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Straight from the Archives: Midcentury Mod Living Room Must-Haves

Take a look at everything you need to create the perfect midcentury modern living room, straight from the era itself.

Geometric Artwork

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There's nothing shy about midcentury modern artwork! While furniture styles from this era are known for their restraint and minimal aesthetic, the patterns and paintings feature saturated colors such as oranges and pinks, and geometric shapes. In this living room, "Bold colors and lines of Contemporary painting inspired the decorating scheme of the entire room. So colors could be used freely against flattering backgrounds, floors, walls and ceilings were kept white -- [and sofas were] covered in neutral gray" (Better Homes & Gardens, "Secrets of Good Decorating," February 1957).

Sleek Sofas

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Simple lines and pure forms are everything when it comes to midcentury modern furniture. No excess detailing or unnecessary flourishes are necessary here. Look for a sofa that's stripped down to its essential form and select a single, solid color for the fabric. Bonus points if your choice also has visible wooden legs.

Danish Accent Chair

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Featuring teak wood and organic design, Danish furniture was quite the trend throughout the '50s and '60s. With clean lines, smooth, curved angles, and wood accents, Danish accent chairs are a midcentury mod must. This Scandinavian-style furniture is "slender to make small homes live larger, it's economical, it's Contemporary without being cold" (Better Homes & Gardens, "Scandinavia," May 1958).

Streamlined Coffee Table

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When it comes to coffee and side tables of the era, less was definitely more. While simple wooden coffee tables reigned supreme, it was also popular to mix materials and shapes. Whether you want a marble coffee table with wooden legs or a teak wood coffee table with a geometric shape, you can't go wrong.

Statement Lighting

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Create a unique focal point for your room by using midcentury statement lighting. The typical fixtures of the time were very straight, geometric, or contoured. Look for a pendant light that stands on its own as another piece of art. Need more light? Table lamps were also a favorite in midcentury modern homes.

Textured Rugs

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Tie your entire room together with the perfect finishing touch -- a textured rug. "In selecting the right rug to accent your room scheme, it's important to consider where it will lie" (Better Homes & Gardens, "Floors Step into the Spotlight," May 1957). Bold patterns of the time were commonly found on accent rugs to create a striking design feature, while area rugs were used in more subtle ways to unite the entire room.