“The details are not the details. They make the design.”
– Charles Eames
It goes without saying that Mid Century Modern style is an enduring aesthetic. And for good reason. The classic style is built out of a love for deep woody tones through the use of woods and a commitment to and equally earthy colour palette. If you’re a true MCM fan, you could even add a punch of colour to really give it a true retro vibe.
Since Mid Century sentiments are one of the most requested styles asked for by our clients, we’ve gathered a guide with all the hallmarks needed to fully embrace MCM for your next renovation.
How To Get The Look
#1 / WOOD GRAIN OR BUST
Like any design style there are some hard and fast rules that will get you that classic Man Men inspired look, and some to stay away from. When aiming for what we like to call Modern Mid Century, the foundation always starts with wood tones. Traditionally teak is true to the era, but for the price point often sets the bar too high. Instead, opt for rich walnut tones or the warm honey tones of natural oak.
#2 / CLEAN LINES TO STREAM LINE
When selecting your door style there’s nothing but horizon for days. By that we mean it’s a slab (or flat front) door or nothin’. Mid Century Modern style focuses on clean lines and you’re not going to achieve that if you’re mixing in door profiles and messing with a good, streamlined sight line. A slab door allows the wood grain to really shine through. Wood is a living finish, meaning it’s inherently unique. When using natural wood veneers your kitchen automatically becomes one of a kind. No kitchen will ever have the same character as yours, and that’s something to be celebrated.
Get the look with Swede’s catalogue
#3 / LET THERE BE LIGHT!
With all this gorgeous wood you’re going to aim to showcase it with as much abundance of natural light as possible. Mid Century home often cast killer sunbeams through the masterful use of skylights, oversized windows, and large sliders. This is an element that isn’t a make or break, but if you can bathe that wood grain in sunlight it will really sing. If not, it’s time to lean into the dark and moody side of MCM and embrace the deep dark tones of the era. Either way, harness the light (or lack of it) any way you can.
#4 / COLOUR ME MID CENTURY
To have a Mid Century kitchen was to be hip to the times, meaning, you were in the know on the latest in interior design. The Mid-Century aesthetic is rooted in earthy colour palette. Your palette lends a heavy hand in achieving a modern take while honouring the classics. Our go to’s for perfecting a curated material package include sourcing warm terracottas, rich creamy neutrals, deep earthy greens, and bold bronze/brass notes. You can play with contrast and increase interest by where you apply these earthy hues, and at what volume. A simple and subtle play on the warmth of wood by adding in creamy accents will quietly tip its cap to the MCM style while harnessing a gold emerald will shout loud and proud that mid century is at your core. Which way do you sway?
Get the look with Swede’s catalogue
You can up the anti on your colour palette by layering on rugged and playful textures. Stone slabs comes in a variety of finishes. Polished, honed, natural and rough are just a few. Bringing in texture through your stone slab can be as easy as choosing a honed or concrete-like texture. The added depth to the tactile senses gives an organic elegance to any design, but really feels at home in MCM. Alternatively, textured tiles, geometric patterns or even graphic prints through tiles brings not only texture but fun! You can achieve a one two punch by being bold and choosing a tile that brings both playful pattern and texture to the table.
#5 / GET TOUCHY FEELY
Mid century style had nothing if not quirk and finding your quirk is how to top it all off. Once the foundation of your space has been laid, look to finishing touches like lighting, seating, and accessories to pepper in your personality. Though many may have a Mid Century inspired walnut kitchen, no one will have YOUR Mid-Century walnut kitchen, and you can take it as far as you like to prove it.
Save the simplified guide here in our Instagram feed and follow #myswedekitchens for more design inspiration.