21 Stylish Midcentury Modern Living Room Ideas To Copy

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Instagram image credit: @interior_boho

Midcentury modern design can easily be spotted with just a few key pieces that feature in the design. Clean lines, muted tones and natural materials feature heavily, but it’s all about that wooden sideboard and leather tones that make this style easy to identify.

This is a fun, cosy and eclectic style for a living room. We’ve compiled some of the best mid-century modern ideas to give you plenty of inspiration to decorate your own space.

21 Stylish Midcentury Modern Living Room Ideas To Copy

1.Key Pieces of Wooden Furniture

Wooden tones are a defining feature of midcentury modern design, and it’s one of the easiest ways to spot this lovable design.

We’re not talking any type of wood. Light, distressed wood is not in for this design trend. Instead opt for pieces made from teak, walnut, oak, and rosewood. They all offer that defining grain, and it’s totally okay to have a mix as beautifully demonstrated in the living room space below.

mid century modern living room
Instagram image credit: @micasa_fucasa

2. Simple Solid Whites

Whilst vibrant colours are also heavily welcomed, white and muted tones are still a key characteristic. Use white all across your walls for a clean, minimal look.

It’s easy to then layer colour with furniture, decorative accessories and real houseplants.

midcentury modern living room
Instagram image credit: @midcenturymoderninterior

3. Mix Brown, Green & White Tones

Browns, greens and whites are a hallmark sign of midcentury modern design. To avoid the space feeling too boho inspired, be sure to introduce wooden pieces of furniture to cement the design trend.

If you don’t want to use green as a wall colour, think about adding a selection of houseplants to appreciate that natural colour.

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Instagram image credit: @lynetteyoder_

4. Natural Wood Cladded Ceiling

Really lean into the design trend by working from the ceiling down. A natural wood cladded ceiling sets the tone for the room design perfectly.

Pair with other wooden pieces of furniture like a sideboard or set of shelves. Add a peek of vibrant colour through a fun armchair or sofa.

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Instagram image credit: @curbed

5. Classic Wooden Sideboard

It’s that iconic sideboard we’ve been talking about. With those iconic clean leans on the legs and dark wooden finish, it’s undoubtedly a key piece which can help you structure the room for this trend.

We love the addition of the mustard unit here which really complements the simplicity of the sideboard.

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Instagram image credit: @villa_pocket

6. Angular, Graphic Shapes

Clean lines help to form this design aesthetic, but angular, graphic shapes also add to that retro, vintage feel.

You only need to use them in a few key areas such as on an area rug which will help to ground the space, decorative accessories or textiles such as cushions and throws.

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Instagram image credit: @liebimprinzip

7. Black Accents

There’s always time for a black accent, and it will perfectly finish off your living room scheme.

The key to perfecting this is to only use a few well placed black accents, you don’t want to overuse the colour. It could be employed on hardware, a piece of furniture, chair legs or on decorative pieces.

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Instagram image credit: @friloconcept

8. Combine Boho & Midcentury Modern Style

You absolutely can mix styles for your own unique living room, and boho inspired spaces really do complement midcentury style for a more eclectic feel.

Take inspiration from the below image and bring those design influences in with a wooden sideboard and natural wooden flooring to set the scheme.

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Instagram image credit: @interior_boho

9. Greenery Is A Must

Real houseplants really are a must for a true midcentury modern living space. Mix styles and heights for added visual interest.

Topping your sideboard with a couple of houseplants is the perfect way to benefit from their natural colour and influence in the space.

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Instagram image credit: @villa_pocket

10. Use Natural, Manmade Materials

It’s no surprise that natural materials should be used to embrace this design trend to its full extent.

Use rich wooden tones, leather, metal, glass and plastic through furniture, decorative accessories and beyond.

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Instagram image credit: @friloconcept

11. Lean Into The Darker Side

Technically darker colours aren’t really on the design brief, but take note from the below and see how it can actually add a twist on this style.

As long as your fundamental pieces are being used such as a wooden sideboard, you can still get away with using darker blues and greens.

