Mid-Century Modern style — AKA, “MCM” — is hot right now, but I have to admit too many smooth simple surfaces leave me a little cool. Unless they’re mixed with dashes of patterns and textures from around the world. So when Chairish challenged me to do a Mid-Century Modern Mix, I could do that! I could mix MCM with things you’d never expect!
And here you go, a global mid-century look:
Here’s a formula to get the global MCM look …
FIRST, ChooSE THE MID-CENTURY PIECES
To establish the mid-century style, first choose your big pieces from this style. Here we used a sleek velvet sofa, a chenille chair and a storage cabinet all from the Chairish collection of mid-century furniture. Then choose a few mid-century accents:
- The floor-to-ceiling atomic tension pole lamp (hiding in the plant!) is the coolest thing that reminds me of my 70s childhood — my parents had a pole lamp in our family room and I have it now, lighting up a walk-in closet.
- The wall art — a painting and two blingy starbursts — are mid-century. The painting shows people, which helps tie in with the idea of global pieces from people and cultures around the world.
- There’s a little brass pineapple on the cocktail table which is mid-century but I’ve also seen brass pineapples from India too, so it serves dual style purpose.
NEXT, ADD GLOBAL ACCENTS
Once your mid-century look is set, look for accents from around the world to add textures and patterns. Here, I accomplished that with:
- A vintage Moroccan rug in a color to coordinate with the sofa and chair
- Two vintage baskets on top of the storage cabinet – an antique French basket and a black and white woven basket
- A Zulu beer basket from South Africa
- Two pillows chosen to add pattern and tie colors in the room together – a vintage silk/linen wedding quilt pillow from the Dong hill tribe and an embroidered pillow from a Hmong hill tribe in Thailand
A great trick to add a well-traveled touch to a room is to use a chest from another culture — or a vintage or antique chest — as a cocktail table or side table. Here, the Indian chest used as a cocktail table adds that touch. Because the furniture is so colorful, I chose an Indian chest in a neutral color, like the storage cabinet, so your eyes don’t go too crazy from too much color. The neutral touches add places for eyes to rest.
Check: Do you have texture?
As I mentioned above, rooms that have all smooth sleek surfaces feel cold to me. Mid-century modern has lots of smooth sleek surfaces. I think a good trick to warming up a room and adding comfort is texture. Here, you can find many textures in the:
- Basketweave detail on the cabinet
- Actual baskets on top of the cabinet
- Nubby rug
- Embroidered pillow
- Embossing on the wood chest
- Feathery fronds of the plant
I hope this Style Challenge has showed you a different way to style with mid-century modern furniture!