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How to Design a Mid-Century Modern Dining Room

design a mid-century modern dining room

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Midcentury Modern Dining Room – Introduction Video 

A mid-century dining room is all about simplicity and functionality. The most important elements are a strong dining table, comfortable seats, and sufficient lighting. You may personalize the space with vintage carpets, wall art, and attractive centerpieces.

Some other great mid-century dining room décor ideas include chevron patterns, geometric shapes, and tapered legs. The key is to keep things simple and avoid overcrowding the space. With these guidelines in mind, you can create an amazing mid-century modern dining room that will be both stylish and functional.

1.- Include Geometric Painted Wallpaper or Murals

The importance of Geometric Painted Wallpaper or Murals in a dining room cannot be understated. They provide not only a sense of sleek sophistication and clean lines, but they also help to tie the room together. A hand-painted mural or wallpaper in a subdued color scheme can help to bring out the best in your mid-century modern furniture.

By following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that your dining room remains both stylish and functional. First, consider the size of your mural or wallpaper. If it is too large, it will overpower the room; if it is too small, it will get lost in the shuffle. Second, pay attention to the colors you use.

Too much color can be overwhelming, while too little can be boring. Instead, aim for a balance of light and dark hues that will complement your furniture and walls. Finally, don’t forget to Seal It! A clear coat of sealant will protect your mural or wallpaper from spills and stains, keeping it looking its best for years to come.

With a little planning and forethought, you can create a dining room that is both stylish and inviting. So go ahead and embrace your inner MCM fan – your dining room will thank you for

Curated image with Mid-Century 60-80" Expandable Dining Table, Acorn, Classon Recycled Shell Chai...

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2.- Replace a set of dining chairs with a Bench

A dining bench is a great way to add extra seating to your dining room while still paying homage to midcentury modern design. However, if you have the room, why not add a complete banquette instead of just a bench? To maximize the value of your dining room’s retro-cool style, you may also choose to hide some storage below.

A banquette is a great way to add extra seating and storage to your dining room. Banquettes are usually built in between two walls, making them a great space-saving option for small homes. Plus, they can easily be customized to match the existing style of your home.

Whether you choose a bench or a banquette, adding extra seating to your dining room is a great way to make the most of your space.

Curated image with Anton 44" Round Marble Table, White, Burnt Wax, Henry Pendant, Large, Powder C...

3.- Include Cascading Plants in Shelves into the Design

Cascading plants are an important element in mid-century modern dining rooms. They help create an elegant, streamlined look while adding a touch of nature to the room. When incorporating cascading plants into a mid-century modern dining room, it is important to consider the room’s overall design.

The plants should be placed on shelves or on sideboards so that they do not interfere with the clean lines of the furniture. In addition, the plants should be chosen for their shape and size so that they complement the other elements in the room.

By carefully selecting cascading plants that fit with the room’s overall design, you can create a stylish and inviting space that will impress your guests. Don’t forget that some plants are poisonous to pets, so take a look at our list of safe houseplants that you could add to your room!

Curated image with Keira 60-80"Expandable Table, Cool Walnut, Classic Cafe Upholstered Dining Cha...

4.- Consider Adding Mirrors

The importance of mirrors in mid-century modern rooms is well-known. They are used to make a space seem larger and dramatically reflect candles from a tablescape. However, they serve a far more valuable purpose in a dining room.

Mirrors can accomplish a lot when strategically positioned, from upping the ambiance of a party to reflecting candles from a tablescape. Consider using smaller, circular mirrors if you want a more intimate feel in your dining area.

A set of mirrors affixed to the top of a pair of double doors may enhance its opulent appearance. Either way, with a little bit of creativity, mirrors can go a long way in making your dining room the talk of the town.

Curated image with Holmes 80" Rectangle Dining Table, Warm Gray, Berkshire Dining Chair, Black, S...

