From hairpin-legged tables to retro-inspired light fixtures, there are many ways to bring the midcentury modern look into your home. And to truly embrace the style you need to think about the space as a whole, especially your paint colors. Midcentury modern paint colors tend to be vibrant and bold with some earth tones and neutrals in the mix. They’re reminiscent of the 1950s and ’60s design era, yet they can be perfectly suited for today’s decor as well. They can make any space feel fun, lively, welcoming, and comfortable.
- Color Family: Various
- Complementary Colors: Various
- Pairs Well With: Various
- Mood: Vintage, friendly, fun, bold, bright
- Where to Use: Interior walls, cabinetry, accent furniture, front door
Here are some of the most popular midcentury modern paint shades that still look fresh for today’s rooms.
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Earthy greens were big in the '50 and '60s, and we think Magnolia Home's Eden is a great way to recreate the look for modern times. This cool ivy green is beautiful for bedrooms or living spaces, and it pairs well with bolder colors as well. Use it with white trim to really make the architectural details of the room pop.
It can be helpful to tape off trim with painters tape when painting the walls, but it’s not essential. With a steady hand and a quality angled brush, it’s possible to get a clean paint line right up to the trim. Just make sure you don’t load up your brush with too much paint, or it can easily drip onto the trim.
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The Spruce Best Home's Seasonal Taupe is a down-to-earth shade that is soothing and calming in living rooms and dens. It's a medium gray with strong brown undertones that feels both earthy and welcoming. We can just imagine this color in a den with a stunning Eames chair and a rolling bar cart off to the side, perfectly reminiscent of midcentury modern style.
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The midcentury modern look is all about experimenting and not shying away from bold choices. Yellow and golden hues were big in the midcentury, and Behr's Yellow Gold is the perfect warm gold paint color to represent the era. This yellow shade pairs well with other warm tones, such as tan and burnt orange, and it is bright and cheery enough for a kitchen or an entryway.
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Teal is another one of those playful, approachable hues that was big in the mid-20th century. We love The Spruce Best Home's Antique Teal because it's bold and perky enough to add a bit of personality and levity to your home, but it's not too saturated that it will overwhelm your space. Use it in a bedroom with white linens for a more relaxing vibe, or put it in a living space with other bright colors for a lively look.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Sherwin-Williams' Relentless Olive is another earthy hue that looks wonderful as an accent wall or splashed across an entire space. This green is a great choice if you're looking for a color that will act as the focal point in your room. The shade plays well with other muted midcentury colors, including mustard yellow and burnt orange.
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A midcentury modern color palette is a great excuse to experiment with a bold red shade like Sherwin-Williams' Heartthrob. Red is not for the faint of heart, but a bold fire engine red like this one is sure to make a splash in your home. Try it on kitchen cabinets, in a powder room, or as an accent wall.
It can be difficult to get solid coverage when using a bold red paint. So it’s often recommended to use a gray tinted primer, which will allow your paint to cover in fewer coats.
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A soft pink like Farrow & Ball's Nancy's Blushes is the perfect shade to add a little bit of color to a space while still maintaining a neutral feel. When paired with crisp white trim and doors, this pink acts even bolder and looks brighter. Not only does it work well in bedrooms and bathrooms, but with decor in complementary colors it can be a great choice for your living space as well.
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You can't picture a midcentury modern color palette without thinking of a bold harvest-inspired hue like Sherwin-Williams' Carnival. This vibrant orange is not for the shy decorator. But it makes a great accent wall behind a wood bed. Or use it in a foyer for a bright pop of color every time you come home.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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If bold hues aren't your thing, that's OK. A simple, classic white like Sherwin-Williams' Pure White is a great backdrop for midcentury modern decor. It's a true neutral white that will pair beautifully with those mustard yellow throw pillows or that bold antique rug. If you want to focus your color in your furniture and accessories, a crisp white paint is a great choice for the walls.
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Like teal, aqua is a popular hue in midcentury modern style. And we love the versatility of Magnolia Home's Morning Calm aqua shade. It's a cool blue aqua that's light and bright but not overwhelming. Use it in a bedroom with white accents and wood tones for a calm and comfortable feel. Or pair it with burnt oranges, golds, and browns in a living space for a clearly midcentury modern vibe.