9 Midcentury Modern Living Room Ideas

Mid-century modern living room with wooden shelving and modern seating

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Midcentury modern style is a classic choice in just about every room in your home, including your living room. Looking to bring more mid-modern influence into the heart of your space? These nine beautiful midcentury modern living rooms will inspire you to transform your own.

  • 01 of 09

    Symmetry and Bold Shapes

    Mid-century living room.
    Erin Williamson Design

    The living room in this sprawling midcentury ranch house in Austin was designed by Erin Williamson. "The architecture is so strong and distinctive that we felt the space needed a symmetrical layout with bold shapes and a minimum of clutter," says Williamson. "A light rug keeps the room open and airy, while saturated colors hearken back to the time the home was built. The chaise was reupholstered in an original vintage 1960s fabric, and leopard always feels right in a midcentury space. Since the room is very large, we added overscale elements like the bronze giraffe that bring in an element of whimsy and modern spirit. Even though all of the furniture pieces are vintage, we wanted the room to feel firmly rooted in the now. Every home should reflect the uniqueness of its inhabitants, and we never want our clients to feel like they live in a museum."

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  • 02 of 09

    Timeless Midcentury Appeal

    Mid-century modern living room.
    Lincoln Barbour / Risa Boyer Architecture

    The living room in this remodeled midcentury Portland house from Risa Boyer Architecture maintains an appealingly nostalgic midcentury feel while including modern conveniences. "This house is a classic post and beam home, the structure is exposed which was a modern concept during the 1950s, as was the open floor plan and floor to ceiling glass," Boyer says. "We designed a fireplace that was a nod to the era using longer than typical bricks, Norman bricks, stacked. We chose to do a poured in place terrazzo floor which was often seen in midcentury homes in California and Florida. It’s a monolithic floor surface that is beautiful and quite durable. The client collects midcentury art and furniture so the house is furnished with pieces from that era."

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  • 03 of 09

    Midcentury Lake House

    Mid-century modern living room by Erin William Design.
    Erin Williamson Design

    The living room of this multi-unit A-frame lake house on Lake Austin had original stone walls that lend a rustic midcentury appeal. "Many midcentury homes have vaulted ceilings and triangular windows, so we played off the architecture with a custom made light fixture that echoes the distinctive shape of the structure," says Austin-based interior designer Erin Williamson. "When remodeling any older home, we proceed with caution and keep the best aspects of the space intact. In this case, the stone walls were a lucky break as they add loads of texture and interest to the space. The furnishings play off the rustic feel with lots of shaggy rugs and textiles, but we always make sure to contrast that with smooth elements so the eye has a place to rest. It helps keep a vintage space fresh and clean."

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  • 04 of 09

    Midcentury Minimalist

    Minimalist mid-century living room.
    Scott & Scott Architects

    The living room of this 1950s post and beam house in North Vancouver, Canada, restored and renovated by Scott & Scott Architects, is a minimalist take on midcentury modern that highlights raw materials and respect for the home's original details. "The living space was stripped of embellishments," said the architects. "The materials used were selected for their contrasting strengths and minimally finished using traditional methods that are maintainable and acquire visible signs of use over time." Midcentury furnishings and textiles in a neutral palette give the room a cohesive look.

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  • 05 of 09

    Palm Springs Modern Meets Guatemala

    Palm Springs modern living room.
    Patrick Ketchum / H3K Design

    Howard Hawkes and Kevin Kemper of H3K Design were asked by their clients "to incorporate the colors, textures and spirit of Guatemala within the midcentury lines of this classic Palm Springs home." The design In this original 1958 house designed by William Krisel is a brightly-colored, high energy mash-up that demonstrates how well sober, classic midcentury lines and shapes marry with the boldest colors and accessories.

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  • 06 of 09

    Poppy Palm Springs Modern

    Palm Springs Modern living room.
    Patrick Ketchum / H3K Design

    Travis Smith of H3K Design chose all-new furnishings and decor with a classic Palm Springs midcentury modern look to outfit this open-plan living room, including a bright orange Florence Knoll-style sofa, a neutral geometric rug, a white surfboard-style coffee table, and a pair of clean-lined white leather chairs. The pop art throw pillows, hourglass lamps, and gold metal starburst table sculptures work perfectly here but would give any space a midcentury flavor.

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  • 07 of 09

    Original Brick and Modern Aesthetics

    Mid-century modern living room.
    HAUS Architecture

    This 1950s/60s house in the Indiana woods was renovated by HAUS Architecture, who preserved the original brick fireplace as a focal point in this timeless open-plan midcentury modern living room. With a mix of period and contemporary furniture, white walls and wood floors, the interior has a timeless feel that mixes original details with modern aesthetics.

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  • 08 of 09

    Midcentury With Parisian Flair

    Mid-century inspired Paris living room.
    Siham Mazouz / How the French Live

    This classic Parisian apartment photographed by Siham Mazouz for her book How the French Live shows how well midcentury style can work in any architectural environment. "Charlotte and Maxime’s design choices for their Parisian flat reflect their passion for antiquing," Mazouz says. "For Charlotte, it’s much more interesting to scout a vintage find than to buy mass market furniture. Here, a vintage olive green velvet sofa happily coexists with a midcentury floor lamp and a vintage rattan chair. Pendant light by Louis Poulsen."

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  • 09 of 09

    A Contemporary Take on Midcentury Modern

    Contemporary apartment with mid-century furniture.
    captainsecret / Getty Images

    You don't have to live in an authentic midcentury home to create a space with midcentury flair. The floor to ceiling glass windows in this 21st century apartment are a contemporary interpretation of the modernist principles of using large windows to maximize natural light. Midcentury modern-inspired furniture is available at every price point, from big box retailers to vintage dealers, and decor like a fluffy Moroccan Berber style rug creates a sense of warmth and timeless appeal that works as well now as it did in the 1960s.