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How to Nail Mid-Century Modern

Clean lines, bold colors, and the use of modern industrial materials are the keys to getting this look just right.

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Get the perfect mid-century modern look by mixing and matching brightly upholstered furniture with anything from concrete to chrome. Here's how to do it:

  • Use the hallmark materials of the era -- wood veneers, concrete floors, molded plastic, and plywood chairs. Leather furniture and glass and chrome tables will help you add a bit of polish. And yes, using them all together will look great.
  • Incorporate interesting colors like fuchsia, orange, or lime green...but remember, it doesn’t have to be in huge doses. Consider adding one bright orange chair to an otherwise subdued room.
  • Treat functional items like clocks and cutlery as art -- give these everyday items the same attention you’d give larger furnishings. When it comes to mid-century, the little touches make all the difference.
  • If you’re really looking to renovate, think patio doors and picture windows covered by minimal Roman shades that are easy to roll up. Vast expanses of glass are a big part of this style.
  • Think spherical. The hanging globe -- whether an actual light or simply a suspended sphere -- was huge in this era.

Nestpert: Minnesota designer Jay Nuhring, author of the blog "Loving What You Have".

-- The Nest Editors

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