern elements in your living room design. For example, change the lighting in the living room to a strobe chandelier or an arched lamp. A glass centre table or three-legged wooden side tables can do the trick too.

Tip #6:

Look for pieces you want to upgrade, like living room chairs. Reupholstering and adding rugs are cheaper and easier ways to bring in the Mid-century modern aesthetic. Geometric shapes and patterns are a staple of this style. So when you're changing the textiles in the room, ensure to include these patterns. Recycle your existing furniture by giving it a Mid-century modern makeover!

Side table with table lamps for your modern living room - Beautiful Homes

Beautiful Homes provides a massive range of services and products to help you create the bohemian living room of your dreams. You may select all the essentials you need from our shop. We offer all you need, statement sofas, arm chairsside tables, beautiful wall paints and wallpapers and much more.

Our expert services include Interior Design Services to help you achieve living room interior design suited to your style and needs. Specialised services comprise Quick Home Makeover services, Safe Painting Services, Colour Consultancy Services Online, Wood Solutions and Design Wall Makeover.

Visit our website to check various options offered and projects executed by us so far. If you wish, you can book your 3D consultation call to understand the project's process, design, and execution or walk into any of our stores across India.

Our current stores are spread across Amritsar, Tumakuru, Raipur, Jaipur, New Delhi, Kochi, Karur, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Nashik. In addition, we are in the process of opening up state-of-the-art stores across several cities.

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