Essential Elements Of Mid Century Modern Home Design

Mid century modern home front yard

Mid-century modern style took birth after the second World War when the design professionals and enthusiasts propagated creativity in unknown forms. Spanning across the US, this design style gained momentum in the field of interiors, architecture, industrial and graphic design. The timeless form of this art even decades later is preached by diverse generations around the world. Highly characterized by its upper hand on functionality and the motto “Form follows Function”, uncluttered and sleek, clean lines forming organic and geometric shapes with minimal ornamentation distinguishes this style from the others of the era. [toc]

This forever-chic design offers a fresh vibe and a look so authentic which allures the comfort to its users with a tinge of retro in its surroundings. There is a notable use of simple fabrications and moldings in the building exteriors and interiors. A mid-century home would highlight the juxtaposition of contrasting materials and dramatic use of its color palettes including subtle neutrals to heavy bolds.

The ancient designers thrived to explore new materials after the war to mold them into iconic products and produce spectacular building features. During this era, the most noteworthy materials that changed the mid-century skyline included wood, metal, plastic, and glass. The unpretentious character of the design style that led many to follow and praise the style for the years to come.

How to Create a Mid Century Style Home

Are you an admirer of modern or minimalism but fear the restrictions imposed? This design style could be the one you are yearning for. Make your home effortless and transparent by placing the floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors for an inside-out feel. The simple and clean lines on the façade with overhanging eaves are indicative of an authentic mid-century approach.

Its transparency could be observed through careful selection of materials and placing them as a contrast with one another. Do you feel the need to look through some examples to get a deeper understanding of this style? Let’s have a look at these sold and available mid-century modern style homes in Palm Springs and around.

Bungalow facade with palm treesThis single-family Mid-century modern house is located in Palm Springs

This 3,900 sqft mid-century modern home beautifully sits by San Jacinto mountains with a spectacular view of Indian Canyons golf course. The contrasting use of stone and glass on the house exteriors are commendably contextualizing with its surroundings. One of the striking features of abundant space found in Mid-century homes is to be noted here that are complemented with 12 feet high doors letting the natural lighting penetrate through. Built-in 1963, the architectural elements of the house tend to blend in with the landscape and never go out of style.

House with butterfly roof and clerestory windowsIconic Riverside county house featuring Mid-century modern style

Priced and sold at 1 million dollars, this iconic ‘butterfly roof’ house is symbolic of mid-century style that fuses into an even finer example of the retro 60’s. The 4-bedroom house offers open plan living features with exposed beams, clerestory windows and transparent glass walls filling up the interiors with immense natural lighting. The gradual sloping roof slides onto a private backyard on one of the ends with awe-inspiring views of the mountains. This timeless house is an inspiration and a dream for the generations to come.

Mid 20th Century Style Modern Home Interiors

The design style dates back its roots to the 50’s and 60’s when art and creativity were at the peak. The architecture and furnishings were created to highlight the era’s technology, lifestyles, and beliefs. The idea of originality was coined by avoiding the superficial and commemorating the truest form of art or a product. Due to this ideology of keeping the things in their true essence, people around the world still respect this form of art and implement it in their products, home interiors and exteriors.

Mid-century modern interiors bring out the lightness and an integral plea in the space. They respect the ingenuity of building materials by leaving the brick walls untouched and wooden beams exposed. Spaces are embellished with earthy color palettes like burnt orange, rust, greens, and wooden tans. This style relief the users with unnecessary restrictions regarding using the ultra-straight lines or edged corners. The features are said to have a contemporary touch with their iconic style similarity in modern walls, custom-designed egg chairs and tremendous use of exposed metal. Some of the highlights from the mid-century modern interior spaces are as follows-

  1. Simple and functional
  2. Exposed materials
  3. Sculpture centers
  4. Organic shapes and patterns
  5. Tufted upholstery
  6. Textures and graphics
  7. Contrasting bold and pop colors
  8. Simple fabrications
  9. Abstract forms
  10. Open Floor Plans
  11. Authentic fireplace
  12. Earthy color palette
  13. Light and transparent

These instances from the interiors of mid-century modern homes by San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs, CA can give an insight of how beautifully the era is narrated through little details.

Entryway with panel door, natural stone divider and pebble featurePebbles and Indoor plants make this space feel Inside-out

Curvilinear couch, barrel chairs and accordion windowsMid-century modern inspired curvilinear couch and barrel chairs.

Room with stone fireplace, open shelves and pink accent chairsContrasting materials and stone-exposed fireplace reflect the era’s creativity spirit

Room with double doors, green accent wall and green area rugNatural light penetrates through floor-to-ceiling glass doors on to the living room with colorful accent wall

Dining area with exposed stone half wall, white table and chandeliersThe continuity of the exposed stone in the interiors offers a seamless look

This mid-century home highlights some of the dominant features of the era. Exposed stone is a limelight that attracts the eye on the exteriors and its majestic seamlessness continues to the interior spaces reflecting connectivity in the house. The house showcases a curvilinear couch with a striking center table that makes it an essential noteworthy feature of the style. Minimal cluttering, bold greens, plenty of natural light and abundant space uplift the residents’ moods and dives them into an awe-inspired feel.

