What is a mid century modern house?

Ever since it first appeared as a clearly defined design movement, mid century modern design quickly spread through architecture, art and décor. This highly influential design movement profoundly reshaped the way we understand and think of our living space, our apartments and houses, our furniture, accessories and interior design. The legacy of mid century modern continues to shape interiors and exteriors to this day. On top of it, the aesthetic of the era has been revived time and time again through popular culture (with the TV show Mad Men being the most commonly quoted example).

In this article we will discuss what is the ‘ideal’ mid century modern house and what was its historic impact on the development of modern architecture, interior and exterior design, furniture design and décor. We will explore different details and aspects in order to understand the specifics of this era’s design and their connection with contemporary understanding of the living space and mid century style.

Mid century modern house plans

When speaking about mid century modern architecture, we can name a number of different examples and types of buildings – from hotels to living buildings and from cultural institutions to politic headquarters, mid century architects certainly left their mark. But what about a simple mid century modern house? What are some of the unique characteristics that make this type of architectural and design endeavor so impactful and influential?

Just a brief look at mid century house plans – and you can take any project whatsoever, regardless of whether it is considered to be an architectural gem or just your average mid century style home – reveals a modern and non-traditional layout. A unique floor plan is the first thing that catches attention. Mid century modern homes rely heavily on open spaces, even when they are fairly small in size. Dining room and living room are usually separated only by a counter or furniture positioning, while still essentially belonging to the same room. The corridors and hallways, although usually relatively narrow tend to connect a majority, if not all rooms in a typical mid century modern home.

Further playing on the card of open spaces, mid century modern house plans reveal a rather unique approach to doors and passages – in this architectural style, most rooms (and this is especially true for living room and other main living spaces) tend to open up through large slide doors. When possible, these doors (sometimes replaced by huge glass walls) will connect the house with its exterior, providing a scenic few of the surroundings and blurring the boundary between indoor and outdoor.

Mid century modern house design

Now when we briefly covered some of the specifics of mid century modern house plans, we can take a look at the house design itself. Here, the desire to innovate and break away from the traditional conventions is even more pronounced. Instead of the well-known ‘typical’ house architecture, mid century modern house design comes with sharp angles, clean precise straight lines and unorthodox shapes and forms which give these buildings a somewhat sculptural, yet undoubtedly modern appeal. Mixing and matching of materials with a certain appreciation of raw appeal of exposed brick and raw wood also ensure an elegant and modern aesthetic expression. Finally, huge windows, glass walls and slide doors complement these elements while simultaneously opening up the space to the surroundings and ‘bringing the outside in’.

Mid century modern house colors

When it comes to the outside, mid century modern house design seems to be rather appreciative of neutral and natural colors which it usually gets from the natural wood or raw appeal of bricks. However, in many cases these stylish houses are colored in bright colors that can be contrasted with darker elements or an occasional splash of vivid colors, for example on the window frames or doors of the house.

Mid century modern house interior design follows similar principles when it comes to use of color. Neutrals, pastels and bright colors rule supreme here and are very commonly combined with rustic appeal of wood, either on the floor or on the wall elements. Brighter, more vivid and even darker shades can be commonly used as accents, sometimes even as main colors if you are going for a kind of crossover look. Still, mid century modern house palette still remains dominated by neutral and natural colors, bright and washed out more commonly than dark and saturated.

Mid century modern house interior

When it comes to interior design and décor of a typical mid century modern house, we can mention a number of different elements. Mid century modern furniture is the backbone of a successful décor in MCM style. And this includes both seating solutions and lighting fixtures. With their organic, yet modern appeal, minimalist aesthetical expression and unimpeded functionality, mid century designer furniture perfectly complements those same qualities present in the architecture and overall design of mid century modern houses.

Other décor elements are also commonly present and they include sculptures, artworks, wall prints and similar. And, in line with the idea of ‘bringing the outdoors in’, mid century modern house interiors are often rich in living and artificial plants as well as wooden elements which further emphasize the natural beauty and appeal of textures and colors present all around us.

Mid century modern houses for sale

Even today, decades after mid century modern style took over the world by a storm, mid century modern houses for sale are readily available and are always just a click away. Regardless of whether you are looking just for building plans or for the whole house, you can easily find it. Some of the main reasons behind the immense and unwavering popularity of mid century modern houses include their timeless appeal, but also their functionality and clever practical and stylistic utilization of space which makes this style exceptionally suitable for smaller houses. This is why mid century modern tiny houses are highly sought-after. At the same time, this relation can also make these living solutions relatively affordable, when compared to the alternatives, which is why they also commonly appear in the form of mid century modern ranch houses and getaway cottages.