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Tips for Using Mid-Century Modern Furniture in Your Home

By July 15, 2020March 29th, 2024Interior Design Tips

mid century modern dining room table & dining chairs by CopelandMid-century modern is a style that is making waves throughout the interior design world. Take a stroll down a supermarket or local furniture store, and you‘ll notice displays outfitted in mid-century modern furniture. Check your Instagram feed, and you’ll likely find photos of influencers in their stunning mid-century modern homes.

For a few years now, homeowners have been popularizing the trend. The real estate industry is also noticing an increasing number of buyers looking for mid-century homes. So, what makes mid-century modern so appealing?

For one, mid-century modern furniture and décor are sleek and timeless. It is an evolved take on modern interior design that puts an emphasis on function and allows for organic shapes instead of monopolizing sleek lines. 

Mid-century design works in any home, which may account for why it still works 87 years after its inception. Designers such as Harry Bertoia, Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, and George Nelson used mid-century modern ideals when creating iconic furniture pieces and lighting fixtures that popularized the movement.

Along with mid-century modern furniture and décor, the style also found a home in the architecture industry. Mid-century architecture is known for its extensive use of glass, flat planes, and a strong connection to nature. A few of the architects known for their work in the mid-century style include Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler.

Over time, the style gained more appeal among the masses, taking hold after World War II. It only grew in popularity after that thanks to new technologies and the migration into urban communities.

Now that you understand a bit about the history of mid-century modern design, let’s look at the best ways to start adding the style into your home. These suggestions will include choosing the right furniture pieces to begin your mid-century modern switch, like couches, dining tables, and living room furniture.

Here are a few tips for our interior design specialists at San Francisco Design.


How to Style the Right Mid-Century Modern Furniture for Your Home

mid century modern living room style with accent chair & buffet table

1. Look for Items You Don’t Have First

If you are beginning your journey into the mid-century modern furniture world, our team suggests looking for pieces that your room doesn’t have yet. If you need a side table, look for a midcentury design that works within your current design. This tactic will slowly ease you into the new style so that you don’t get overwhelmed. However, if you start with a blank slate, a few staple pieces include credenzas, armchairs, couches, and side lamps. 

All in all, any starting point is a good one. Building piece by piece will help you create a unique space rather than a cookie-cutter one straight out of a streamlined magazine. Don’t be afraid of combining your new mid-century furniture pieces with items in another style. The minimalist nature of mid-century modernism blends well with all types of décor. 

mid century modern wooden table & modern accent chair

2. Make Wood a Priority

Let wood take center stage when choosing mid-century modern home furniture. The items that made the style iconic used teak, walnut, rosewood, and oak materials. Even if you can’t afford an original George Nelson piece, several modern-made items mimic these designs’ elements.

Don’t worry about avoiding items not made from solid wood. Veneer wood is not a new technique. It doesn’t look cheaper either. Vintage or new mid-century furniture items made from veneer are usually less expensive but still work just as well in a design.

Working with an interior designer, you can find wood furniture that looks good, but doesn’t maximize your budget. At San Francisco Design, homeowners have a variety of options to choose from that tick all the right boxes. Along with wood grain, you should look for furniture that features unique patterns, organic shapes, and texture.
mid century modern wooden dining room table

3. It’s All in the Details

When it comes to mid-century modern home furniture, the details matter. Interior designers styling homes in this popular trend gravitate towards items that tell a story and make the space more unique, such as incorporating furniture of different heights. If you have a low couch and low dining table, add in a few taller items and accessories in an arced shape. These will add balance into the space and keep the room from appearing too uniform.
mid century modern living room sofa & wall accents

4. Add An Artisan Touch

Along with mixing and matching furniture for a creative blend that better matches your aesthetic, incorporate an artisan touch. Artisan styles are making their way from local cafes to professionally-designed mid-century homes. Some of the choices our interior designers come back to time and time again are those pieces that feature handcrafted elements, natural elements, and a vintage-inspired style. These items work well when mixed with leather, wood, and other natural components.

artisan inspired modern coffee table with wooden accents

Mid-Century Modern Furniture at San Francisco Design

In the end, our number one suggestion is taking it slow. Don’t try running before you can walk. Keep your design simple. Overcomplicating the space is the first step in veering off the path of mid-century modern design. As you collect furniture for your home, you might get exhausted with all the options.  

Find everything you need to keep your home on-trend at San Francisco Design. Our showroom has several mid-century modern furniture pieces to choose from, no matter what you need. San Francisco Design has a broad collection of couches, dining tables, lamps, and other modern home furniture. You can also receive insight from our group of talented interior designers.

Contact us, browse our online store, or visit one of Utah showrooms to find everything you need for your home.