5.- Create contrast with Black Accents

It is important to create a sense of contrast in any room, but especially in a dining room. This can be accomplished in several ways, but one of the most effective is using light wood tones against a dark background. In this dining room, the built-in black shelving provides the perfect contrast for the light wood dining table and chairs.

Even in a fairly plain area, with a fireplace to match, the light wood tones stand out and shine. It’s a fantastic balance, with the remainder of the space leaning toward light colors. By using contrast in this way, you can create a dining room that is both stylish and inviting.

Curated image with Range Arm Chair, Yarn Dyed Linen Weave, Sand, Dark Bronze, Range Side Chair, Y...

6.- Focus on Natural Elements

When it comes to mid-century modern design, there is a lot to love. One of the things that makes this style so special is the importance that is placed on natural elements. This can be seen in how furniture is designed to showcase the beauty of the wood grain and highlight the inherent beauty of organic materials.

The wonderful thing about mid-century modern design is that it reminds us of the importance of appreciating the simple things in life. By celebrating the inherent beauty of natural elements, mid-century modern design helps us to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Curated image with Lalia Dining Chair, Charcoal Chunky Basketweave Charcoal, Black, Tompkins Indu...

7.- Don’t forget about art

While the mid-century modernist movement affected all areas of design, from architecture to fashion, its influence is perhaps most evident in the world of art. Midcentury artists were interested in exploring new techniques and materials, and their experimental approach helped to shape the course of modern art.

Today, mid-century art is highly sought-after by collectors and interior designers alike. Consider incorporating some original artwork if you’re looking to add a touch of midcentury flair to your dining room.

Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just getting started, incorporating midcentury art into your decor is a surefire way to add some personality to your dining room.

Curated image with Tahoe 72" Dining Table, Natural Oak, Oak, Holland Chair, Black, Black Cord, Me...

8.- Add Different Textures

The importance of different textures in mid-century modern rooms cannot be overstated. They can add visual interest and help to soften the effect of the furniture’s slender lines. A variety of textures can also set the mood for a dinner party or any other special occasion.

For example, decorating each chair with a different cushion or blanket can add a touch of luxury and sophistication. Or, if you want to create a more relaxed atmosphere, using texture to create a cozy nest on each chair is a great way to achieve this. Either way, incorporating textiles into your midcentury modern dining room is a surefire way to add style and personality to your space.

Curated image with Pure White Ceramic Footed Centerpiece, White, Foundations Glass Short Wide Vas...

9.- Include a Few Nostalgic Touches

Even if you’re looking more contemporary, you may still include some classic elements. Midcentury furniture with a geometric bent and clean-lined shaker dining chairs may coexist well. To complete the look, use an MCM-inspired light fixture, as these creative homeowners have done.

Nostalgic touches like these help create a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for entertaining. And, of course, they also add a touch of style and personality to the space. So, if you’re looking to create a midcentury modern dining room that’s both stylish and inviting, don’t forget to include some classic elements.

Curated image with Liv Marble Round Dining Table, White Marble, White, Cenote Vase, White, Small,...

10.- Focus on Simplicity

In the world of interior design, there is something to be said for simplicity. A single splash of color can be all that is needed to transform a room from feeling drab and lifeless to feeling fresh and vibrant. This is particularly true in the case of mid-century modern dining rooms.

These spaces are often characterized by their clean lines and uncluttered surfaces. Adding a pop of color can create a focal point that will add visual interest and help tie the room together. When choosing a color, consider both the overall aesthetic of the space and the existing furnishings.

A daring shade of orange or yellow may be just the thing to inject some life into a room that feels too bland. On the other hand, a more subdued hue like blue or green can help to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Ultimately, the importance of simplicity should not be underestimated. In many cases, less really is more.

Curated image with Maria Dining Chair, Black, Set of 2, Keira Expandable Table, 60-80", Cool Waln...

11.- Add a Touch of Coziness

Mid-century modern rooms tend to focus on functionality and simplicity. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t also be cozy! One way to add a sense of warmth to an MCM dining room is through color. Red is a perfect choice for an accent wall, as it will help to create a focal point in the room. Orange and yellow work well together and can be used on walls or furniture.

