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10 Common Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style

Common Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style

Courtesy of West Elm

10 Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 

 

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10 Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style

Mistakes When Decorating in Mid-century – Introduction Video

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 1.-Sticking to Dark-colored Wood and Light Neutrals

Midcentury modern design is often associated with dark wood furnishings and subdued neutrals. However, while these elements are certainly important, they are not the only colors that can be used in Midcentury modern design.

Bright pops of color can also play a significant role in creating an eye-catching and inviting space. Mustard yellow, orange, red, and hues of green can all be used to add a touch of vibrancy to a room.

When used sparingly, these colors can help to create a sense of balance and visual interest. In addition, they can also help to inject a bit of personality into the space.

So, if you want to add a bit of color to your Midcentury modern design, don’t be afraid to experiment with bolder hues. You might just be surprised at how well they work.

10 Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style

Courtesy of West Elm

2.- Using Out-of-scale Items 

Minimalism is a key principle of midcentury design, and as such, many midcentury-inspired pieces are small in size. However, these pieces can seem too dwarfed for the space when placed in a larger room.

To avoid this, it’s important to make sure the item is proportional to the area. One way to do this is to evaluate how one piece of furniture fits in with the rest of the room’s decor. For example, if most of the furniture in the room is large and bulky, then a small, delicate chair may look out of place.

On the other hand, if the room is full of smaller pieces, a larger piece may help anchor the space. By taking the time to consider these factors, you can ensure that your midcentury-inspired decor looks intentional and well-crafted rather than accidental and cluttered.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of West Elm

3.- Buying Midcentury Modern Stuff Just Because

Mid-century modern style furniture is a popular style, but it’s not for everyone. Just because you have a thing for mid-century modern design doesn’t mean you have to buy everything in that vein.

Buying a piece of furniture because it has a mid-century modern aesthetic without giving it any thought might lead to regret. When buying a new piece of furniture, give some thought to how it will complement your current setup.

Such a strategy will help you save both time and money in the long term. mid-century modern furniture can be expensive, so be sure to shop around and compare prices before making a purchase.

In addition, be sure to measure your space and make sure the piece will fit before you buy it. With a little thought and planning, you can find the perfect piece of modern mid-century furniture for your home.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of West Elm

4.- Not appreciating Midcentury Modern Style’s Adaptability

Midcentury Modern style is an iconic design that appreciates both organic forms and straight lines. Characterized by simple and utilitarian shapes, this style is not unduly ornate yet remains endlessly versatile.

Whether you are looking to redecorate your home or office, Midcentury Modern style can complement many other designs. One of the reasons for its enduring popularity is its adaptability. For example, you can find Midcentury Modern furniture in a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, and even plastic.

In addition, this style is often associated with patterns, clean lines and smooth edges, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more minimalistic aesthetic. While you won’t want to buy everything you see in Midcentury Modern style, appreciating its adaptability is key to understanding its appeal.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of West Elm

5.- Not taking Proper Care of Vintage Items 

Spend some time fixing things and reupholstering them so that you end up with something really one-of-a-kind. These days, people are really starting to appreciate the value of vintage items, especially those from the mid-century modern era.

However, taking proper care of these items can be a challenge. Because they are often made from delicate materials like glass or wood, they require special handling. In addition, many vintage items are one-of-a-kind, making replacement parts difficult to find.

However, if you take the time to learn about the proper care and cleaning techniques for vintage items, you’ll be able to keep them looking their best for years to come. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your vintage treasures in tip-top shape so that you can enjoy them for years to come.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of Houzz

6.- Excessive Use of Brass

While brass is indeed a great way to get that midcentury modern aesthetic, it’s by no means the only alternative. You could use one metal for some accents here and there or some light fixtures, but mixing it up could add some creative flair to your home.

Try using different metals like copper or chromium in various ways throughout your home. This will give it more visual interest and depth while still maintaining that overall midcentury modern look you’re going for. Plus, it’ll make your home unique – something that’s always a plus!

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of Houzz

7.- Overusing a Wood Color or Tone

Forget about only having one shade of wood for all your furniture; it’s time to get creative. Don’t overuse a single wood color or tone if you’re going for a mid-century modern look. The key is to create contrast and visual interest by mixing and matching different shades and finishes.

For example, pair a light oak coffee table with a dark walnut dresser. Or mix and match different woods altogether, like pairing a cherry bookshelf with an ash dining table. Not only will this give your room more personality, but it will also make it feel more dynamic and alive.

So don’t be afraid to mix things up when furnishing your home. Try out different finishes and see what works best for you.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of Houzz

8.- Neglecting to use your Existing Furniture 

You don’t have to decorate your house exclusively with Mid-Century Modern pieces, and you shouldn’t either. A small number of pieces with a midcentury modern aesthetic may make a big impact.