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Instagram image credit: @villa_pocket

12. Introduce Brass Details

If you’re thinking of hardware choices, brass is a a great choice for midcentury modern design. You don’t need to go overboard, it looks great as styled on the bar cart below, on hardware details or small decorative accessories.

Midcentury modern design can sometimes feel dark, so brass is a great way to add some extra warmth to the colour scheme.

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Instagram image credit: @aplacebeyondthenines

13. Inject Personality With Vibrant Colours

Vibrant colours gives that retro feel and is absolutely welcomed by this design. Furniture is a great way to introduce some colour, as is an area rug which will set a boundary in your space and stop your furniture from appearing like it’s ‘floating’.

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Instagram image credit: @jakegerba

14. Add An Eclectic Gallery Wall

Eclectic style is another design trend which can perfectly meld with midcentury modern design. Adding a gallery wall above an iconic sideboard will lift the eye and introduce added personality to your living room.

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Instagram image credit: @mementosvivere

15. Layer Lighting For An Ambient Feel

Set the tone in your living room for the right atmosphere. The best way to achieve this is by layering your light sources, this includes using a combination of style of lighting such as table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling lights (or what you might call, ‘the big light’.

This adds a level of softness and creates a more ambient feel than having to constantly rely on one ceiling light.

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Instagram image credit: @Helen.hjh

16. Mix Differing Tones of Wood

It’s totally okay to mix differing tones of wood throughout your furniture, choose between teak, rosewood, elm and oak to name just a few.

Combining differing tones will add a gorgeous warmth to your colour scheme.

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Instagram image credit: @dennisvonnazareth

17. Mix Clean & Curved Lines

Add further visual interest by leaning into both curved and clean lines in your living room.

Let the below image inspire you – with the clean lines on the window and wooden units, with curved lines on the chairs, side table and mushroom lamps (which we totally love by the way for that added retro feel).

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Instagram image credit: @one.interior.mag

18. Brown Leather Is A Key Characteristic

Leather is one of the key natural materials that makes this design aesthetic what it is. It carries a retro feel, but is easy to incorporate into a living room with a sofa or armchair.

Combine with some geometric prints in the classic midcentury modern colour palette to nail the look.

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Instagram image credit: @mariawyattuhl

19. Layer With A Large Area Rug

I’ve said it time and time again on Sleek-chic Interiors, but a large area rug will completely change how your living room feels.

It sets a boundary in the space and will ground your furniture, and living room. Opt for a plain pattern like shown below or introduce a vibrant geometric rug for a retro twist.

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Instagram image credit: @altforliving

20. Introduce A Touch of Checkerboard

We’re totally happy about the fact that checkerboard is trending again, but it’s a much loved pattern in midcentury modern design.

Lean into the brown tones for checkerboard on textiles such as a throw, cushions or area rug.

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Instagram image credit: @Helen.hjh

23. Hints of Mustard

If you’re looking for a vibrant colour to introduce, mustard is a perfect colour to be bang on trend. It’s warm, yet totally complements browns and whites.

Add a mustard coloured pouffe, foot stool or cushions to appreciate this warm pop of colour.

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Instagram image credit: @maeisonjen
Photo of author


Nicole Sage

Nicole Sage is the founder of Sleek-chic Interiors and is a highly experienced interiors writer and skilled home renovator who has a passion for all things design. She has been featured as an authority at Pinterest, Ideal Home, Daily Mail and in countless other interviews. For 8 years, Nicole has written, observed key interior trends, renovated and undertaken interior short courses at the renown KLC school where she has gained her grounding interior design principles. With a keen eye for detail and a love of creativity, she shares her expertise on the latest interior trends, practical DIY tutorials, and styling inspiration to help others transform their homes into stunning spaces. With a commitment to delivering informative and engaging content, Nicole inspires and empowers readers to explore their own unique sense of style and create beautiful, personalised interiors. Contact her at hello@sleek-chic.co.uk for interiors advice, colour questions and any commentary.

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