A couple of years ago my wife and I visited Palm Springs and while there did a self-directed tour of several iconic mid-century modern homes in the area.
Below is our extensive guide all about mid-century modern design which features exterior and interior examples of this iconic architectural style.
Table of Contents
- Mid-Century Modern Homes (Exteriors)
- 1. Quintessential 1954 Mid-Century Modern House in Palm Springs
- 2. Meryl Streep’s Fabulous Mid-Century Modern House in Pasadena
- 3. Mid-Century Beach House
- 4. Large Mid-Century Style House with Manicured Grounds
- 5. Mid-Century Modern House with Infinity Pool
- 6. Gated Mid-Century House Example
- 7. Mid-Century House with Private Oasis-Like Backyard
- 8. Small Open Concept Mid-Century House
- 9. L-Shaped Mid-Century House with Pool on Golf Course
- 10. Light-Filled Mid-Century House in Encino, CA
- 11. Mid-Century House in L.A. with Plenty of Natural Wood
- 12. Kristen Wiig’s Mid-Century Pasadena Home
- 13. Contemporary Mid-Century Project By Jamie Bush & Co.
- 14. Mandy Moore’s Mid-Century Modern House
- 15. A-Frame Roof Mid-Century Modern Example
- 16. Paseo Miramar – Luxurious Hilltop Residence in Southern California By Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
- 17. Jamie Dornan’s Hollywood Hills Home
- Mid-Century Modern Interior Examples (by Room)
- Mid-Century Modern Landscaping
- What is Mid-Century Modern Style?
- Distinguishing Design Features
- Décor Accessories
- Why it Looks Great
Mid-Century Modern Homes (Exteriors)
We kick off our epic guide showcasing 15 fabulous historic mid-century modern houses (exterior and interior photos). All featured examples are historic except for one contemporary mid-century modern example (#13 below). You’ll also notice that many of the examples below have been nicely renovated.
1. Quintessential 1954 Mid-Century Modern House in Palm Springs
A wide Mid-century modern style home with tropical plants and trees outside surrounding the area.
The interior features white walls and ceiling, along with beige tiles floors matching the sofa set. The wall decor looks absolutely attractive.
2. Meryl Streep’s Fabulous Mid-Century Modern House in Pasadena
A sprawling Mid-century modern mansion of Meryl Streep, which boasts a large courtyard filled with plants and trees.
The home’s formal living room boasts hardwood flooring and a tall ceiling with a single beam on the center. The room features a cozy sofa set and a stylish fireplace.
3. Mid-Century Beach House
An aerial view of this Mid-century beach house surrounded by healthy plants and trees. There are multiple decks overlooking the breathtaking views of the surroundings.
Even the house’s interior offers a breathtaking view of the ocean with its glass walls and windows. The large sofa set lets you enjoy the view while taking it easy.
4. Large Mid-Century Style House with Manicured Grounds
A Mid-century style house with a white exterior. It also boasts manicured lawns and tropical trees set on its backyard.
The interior stays with its white theme, featuring white walls and ceiling with exposed beams lighted by a gorgeous pendant lighting.
5. Mid-Century Modern House with Infinity Pool
A Mid-century modern house boasting an infinity pool and multiple sitting lounges on the deck.
The home has a spacious great room boasting comfortable seats and a stylish fireplace. The room is lighted by well-placed recessed lights.
6. Gated Mid-Century House Example
A sprawling bungalow-style mid-century house with a custom outdoor pool and a manicured lawn garden area.
The tall ceiling makes the interior look spacious. The home offers a great room with modern living set, a bar area and a rectangular dining set.
7. Mid-Century House with Private Oasis-Like Backyard
A mid-century bungalow-style house featuring a private oasis-like backyard.
The home features an exciting outdoor area with its large swimming pool, a large patio area and a relaxing garden.
8. Small Open Concept Mid-Century House
A small mid-century house with a spacious outdoor area featuring a swimming pool, a patio area, multiple sitting lounges and a well-maintained lawn area.
The interior features white walls and a wooden ceiling with white beams. There’s a fireplace near the living space and it has a widescreen TV on the wall.
9. L-Shaped Mid-Century House with Pool on Golf Course
A spacious mid-century house with a sprawling lawn area and a kidney-shaped swimming pool that has a pair of sitting lounges on the side.
The home has a relaxing living room with a classy set of seats, a stylish rug and a fireplace that looks very attractive.
10. Light-Filled Mid-Century House in Encino, CA
A mid-century house with a healthy garden and a pool area. Its glass walls and windows give the home a light-filled interior.
It has a large formal living room with a comfy orange sofa set and a modern black chair with a footrest surrounded by white walls and ceiling.
11. Mid-Century House in L.A. with Plenty of Natural Wood
A mid-century house surrounded by natural woods. It has a deck providing a breathtaking view of the nature and a nice swimming pool on the side.
The home offers a spacious great room featuring a cozy living space with a fireplace, a dazzling kitchen setup and a ceiling with skylights.
12. Kristen Wiig’s Mid-Century Pasadena Home
An outdoor view of Kristen Wiig’s Pasadena home, mid-century style. A house that is surrounded by stunning nature.
Kristen Wiig’s home boasts hardwood floors, white walls and a white shed ceiling, along with a modish living set with a stylish rug.
13. Contemporary Mid-Century Project By Jamie Bush & Co.
A mix of contemporary style and mid-century style house. The exterior looks absolutely stylish.
The stylish exterior of the house continues to the indoor, boasting black tiles floors and rich wooden walls lighted by wall lights.
14. Mandy Moore’s Mid-Century Modern House
A mid-century modern house owned by Mandy Moore. It has plenty of lovely plants in its backyard. The property itself is surrounded by mature trees.
