9 Easy Midcentury Modern Decor DIYs

Midcentury inspired sofa in a modern living room

KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

The Mid-century modern style was influential between the 1930s and the 1960s, but the look has come back in a big way the past few years. Sleek lines, tapered legs and a minimalist approach to design are key in the Mad Men-esque Mid-century look, as are muted colors and textured fabrics like vinyl and suede.

Though purchasing the real thing can be expensive, you can easily copy this look for a price that won't leave your wallet empty. Focusing on a few Mid-century elements in your room can transform a space without going overboard.

  • 01 of 09

    Plant the Idea

    diy mid century planters
    Sugar and Cloth

    One of the best aspects of Mid-century design is that you can seamlessly incorporate it into nearly any decor style.

    If you have a green thumb (or, you simply pick houseplants you can't kill), why not show them off with an eye-catching pedestal? This affordable DIY from Sugar and Cloth doesn't take any special tools and can even be completed before the rest of the family wakes up in the morning. Buy a few sizes of tapered legs (you can find these online or at most hardware stores) to create stools of varying heights.

    DIY Mid Century Planters from Sugar and Cloth

  • 02 of 09

    Night Stand

    mid century modern
    Visual Heart

    We adore this vintage night stand from Visual Heart. This DIY was made by finding a piece with good bones at a thrift store and repainting and refinishing to give it an updated look.

    While you could create this stand fairly easily with a few pieces of measured plywood and some nails, a little hunting at your neighborhood's next garage sale could pay off just as well. If you find a piece without an open space for books, you can easily remove a drawer to create a little nook to store all of your favorite classics.

    Vintage Night Stand from Visual Heart

  • 03 of 09

    Perfect for Small Spaces

    mid century modern planter on a geometric rug
    A Beautiful Mess

    It's clear why designers and decor enthusiasts are drawn to Mid-century style—even adding a single piece or two can liven up a space.

    This DIY was created to live as a plant stand, but we think it could also be great for those empty corners. A gloriously scented candle or a vase full of flowers atop this chic stand is perfect for a small apartment or a tight entryway. While this project requires a power drill and a bit more elbow grease, we think the payoff is worth the extra effort.

    Mid-Century Inspired Plant Stand DIY from A Beautiful Mess

  • 04 of 09

    Go Bigger

    mid century modern living room
    Style Mutt Home

    If you're anything like us, you've probably been coveting a Mid-century sofa or chair for ages but just haven't made the leap yet. While you may be wary of DIY-ing your couch (though it can totally be done!), starting with a chair is an easy way to test out the look without a ton of commitment.

    This makeover from Style Mutt Home is an easy IKEA hack that the blogger employed after striking out on affordable MCM chairs. We love how easily the chair goes from drab to photograph-ready with only a few hours' work.

    DIY Mid-Century Modern IKEA Hack from Style Mutt Home

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    A Perfect Coffee Table

    Midcentury modern living room with dalmatian dog on the rug
    Jamie Bartlett

    If you don't want to alter your couch or your chairs, adding a Mid-century coffee table can still give the space a vintage modern feel. This DIY from Jamie Bartlett looks neither cheap nor homemade—but fortunately for us, it's both! We love the simple nature of the piece and how it allows for your own personalized coffee table accessories.

    DIY Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table from​ Jamie Bartlett

  • 06 of 09

    Hairpin Legs

    mid century modern side table

    Hairpin legs are another essential element of Mid-century design. Created in the early 1940s, hairpin legs give a simple piece of furniture a whole lot of personality. This adorable nightstand from blogger Burkatron is so simple and so elegant.

    A few hairpin legs that you can buy on Amazon for under $50 and some plywood is all you need to make this nightstand/bookcase. While a coat of polyurethane will protect the piece from watermarks, we think it also looks super chic without any finish at all.

    DIY Mid Century Nightstand from Burkatron

  • 07 of 09

    Add Some Pop

    Midcentury modern glasses
    How About Orange

    You probably recognize the iconic Cathrineholm of Norway design that gained a lot of popularity in the 1960s. While vintage kitchenware emblazoned with the classic design can be pricey, you can easily copy the look around your house. How About Orange used cutouts to place on candle holders in this DIY that takes little more than 30 minutes. While you won't be able to replicate the classic cookware this way, you can add the design to candles or vases to give a MCM room a pop of color.

    DIY Cathrineholm Candleholders from How About Orange

  • 08 of 09


    Midcentury modern starburst mirror over a bookshelf
    Sarah Hearts

    Mirrors can be great for feng shui if used correctly, and the sunburst mirror is an emblem of Mid-century design. While you can find knockoffs at stores such as Target and Amazon, DIY-ing it a great way to go if you're looking for a very specific size and style. This fun project costs only about $20 but the results look much more expensive. Place one of these above your couch or in your bedroom to easily add a lot of style.

    DIY Gold Sunburst Mirror from Sarah Hearts

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    A Perfect Dresser

    mid century modern bedroom bureau
    Woodshop Diaries

    The Mid-century dresser or buffet is a piece any MCM lover covets. Not surprisingly, a real Knoll or Broyhill dresser could cost you thousands, but this savvy blogger made a very convincing substitute for about $100. This project will definitely take a little more skill and patience, but when you fold your laundry and put it away in your gorgeous homemade piece, you'll be happy you put in the extra work to save hundreds of dollars.

    DIY Mid Century Dresser from Woodshop Diaries