Consider using earth tones like brown and green for a more subtle approach. Finally, don’t forget the power of lighting! Soft, ambient lighting will help to make the space feel more inviting. You can turn your MCM dining room into a cozy oasis by carefully selecting colors and incorporating different light sources.

Curated image with Mid-Century 42-60" Round Expandable Dining Table, Acorn, Berkshire Dining Chai...

12.- Stay Cohesive

Achieving a cohesive look in a mid-century modern dining room can be tricky. On the one hand, the style lends itself well to experimentation, with its clean lines and minimalist aesthetic. On the other hand, it also lends itself to monochromatic color schemes.

Is there a third option? Natural materials, like wood and wicker, tend to harmonize well with one other. And when used judiciously, they can add visual interest and texture to a space without compromising its cohesion. For example, a wooden dining table would pair nicely with wicker chairs.

Or, a wicker light fixture could add a touch of warmth to a room with otherwise cool tones. With a little creativity, it is possible to create a mid-century modern dining room that is both stylish and cohesive.

Curated image with Shop the Kanto Collection, Aaron Probyn Kanto Small Bowl, Cardamom, Individual...

13.- Encourage Natural Light

Large windows and an open floor plan lend themselves well to a style of dining that is both experimental and harmony-driven. When it comes to choosing a color scheme, natural materials like wood and wicker tend to work well together. However, there is a third option: incorporating the importance of natural light into the room’s design.

By using light-colored walls and furniture, placing mirrors in strategic locations, and installing large windows, rooms can take on an airy, ethereal quality. In doing so, they create a aesthetically pleasing and functional space.

Curated image with Range Side Chair, Yarn Dyed Linen Weave, Alabaster, Dark Bronze, Olivia Pendan...

14.- Consider a Gallery Wall

Gallery walls have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and for a good reason. Not only do they provide a creative way to display art, but they also help to create a sense of cohesion in a space.

When done correctly, a gallery wall can be an asset to any room, but they are particularly well-suited to Mid-Century Modern dining rooms. In these spaces, the importance of creating a unified look is paramount. Gallery walls can play an integral role in achieving this goal.

By carefully selecting pieces that complement the rest of the decor, you can create a stylish and inviting, cohesive look. So whether you’re looking for a way to show off your favorite artworks or you’re simply hoping to create a more unified aesthetic, consider incorporating a gallery wall into your next Mid-Century Modern dining room design.

Curated image with Hargrove 60-80" Expandable Dining Table, Dune, Hargrove Side Chair, Yarn Dyed...

15.- Lighting is the key to making an impact

Lighting is a key design element in any room, but it is especially important in a dining space. After all, the purpose of a dining room is to provide a space for enjoying meals, and good lighting is essential for creating an appealing ambiance. When decorating in the midcentury modern style, use statement lighting as a centerpiece.

This type of lighting fixture is both practical and stylish, making it the perfect addition to any mid-century dining room. Not only will it provide the necessary light for mealtime, but it will also add a touch of elegance to the space.

Whether you choose a chandelier, pendant light, or wall sconce, make sure to pick a fixture that complements the other elements in your dining room. With the right statement lighting, you can create a beautiful and functional space.

Curated image with Dinner Plate, Ceramic, Herringbone, Set of 4, Salad Plate, Ceramic, Herringbon...

16.- White and wood combo

White walls with wood accents are a fantastic foundation for many mid-century modern dining rooms because they are simple to work with and provide a solid base for future projects. The combination of white and wood is important because it creates a clean, sleek, mid-century modern look.

Additionally, the use of white walls allows you to experiment with different colors and patterns in your furniture and decorations without being too overwhelming. You can easily add pops of color with your dishes, tablecloth, or other accessories. The wood accents can also change depending on the season or your taste.

