A Beginners Guide to Mid Century Modern Design

Mid century modern aesthetic is having a moment. It’s no surprise from the Danish credenzas like Finn Juhl Sideboards and MCM lounge chairs on your social media feeds! If not executed carefully, the style may monopolize a room, making it look dated, even though it’s timeless and sleek. So, what’s the key to making the style not look like the Brady Bunch? 

Creating a contemporary mix and understanding its history! According to Forbes, mid century modern refers to the postwar era (1945 to 1965), yet architectural modernists also include the 1920s and 30s. 

New to the design style but adore the look? Learn all about MCM and get design tips on how to bring a Mad Men feel to your space with iconic pieces.

finn juhl sideboard

Source: Dwell


Spanning in the mid century, the movement was architecture, industrial, interior and furniture design. Designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, George Nelson and Eero Saarinen crafted iconic pieces that are still popular in the 21st century. 

Saarnen was the mastermind behind the organic Tulip Table designed in 1956 and the iconic Womb Chair designed in 1946. This enveloping beauty was born when Florence Knoll requested him to craft a chair like “a basket full of pillows.” 

finn juhl

Source: House of Finn Juhl


The design style came from 20th-century Modernism, including the Bauhaus and International movements. Mid century took hold in those post war years, due to new materials, technologies and prosperity. The migration to tiny living spaces in urban areas, highly influenced the furniture designs of the era.


  • Emphasis on function
  • Simple shapes
  • Organic influences
  • Clean lines
  • Democratic 
womb chair

Source: Dwell

Design Tips

Trying to incorporate mid century modern style into your residence? Start with the pieces it may lack! If you need that unique credenza or sculptural side table you’ve been eyeing, go for one with a mid century aesthetic that works well with the interior. Any starting point is a great one!

Don’t be afraid to mix mid century with items from other eras or styles! The minimalism and cleanliness of mid century furniture pieces is a timeless look that perfectly blends with other home decor styles. 

As you can see, the MCM trend shows no signs of going anywhere. Now you definitely learned all there is to learn about MCM aesthetics! For the pieces above, visit Manhattan Home Design. Founded by Daniel Levy, entrepreneurial success award winner according to Fox News, Manhattan Home Design produces coveted items.

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