Mid-Century Modern (MCM) Style

The obsession with mid-century modern style revolves around the designs of the houses from the mid-20th century, precisely from the era between 1930-1960. There was a change in the simple designs of homes, with the addition of futuristic shapes, bright shades of paint on the exterior, large windows, and geometric shapes. 

These additional factors added to a new display of identical old houses; the mid-century modern design was the era’s latest and most popular design. Famous architects like Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, and the father of American architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, laid out the foundations for the mid-century modern design. These world-renowned architects also trained many MCM architects. Some similarities exist between America’s ranch-style homes and the mid-century modern design, but their architectural philosophies differ. 

Mid-century modern-look homes in today’s day and age are often characterized by: 

  • Aesthetic and minimalist lines for the home’s frame/silhouette and furniture. 
  • An asymmetrical touch to the house, like a sloped roof or geometrical exterior. 
  • Expansive windows are often the ones that travel from the floor to the room’s ceiling.
  • Use bright paint colors for the exterior, like blue, gray, orange, and yellow. The house’s front door is often painted bright colors as well. 
  • The use of plants is placed aesthetically with the design of the house. 
  • The use of stone, glass, and wood in the house’s exterior.

A home can be given the classic 1950s touch with minimal changes and alterations. Renovations in correspondence to the mid-century modern design basics can help achieve the core design of the 1950s era. 

Using potted plants in an asymmetrical way on the outside of your house is a crucial step in mid-century modern design. Not only potted plants but using stones, glass, and wood to display a natural look also boosts the mid-century look. Stones can be selected to make a simple pathway; the plants can be placed adjacent to the geometrical lines along the walls on the exterior. The mid-century modern design also focuses on a green and well-kept lawn. 

To amplify the aesthetic touch of this design, it is essential to select plants that quickly grow in the climate of the area where the home is being designed. The mixture of the natural touch holds great importance to this design. Big and expansive windows are also an essential part of the mid-century modern design; floor-to-ceiling windows are an excellent example of windows used. Besides completing the modern mid-century look, big windows ensure sufficient natural light entering the hose during the daytime. Windows without many visible grids are preferred, such as sliding glass doors, casement windows, and awning windows. 

The silhouette of the house is also essential to complete the overall look. A geometrical and aesthetic design is emphasized. The use of round edges to the house’s exterior is minimal. Using wooden furniture with geometric frames or metallic-colored furniture with geometric structures gives a closer touch to the mid-century modern design. The house’s backyard can be filled with water fountains, fences, and porch seats with geometric shapes to boost the mid-century look further. A bold-colored, thoughtfully designed front door can significantly contribute to this design. A sleekly designed garage door can complement the outstanding front door of your house. The mid-century modern design gained a lot of popularity between 1945 and 1969, and it has resurfaced in recent years. 

Mid-century modern design has become available to newer generations of homeowners with the help of interior decorating styles such as Scandinavian and modern Danish designs. The mid-century modern design was considered for a specific set of homes after World War 2 and wasn’t considered a particular style. However, the mid-century modern design style is now openly known as a specific one. 


The international and Bauhaus design movements and American high prairie-style homes heavily influenced the mid-century modern design. After World War 2, the American population directed their aims towards a nature-filled lifestyle; the mid-century modern designs helped by contributing a natural aura to the homes built. 

The large windows, stoned pathways, green lawns, and potted plants became the way to go for house design. 

During the phase of popularity for the mid-century modern design during 1945-1969, the design branched out into three different styles. The Bauhaus architects, who came to America from Germany, started the design movement of mid-century modern design. The mid-century modern design is characterized by simplicity and functionality. The focus on the procedure being asymmetrical and organized led to its popularity and is still popular today.

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