For example, you could use light-colored wood in the summer and darker wood in the winter. Alternatively, you could keep the same wood tone throughout the year but change out the color of your accessories. The possibilities are endless when you have a white and wood foundation!

Curated image with Hargrove 60-80" Expandable Dining Table, Dune, Berkshire Side Chair Dining Cha...

17.- Use muted Tones Wisely

When it comes to designing your dining room, you have the option of going with a more subdued color scheme or a more vibrant one that still looks great. The natural finishes and patterns of midcentury themes go especially well with muted tones, which enable you to add a splash of color without overwhelming the space.

In addition, muted tones can help to create an illusion of more space, which is often welcomed in smaller dining rooms. Ultimately, whether you choose to go with a more subdued or more vibrant color scheme, the important thing is that you select shades that complement the overall design of your dining room.

Curated image with Drum Shade Table Lamp White Pleated (11"), Anton Solid Wood 72" Dining Table,...

18.- Chairs with Cane Backs are an excellent choice

When you go into a midcentury dining room, the chairs normally take center stage, sometimes even over the dining table. This is because the chairs set the tone for the entire room. Chairs that include geometric forms and sharp lines are guaranteed to get the look you’re going for in a midcentury modern setting, such as cane chairs.

These chairs are a classic example of midcentury modern design because of the way they combine form and function. The importance of chairs with cane-backs in mid-century modern dining rooms cannot be understated.

They are not only incredibly stylish, but they are also extremely comfortable. This makes them the perfect choice for any dining room, whether it is formal or informal.

Silhouette Pedestal Marble Round Dining Table (44", 60")

19.- Toss in a Little Glamour

Many people believe that mid-century modern design is all about simplicity and functionality. However, this aesthetic can also be quite glamorous. For example, adding a few simple but chic details in a dining room can elevate the space and make it feel more special.

A great way to add glamour to a midcentury modern space is with lighting. Pendant lights or chandeliers with clean lines and a metallic finish are perfect for creating a chic, sophisticated look. Another way to bring some glamour into your mid-century modern dining room is with accessories.

A statement mirror or piece of art can add an instant wow factor, while a vintage-inspired rug can add both style and comfort. With the right mix of elements, creating a midcentury modern space that is both stylish and glamourous is easy.

Poppy Expandable Dining Table (42"–60")

Final Recap

Mid-century modern dining rooms are becoming increasingly popular, as people are drawn to their clean lines and simple aesthetic. But what exactly makes a mid-century modern dining room? Here are some key elements to look for:

A focus on simplicity and functionality: mid-century modern dining rooms are all about keeping things clean and streamlined. Furniture is often minimal, and there is an emphasis on function over form.

A focus on natural materials: mid-century modern dining rooms often incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone. This can be seen in the use of pendant lights, which are a common feature in mid-century modern design.

An emphasis on light: mid-century modern dining rooms often use large windows to let in plenty of natural light. This helps to create an airy and open feel.

By keeping these key elements in mind, you can start to spot mid-century modern dining rooms wherever you go. And who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to create one of your own!

Jules Drop Leaf Expandable Dining Table (22"–42")







Design a Mid-Century Modern Dining Room – FAQ

Is a round dining table a good mid-century modern item?

In mid-century dining rooms, round tables are a great way to add a touch of mid-century modern style to your mid-century modern dining room.

How do I make my dining area look mid-century modern?

A great way to make your dining area look mid-century style is to use a mix of different materials, such as wood, metal, and glass. You can also use different colors and patterns to create a mid-century modern dining room.

What type of dining chairs is midcentury-style?

Some great midcentury-style dining chairs are those with cane backs or geometric forms and solid wood. These chairs are perfect for adding a touch of mid-century modern style.

What are some classic colors that evoke a retro vibe for a mid-century modern room?

Light blue tones, white walls, a warm color palette, or any neutral color scheme should do.

What type of area rug should I use for my mid-century modern dining room?

One that has sleek lines, geometric patterns, and bright colors should do.

How to Design a Mid-Century Modern Dining Room

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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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