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Mid-Century Modern in the Living Room

It's nearly two decades into the second millennium, but there's an interior design style from the last century that's more popular than ever: mid-century modern. Mid-century style, which arrived in the 1950s, is an aesthetic that has endured, and today people are still intrigued by this look that is influenced by modern art, architecture, and the budding age of technology.

Today, many people incorporate mid-century furniture into their homes, particularly in the living room. The living room makes for a great space to incorporate pieces that have straight lines, gentle curves, and an overall minimalistic feel.

If you want to create a mid-century modern living room, it can help to understand more about the popular pieces of the day and their inspiration. You can also learn about how to incorporate the mid-century look into your space seamlessly, without having to overhaul everything that you already own and love.

mid-century chairs

The Accent Chair

mid-century accent chairs

The mid-century accent chair traces its roots back to the lounge chair, which was one of the most luxurious and famous pieces during the height of mid-century design. Charles and Ray Eames created the Eames Lounge Chair, a luxurious but handsome leather and wood recliner with leather ottoman. These chairs, inspired by 19th-century club chairs but with an updated twist, made an indelible mark on popular style and appear in movies, documentaries, books, and tons and tons of people's living rooms.

If you're going to incorporate an accent or lounge chair into your space, choose one that is also inspired by the mid-century era. The brown leather chair in this mid-century living room is a great option for an Eames inspired lounge chair to anchor your space.

The Coffee Table

If there's one item of living room furniture that screams mid-century it's the coffee table. This central living room item appeared in nearly every mid-century space, and it represented both a focal point and a convenient spot to set down drinks as you socialized.

One look that is particularly influenced by the mid-century aesthetic is a coffee table with hairpin legs. Hairpin leg coffee tables exude all of the best of mid-century style: they have gentle curves, they look inspired by the atomic technology of the time, and they are clean and minimalistic.

For a good idea of a coffee table that fits into mid-century design, check out the table in this mid-century inspired space.

mid-century coffee table

The Sofa

mid-century grey fabric sofa

The mid-century living room always had a sofa, of course. But the style of the mid-century sofa is very distinct. There is nothing overly cushy or decorative about the mid-century sofa, which reflects the stark minimalism of modern art. The sofa is typically low and rectangular and designed with contrasting textures.

For sofas that can help your living room look more mid-century, get inspired by the blue sofa in this space or the sectional in this mid-century room.

If you're looking to spruce up your space, one of the best ways to do it is to turn to mid-century style. This aesthetic is enduring, and it has stood the test of time, even though centuries have passed.

mid-century grey sofa
By understanding mid-century modern style and using pieces that are inspired by the era in your living room, you can create a space that feels good and looks good.

Watch: Mid Century Living


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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.