Good interior design incorporates a variety of accessories to give the room a more inviting and comfortable vibe. You may replace the lost traditional furniture with some modern additions. 

While too much of anything can be overwhelming, a few pieces of mid-century modern furniture can actually make a space look more contemporary. And as an added bonus, these pieces tend to be quite affordable.

So if you’re looking to add a touch of mid-century style to your home, start with just a few key pieces. A beautiful vintage console table or an eye-catching bar cart can make all the difference.

With just a few carefully selected pieces, you can create an inviting and stylish space that feels totally your own.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of Houzz

9.- Going Overboard

As anyone who loves mid-century modern design will tell you, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. While the midcentury aesthetic is very popular and adaptable, you can’t simply throw in some mid-century modern furniture and hope for the best.

The key to creating a successful midcentury-inspired space is balance. You must carefully consider the proportions of your furniture and accessories and ensure that everything works together harmoniously.

Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a cluttered and uninviting space. With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can easily avoid this pitfall and create a stylish and welcoming midcentury modern space that you’ll be happy to call home.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of Houzz

10.- Forgetting About Final touches 

The first thing people notice about a house is often its fixtures and fittings. But in reality, the area still seems unfinished because of the details that aren’t included in the decor. The foundation of a beautiful house is its flooring, walls, and any other decorative touches.

The finishing touches complete a room and may be anything from artwork and accessories to window coverings. For example, adding a piece of mid-century modern art to a living room can completely change the feel of the space.

Or, opting for light-filtering shades instead of heavy drapes can make a room seem brighter and airier. The small details make all the difference in creating a finished look.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of West Elm

10 Common Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style-FAQ

Where can I hire an interior designer to help me with my entire room?

You can hire an interior designer at Havenly. They understand how versatile MCM is and will help you with any popular decorating styles. They’ll also help you source furniture pieces such as floor lamps, table lamps, window treatments, and all the quality pieces and trendy items you need for your interior design.

Is using only dark woods a midcentury modern characteristic?

No, using a variety of woods is encouraged in midcentury modern design. You can use light woods, dark woods, and everything in between to create a unique and stylish space. So don’t be afraid to mix things up when furnishing your home. Try out different finishes and see what works best for you.

Should I use only one wood tone in my furniture pieces?

No, you don’t have to limit yourself to one wood tone. In fact, you can use a variety of different woods to create an interesting and stylish space. Just be sure to mix and match different finishes to create a cohesive look.

How can I create a focal point in my midcentury modern room?

There are right and wrong ways to create a focal point, but the best way to do it is by choosing a piece of furniture that makes a statement. It could be an oversized piece, a bold color, or an interesting shape. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will draw the eye and create an inviting space.

What is the most common mistake in midcentury modern style?

The most common mistake in midcentury modern style is forgetting about final touches. The first thing people notice about a house is often its fixtures and fittings. But in reality, the area still seems unfinished because of the details that aren’t included in the decor. The foundation of a beautiful house is its flooring, walls, and any other decorative touches.

Can I add more furniture to create more focal points in a large space?

If you have more space to add more mcm style items, an Eames chair could help you create a focal point. Additionally, a bookshelf with interesting items or a unique rug can help create more visual interest in the room and add more focal points in larger rooms or a new project.

How do I create a midcentury modern design in small spaces?

Creating a midcentury modern design in small spaces is often about being more minimalistic and strategic with your furniture choices. Rather than filling the space with a lot of small pieces, choose a few larger pieces that will make a statement. Additionally, be sure to use light and airy colors to help make the space seem larger. And finally, don’t forget about those final touches that will help complete the space.

What characteristics should I focus on when creating a midcentury modern room?

Clean lines, muted neutrals, dated items in different sizes, and low-slung furniture are all characteristics you should focus on when creating a midcentury modern room. Additionally, incorporating natural materials like wood and stone can help create a more inviting and warm space. And finally, don’t forget to add those final touches that will help complete the space.

Can I incorporate my current pieces into my midcentury modern design?

Yes, you should incorporate current pieces into your midcentury modern design. But remember to focus on the clean lines and muted neutrals that are characteristic of the style. And be sure to mix and match different furniture pieces to create a cohesive look.

What is the best way to add personality to my midcentury modern space?

There are a few ways to add personality to your midcentury modern space. One way is to incorporate bold and bright colors into your space. Another way is to mix and match different patterns and textures. And finally, don’t forget to add those final touches that will help complete the space.

What should I avoid when decorating in midcentury modern style?

You should avoid a few things when decorating in midcentury modern style. One thing to avoid is using too many different colors or patterns. Another thing to avoid is overcrowding the space with too much furniture. And finally, don’t forget to add those final touches that will help complete the space.

midcentury modern living room

Courtesy of Houzz

10 Mistakes When Decorating in Midcentury Modern Style

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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