Design Inspiration

Ten Essential Items for Mid-Century Modern Interiors

January 26, 2017

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve gone full-on Mid-Century with our new collection! Styling a retro look in your own home can be tricky, so we’ve pulled together a list of essential items to replicate the look from our photo-shoot. Rather than filling your home with antiques, we suggest mixing and matching new pieces with a couple of original retro finds to keep a contemporary aesthetic. If you prefer a more subtle hint to the trend, simply select one or two items from this list to add to your existing decor to add a Mid-Century Modern spin.


1. A Classic Chair

H. Lis Fox Easy Chair Wool - four colours available 5

We love original pieces of furniture from the Mid-Twentieth-Century, and understand the importance of owning a design classic. Our new collection of occasional chairs from 366 Concept are a great way to add a piece of design history to your home but as the chairs are brand new, you know that you are getting a quality piece of furniture. The brand have taken classic pieces of Polish furniture from the 1960’s and resurrected them for modern audiences. The style photographed above is the Fox Easy Chair, originally designed by H.Lis and now available in a chair, a rocker and a foot-rest in three fabrics and a variety of colours. Also available are the Jozef Chierowski 366 Chair, Rocker and Two-Seater.


2. An Abundance of Plants

Faux Monstera Plant

House plants have been out of style since the 1970’s, but have recently seen a huge resurgence in popularity. The Monstera, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant was one of the most popular plants of the time, and is an essential addition to any contemporary urban jungle. Whilst we appreciate the benefits of real plants, we understand that it can be hard to keep a large plant collection alive. The perfect solution? Opt for a faux plant that looks just as good as the real deal but only requires an occasional dust.


3. Streamlined Wooden Furniture

H. Lis Fox Coffee Table Medium 2

Light-weight, thin-framed wooden furniture is essential for a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. Heavy, chunky furniture would dwarf the chairs and hinder the entire look. Opt for thin, tall legs and streamlined frames that allow for maximum visibility beneath the furniture. Hard-wearing woods such as teak and oak are best for achieving the desired style. Very dark or very light woods don’t work as well as medium-toned stains.


4. Retro Accessories

Round Green Retro Plant Pot 3

It’s important to accessorise rather than going for a minimalist approach. Use retro-looking pots for your plants, or simply to display on their own and keep your eyes peeled for well-designed mugs, bowls and other decorative objects. Keep your accessories to two or three colours to avoid your room looking too busy.


5. A Rocking Chair

Jozef Chierowski 366 Rocking Chair Velvet - eight colours available 6

Our new Mid-Century Modern chairs look stunning on their own, but work amazingly well when grouped together. We love the addition of a wood-framed rocking chair into your home, especially one with vibrant velvet upholstery! The rockers can be placed in a corner of a room to be used as an occasional chair for guests or for a cosy reading spot, or you could group a collection of chairs together to use as your main living room furniture.


6. A Touch of Cork

Cork Lamp

Cork has been on the back-burner for some time now, a forgotten material that sadly vanished from the mainstream. One of the big trends for 2017 is texture, and cork has been popping up everywhere as an alternative to the usual materials. A Seventies staple, a hint of cork is the perfect way to tap into the Mid-Century trend and there are a surprising number of options available. We currently have two cork lamps and a cute little cork pot available online, with more cork products on the way!


7. Simple Dining Chairs

Kuip Dining Chair with Arms - White

If it’s time to refresh your dining room, purchasing new dining chairs can easily update a tired table. Opt for dining chairs with a simple silhouette, such as the chair pictured above, referencing classic Mid-Century designs. These chairs work well with almost any dining table as their design is so stylish and simple.


8. An Occasional Chair

Jozef Chierowski 366 Two Seater Wool - four colours available 3

Occasional chairs soared in popularity during the Mid-Twentieth-Century and are just as relevant today. The perfect piece of furniture for both small-space living and for those who love to host guests, these chairs had multiple purposes and could fit easily into even the smallest spaces. Our new Mid-Century Modern chairs look stunning when used as the main pieces of furniture in a room, but they are also small and light-weight enough to be used in those tricky places (such as in the corners of rooms, in the hallway or in the bedroom) and brought into the main reception rooms when you have guests.


9. Geometric Printed Textiles

Mustard Handmade Indian Blanket

Prints were important in Mid-Century style, especially bold geometric patterns. Whilst vibrantly printed wallpaper can be a little overwhelming, it’s easy to add a touch of print to your room with a few carefully placed patterned textiles. We love the idea of placing geometric printed rugs, throws or cushions in a few carefully considered places around a room to add interest.


10. A Sun-Burst Mirror


Dramatic vintage mirrors and clocks are essential for getting the Mid-Century look in your own home. Our next product launch (expected at the end of February) will feature a collection of gold, brass and rattan framed sunburst and eye-shaped mirrors that can be styled together or placed on their own upon the wall.


Shop our Mid-Century Modern Trend

Ten Essential Items For Mid Century Modern Interiors


  • Reply aroma |tilecentre February 22, 2017 at 5:06 am

    hey thank you for sharing some of your ideas with us.Using of mid century items with your modern interiors are in trend now.I like a rocking chair,an occasional chair and a sun burst mirror ideas.

  • Reply Currently loving: Mid Century Modern Style - What She Designs July 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    […] Photo sources in order: |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| […]

  • Reply Sara August 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Loving the modern mid century vibe.. we have given a big nod to the era in our 16th century rental holiday home.. in Orford Suffolk

    • Reply Emma Lavelle September 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Your holiday home sounds beautiful Sara! Would love to see photos!

      Emma, Rose & Grey

  • Reply Adam September 3, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    This was a good article up until the silly cork lamp, and misses the boat entirely when it comes to lighting. Mid century modern light fixtures are where decorators can really shine. How about a classic Louis Poulsen PH 3/2 Table Lamp?

    • Reply Emma Lavelle September 11, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Adam. We completely agree, there were some amazing classic Mid-Century modern lighting designs but unfortunately we don’t carry any styles in our store so worked in this cute little cork lamp that picked up on the cork trend instead.

      • Reply Doris Miller June 11, 2018 at 2:06 pm

        Enjoyed your article so much. I am happy to see the WOOD trend back. I’m a purest, no paint on my wood. I love the sleek lines of the furniture and the LIGHTING–to die for.

  • Reply Dan Essig November 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

    In item number 1 “classic chair,” what color is the wainscoting in the background? Beautiful chair by the way!

    • Reply Emma Lavelle November 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Hi Dan,

      We’re not sure as this was a location we used for a shoot quite some time ago. I’m pretty sure it was a Farrow & Ball colour though, hope that helps!

  • Reply Jim Doherty January 27, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    I am in agreement with you about the chairs,
    I found a few, must be 10 years ago now.
    The price now makes them unattainable.
    Worked on the “Z” Chair for almost a year.
    I don’t think I paid more than $60. For any,
    Just don’t see them anymore.

    • Reply Emma Lavelle January 30, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks Jim! Yes, quite a lot of pieces which were once mass produced are now made in limited quantities, making the pricing more expensive. We love the idea of owning a little piece of design history though!

  • Reply Jack October 30, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Doesn’t seem like there’s much room for comfort in mid century modern. My family of four siblings and I want to sit around and have a glass of wine or watch a sports event. The furniture in these pictures doesn’t look appealing to them. Where does comfort come into this entire equation?

  • Reply Patricia Brooks July 21, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    The chair pictured in #1 is an exact match to one in my home growing up. I know, I’m telling my age. It was the most comfortable chair in the house. We used to fight over who got to sit there to watch evening TV.

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