The iconic ‘butterfly roof’ mid-century modern house has made it to the local design news and aspires to be a strong standing example of striking design history. The interiors are equally admirable, and its eye-catchy look has sold-out the house already.

Room with boxed ceiling. wall with mosaic tiles and loveseatGeometric shapes and patterns are a focal point

Room with yellow and green accents and couch with geometric designPop colors and exposed wooden beams in the living area highlight the mid-century concepts

Bedroom with ceiling fan, exposed trusses, shiplap ceiling and sliding doorsBreathtaking swimming pool views from this spacious bedroom with open beam ceiling

Bedroom with red bed frame. white walls and red area rugBedrooms with clerestory windows provide diffused natural lighting in the interiors

Backyard with swimming pool and spa, manicured lawn and lounge chairsMid century style backyard with expansive lawn and swimming pool offer quality of living for residents

Complementing the iconic ‘butterfly roof’, this house features some authentic mid-century elements that have drawn multiple clients towards it. The artistic use of geometric and organic shapes of the furniture, to wall coverings and even bed furnishings, are seemed to be highly influenced by this style. The exposed wooden beams run horizontal and vertical throughout the house supporting the majestic roof. Most attractive is the pop color palette that attracts the eye to its core. Multiple contrasting shades are found in different spaces including the serene greens, burnt sage and enticing red. Categorized as an ‘Eichler Home’, this house sets a true example of mid-century modern to be proudly standing since 1958.

Retro Modern Home Renovation

Everyone dreams of a house covered with tall glass and cantilevered floors; possibly a massive fireplace in the center of their double-height ceiling design living room and an open floor plan that makes the space look huge. After World War 2, people experimented with all sorts of materials and techniques to explore and come up with the latest unknown technologies, however, the most creative challenges come up with their pros and cons. The houses built in the 50s and 60s required innumerable renovations in the 80’s and 90’s. Highly inspired by the “looks” of a mid-century modern house, people tend to fall in the pit by not understanding the true aesthetic and avoiding to pay attention to the details in materials, colors and textures.

Do you own a mid-century modern house that constantly requires fixing the roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC and sewer lines? Yes! The struggle is real. Due to enormous amounts of glass used on the façade, the building fails in insulation. However, alternatives like thick tempered glass could be used to lower down the electricity bills. The smart use of building materials is necessary to get a mid-century makeover for example, opting for brick and metals like brass is a smart move with “walnut type” wood finish that gives the interiors an elegant and rich look.

“Fireplaces” seem like the most important and authentic feature however the ancient, smoky fireplaces are a big cause of indoor pollution. Replacing these with an all-electric fireplace is a more modern and secure option to choose. Upgrading the traditional elements with more tech-friendly products would result in a futuristic house with roots deep down in rich culture and history.

You could add connected switches, fancy mid-century lights, curtains, and shades to get rid of the old school products. Sometimes it can be challenging to get the same piece of furniture or light that was previously used; you can calm down your anxiety by conversing with local artisans to produce a similar one.

Mid-century modern house calls out the interiors to be an extension of the exteriors. It is worth incorporating your outdoors when renovating the house by adding sliding doors, placing furniture or a barbecue stand. Update the floors with slate, flagstone, and wood (depending on the climate) and observe the outdoor space shining out.

One such example is a single-family, 1,300 sqft renovated mid-century house that beautifully incorporates the indoors with outdoors. Located in Palm Springs, this house offers a perfect space to relax with spectacular views of the mountains.

Patio with raised spa, umbrella and outdoor furnitureLarge pool with a raised spa and stunning view of the mountains

Polished concrete flooring, wood console table and doorRenovated polished concrete floor finish

Open layout concept with grey couches, center table and white ceilingTypical mid-century modern interiors with renovated floor, exposed beam, wider windows and natural lighting

Kitchen with white peninsula, metal chairs and solid surface countertopsRenovated kitchen with custom wooden cabinets and mid-century exposed metal chairs

Patio with glass panel doors, exposed log beams with view of the swimming poolAll the ancient windows are replaced with double-pane energy saving glass panels

Bedroom with access to the patio, bathroom with floating shelf and console tableSliding doors opening towards the outdoors to connect the two spaces

Geometric design fence and cactus plantsGeometric design fence

Outdoor area with shiplap walls, grilll and upholstered chairsMid century modern outdoor geometric design accent wall

The house has been beautifully renovated keeping in mind the look and feel of original William Krisel design with a slight update in technology and services. The AC has been replaced with a newer version and materials that are more sustainable have been introduced. Mid-century modern design has an everlasting charm that may never fade away for centuries and will continually grow to advance and become a better product of its own every passing generation.

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