The garden of the property boasts many kinds of plants and mature trees. It also boasts a healthy lawn.
15. A-Frame Roof Mid-Century Modern Example
A mid-century modern house with a stunning A-Frame roof with white exterior paint.
Above is an example of an A-frame roof mid-century modern house. This particular house was designed by architect Charles DuBois in 1958. It’s set at the base of a desert hill. The yard is appropriately landscaped with a rock. This particular home is sizable with 3,833 sq. ft. on a 1/3 acre parcel in Palm Springs.
16. Paseo Miramar – Luxurious Hilltop Residence in Southern California By Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
Paseo Miramar is a hillside mid-century modern home that was expanded with a pool and deck jutting out from the structure surrounded by shrubbery and greenery and with panoramic views.
The living room has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lush landscape. It features sparse lines and a streamlined natural look with beam ceiling and a neutral color scheme.
17. Jamie Dornan’s Hollywood Hills Home
The mid-century estate with a fabulous patio area featuring a large rectangular pool and a loggia that also serves as an outdoor dining space.
The living room has glazed walls that bring outdoor views indoors as well as a stone fireplace and stylish furniture set with a neutral color scheme.
Mid-Century Modern Interior Examples (by Room)
The following are photo examples of mid-century modern interiors (room-by-room). Below each photo are links that take you to extensive mid-century modern photo galleries for each room.
White living room with a very attractive large wall decor. The home boasts large tiles floors and a ceiling with beams.
Large kitchen area with modern kitchen counters and center island with a breakfast bar. There’s a separate breakfast bar with a glass counter on the side.
A mid-century style dining room with a glass top rectangle table and classy chairs lighted by a charming ceiling lighting. There’s a fireplace on the side to keep the place warm.
Mid-century style primary bedroom with a large bed surrounded by white and gray walls and is lighted by a glamorous ceiling light.
Primary bathroom with red tiny tiles walls. It also features a vessel sink and white tiles flooring, along with a walk-in shower room.
Mid-century home with a spacious entry, featuring large tiles floors and white walls matching the white ceiling.
The furniture that goes along with mid-century modern is going to be fun and random to go along with everything else you find in this style. The furniture will be low so it’s close to the floor and this is true for everything from tables to the bed you sleep on. Pieces are usually sleek and clean with very smooth lines and not a lot of accent. You’ll find that there are solid and basic colors in blocked styles. The furniture itself may, however, be a little bit patterned or may be accented with just a few pieces that have patterns. Maybe it will be showcased with some throw pillows or a couple of chairs that will help.
Mid-Century Modern Landscaping
We put together an entire article setting out 45 mid-century modern landscaping ideas here.
What is Mid-Century Modern Style?
The mid-century modern style is from aspects of the middle of the 20th century including the architecture, mid-century vintage furniture or retro furniture, a pinch of art deco, clean lines and the special design ideas. With this modernist style, you’re going to see a unique style and look that has designers salivating. After all, this particular interior design style is something you definitely can’t miss. When you look at something and think it’s very unique from the outside you’re definitely looking at a mid-century modern design. There is definitely little to no symmetry here and very little in the way of what you would expect from any framework, outside or inside.
Distinguishing Design Features
There are some design features that are common with mid-century styles, but you’re actually going to have a whole lot more differences than anything. Primarily, mid-century design is about things that don’t conform and don’t match the other things in your home or other design styles. The distinguishing features are still important for functionality and a chic style. You’ll also find natural elements throughout and a whole lot of clean and simple lines to accent the entire thing. Wood details are quite popular in a mid-century style as are softer colors. All of these things pair well with contemporary styled furniture and accent pieces which we’ll talk about a little bit more as we go along. You may even find a little bit of vintage going on with this style.
The main materials for midcentury design are very basic and clean-cut. You’re going to have some sleek lines in the strange styles. You’ll have colors of white, tans and beige and other basic type colors. This style isn’t going to have a whole lot of bright colors but it will have a whole lot of natural brightness. You may experience black, silver and gold as accent colors to this ideal. You’re definitely going to love the heavier fabrics that go along with this style as well as patterns like squares and circles. Some are even going to be a little more vintage style. The overall color palate should be a little bit old-fashioned. Think more moderate ‘60s or ‘70s in terms of color schemes. Don’t be afraid to try out something new with your colors and your patterns. It’s going to be a little bit classic and definitely fun.
When it comes to décor you’ll find some patterned items but you’re mostly going to see solid colors. You’re also going to see some more modern style to these pieces with sleek lines and strange styles to go along with it. There will be some texture and a whole lot of angular pieces rather than too many curved lines. The mid-century style helps you get some variety to the pieces that you accent with and it’s definitely going to let you put plenty on the tables and around the room as well as on the walls.
You can easily find something fun to put up with this style but it’s mostly about the vibrancy of the pieces. They don’t need to be bright or have specific colors. Instead, the wood pieces that are a little bit wild but with mild tones and colors are going to be the best. They’re going to add some texture and some style to the walls, which is definitely important for improving the style. These can help balance with the more basic furniture pieces. Your décor may come in with tones of gold and silver, however, to add a little bit more uniqueness.
Why it Looks Great
This is a great architectural design style if you’re interested in more modern looks and want something a little bit wild. The style isn’t going to be too crazy, which you’ll find with some different styles, but it definitely lets you emphasize your own favorites. The mid-century modern furniture and style is all about class combined with elegance and a little bit of your wild side. Just don’t let things get too out of hand or you’re going to find yourself sucked into an entirely different style. This one is something you’ll really want to check out for yourself and your household before you go choosing anything else.