Mid-Century Modern Living Room Design Ideas

The living room is the area of the house where much of the family and guests spend time socializing with each other. Whether you have a separate room for a TV or if your living room is where you and your loved ones sit on the couch and binge-watch your favorite shows, the living room is often where people go to relax, unwind, and spend time with each other in a homey, welcoming environment. You can rest in good company without worrying about rushing off to work, driving the kids to school, or dashing off to run some errands. If you want to upgrade your living room from something drab and outdated to a true mid-century modern masterpiece, keep reading for some ideas!

One of the main things you need to keep in mind as you design your mid-century modern living room is that no two families’ living rooms will look exactly the same. Feel free to personalize it as much as you want. Hang up photos of your family, decorate with keepsakes you’ve acquired on family travels, leave a space for the dog’s bed - don’t sacrifice the best elements of home life just for the sake of style. Just remember that it is definitely possible to blend aspects unique to your family with a seamless interior design theme!

For example, one great idea is to arrange photos of your family in fun geometric or other creative shapes or patterns on the walls. Whether you want to buy funky-shaped frames, or you’re using classic rectangular frames in differing sizes, you can allow yourself to have some fun with the way you arrange photos. Similarly, it’s a good idea to decorate your walls with modern artwork. Pick something that suits your personal taste - it doesn’t matter if it’s from a well-known artist or not. In fact, a great thing about modern design is that it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate the talents of obscure artists in addition to those who have established a stronger name and reputation for themselves.

The mid-century modern look embraces the shift of the heavy dark metals and wood of the industrial boom into a more clean, sleek, contemporary design. So while you focus on minimalism and natural lighting, it’s also a great idea to incorporate wood and metal accent pieces. You don’t want to make the presence of dark metals and wood too prevalent, or else they will bring an overbearing, heavy industrial look. Some people truly love that aesthetic, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but mid-century modern combines those classic elements with a lighter, softer look. You can incorporate a wood or metal bookshelf, coffee table, or side table, but you’ll want to be careful to keep the rest of your pieces light and modern.

A fluffy shag rug is a create choice to cover a hardwood living room floor as long as it’s a light color. Afraid of dust? Just vacuum regularly and avoid stains and you’ll be fine! If you don’t want something that will retain a ton of dust, thin woven mats or anything with a pattern will help to keep the dust off. If your living room is already fully carpeted, don’t think you have to go tearing it up! Embrace the carpet for what it is and focus on bringing in natural light with soft, light curtains and wide windows to make up for the fact that hardwood floors help reflect light.

Tweed is a great textile to mark the mid-century modern style. If you don’t want to commit to a fully woven sofa or couch, make sure to incorporate tweed-style accent cushions or pillows (as well as those woven mats we mentioned earlier as a replacement for area rugs). Tweed especially looks good when combined with natural elements such as plants. Terra-cotta style pots as well as decorative seed bags will help bring the outdoors to your indoors just a little bit. Whether you want a large indoor plant in the corner next to your TV or just some small potted plants to line your window sills, houseplants are a great modern touch to any living room, especially cactuses and geometric succulents, which require very little water and maintenance to stay alive.

The last trend you can incorporate into your mid-century modern living room is pops of color. This is a hugely popular stylistic choice that many homeowners make in an effort to brighten up the room. You can place some vibrant handmade rugs or you can go for some really bright pieces. Adding fewer brightly-colored pieces is often a more clean-looking, neat alternative to adding more items in a neutral color. Don’t shy away from bold, colorful patterns and oddly-shaped accent pieces - just remember to express yourself and have fun!