25 ideas to steal with mid century style



I am coming back to familiar territory here because simply this is a style that keeps on giving. I guess that readers (young and not-so-young) like the familiarity of mid-century style as well as the fact that it works well with a number of other styles too. Is it worth investing in this style long term? I would.

You don't have to buy new if you cannot afford it and you don't have to buy the high end vintage either, you can simply buy something that has been up cycled and is from that era. For that, you don't have to search long or hard. Ebay and ETSY are full of mid century treasures and if you're on Twitter just check the hashtag "upcycledhour".


If you love all things new, then there are a number of shops to cater for this style, particularly West Elm (their UK collection is much lighter than what you would normally find in the States, but still good enough with pieces for the living room and bedroom). Here are 25 top ideas to steal to get this look in your home.

1/ PRINTS

Mid century saw the mass production of artwork. The style tends to be simple, geometric, breaking away from the complicated style of previous decades and making it accessible to the masses. One of my sources for such prints (both new and vintage) is ETSY. You can find a curated collection of mid century prints right here.


2/ WORK SPACE FURNITURE AND LIGHTING

West Elm is always a great source for mid century style products. below, lighting, the Saddle chair and wall art, all by West Elm.


3/ SEATING

Some of the best vintage finds are on 1stdibs. Buy vintage. If you're investing in a single chair for your desk, buying a vintage original is not going to set you back too much. But even if you are considering a whole set of chairs, 1stdibs has some fabulous sets on offer.

Tip: you can even press for a 10-15% off the asking price, the dealers are always keen to please where they can. Remember to ask for a shipping quote as sometimes the dealer is based halfway across the world!

The Charles Eames DSR chairs, below, are really popular and cost less than other original designs (around £230). You can find them new on John Lewis or Conran's online shop (there's a waiting time for delivery) whereas head to 1stdibs for vintage originals. Go for mixed colours of the same design or try something to suit a monochrome interior.


4/ GO FOR DESIGN

Just because it was designed half a century ago it doesn't mean it's no longer relevant or contemporary. Go for comfort (with an Eames lounge chair, as shown below in the Little House on the Corner blog) or for design, with a Cherner armchair.


5/ DESKS TO SHOW OFF

These beauties will look good enough when you combine with industrial chairs and decor so if you get bored of one style, switch to something different.


6/ ADD DARK COLOURS ON THE WALL

The beautiful brown/red colours of mid-century furniture will literally pop in front of teal or dark blue or black walls.


7/ OR KEEP IT ALL WHITE

White DSR chairs like these with chrome base will look exceptionally modern in an all white room.


8/ MIX UP STYLES

If your style is a bit boho glam, then mid century will be right up your street. Combine chairs and side tables with vintage or ethnic rugs. Take a look at room designs by Em Henderson.


9/ STAY COLOURFUL

Mid-century apartments were really colourful (have you watched Mad Men?) so don't be afraid to use colour on your walls freely.


10/ KEEP THE BALANCE

If you are using colour on the walls and floors (see the carpet below) then make sure the upholstery on your furniture is in neutral colours, to avoid making the room look busy, complicated and loud.


11/ USE VERSATILE PIECES

That's it, get items that have double use like this mid century mirror/towel rack or (book display?) from West Elm.


12/ GIVE IT ANOTHER ANGLE

A sideboard in the bathroom? Oh yes! Admit it, this mid-century vanity is making your heart beat faster. #bathroomgoals


13/ REPURPOSE FURNITURE

This credenza got a new lease of life by being re-purposed into a vanity base. Combined with the cuboid tiles on the wall, the result is not just on trend but will make the family queue for extra time in the bathroom! A luxury vanity base will cost you upwards of £1,500, whereas a credenza like this will cost around £500 if it has been restored properly; all you need is to ask your plumber to cut to round holes on the top and back to fit the pipes and you're done.


14/ TRY SIMILAR TO ORIGINAL

To the left is the Grossman Cobra table lamp for Gubi (around £350), and to the right the stylish half-moon desk lamp by West Elm (£137). You can get a classic or something extra nice that will not blow the budget!


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