Noticing mid-century modern designs came to me later in my life, but once I fell in love with this aesthetic, nothing could ever really compare (and now my entire apartment is mid-century modern inspired). There is something easy, neat, and frankly, sexy about mid century modern furniture and interior designs.
These kinds of designs feel like a breath of fresh air, as mid-century modern designs like to incorporate geometric and organic shapes, using minimal textures and colors, as well as minimal orientation. All of this combined characteristics brings about a sense of relaxation and easy. To me, there is nothing better than walking into a room that is purely made of teak with clean lines.
Mid-century modern inspired pieces and designs can be noticed by their prioritization of function over form, contradictory textures and colors, neutrality, simplicity, and some incorporation of bringing nature indoors. And you also can’t ignore the teak.
Genuine teak is so difficult to find nowadays, and so you’ll notice that pieces of furniture made from real teak are incredibly expensive. That’s because this gorgeous hardwood is the most durable, strongest, and hardest hardwood there is. It was so overwhelming over-logged that teak is a rarity, hence the hefty price tags.
Anyway, I obviously love anything that is mid-century modern, and you probably will too once you’re done scrolling through this collection. Welcome to a world of wood, neutral colors, and feeling like your home is like walking into a bath. Or in this case, your kitchen will feel like walking into a really nice kitchen.
Related: Mid-Century Bathroom Ideas | Mid-Century Dining Room Ideas | Mid-Century Armchair Ideas | Mid-Century Landscaping Ideas | Mid-Century Modern Foyer Ideas | Mid-Century Modern Living Room Ideas | Mid-Century Modern Architects | Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas
1. The MCM Windowed Kitchen
Layout: Open layouts are another important aspect of mid-century designs. This space is spacious in every direction and it almost feels like the house is stretching. Super long and clean kitchen counters parallel to one another with a generously sized kitchen island in the centre.
Furniture & Appliances: Nothing but the best stainless steel appliances here, bringing in an industrial flare. The cabinetry is certainly teak inspired with a gorgeous stain and even more gorgeous wood grain. Simple bar stools to fit with the simple everything else. The one unexpected aspect is that obnoxiously blue stove. I love it!
Lighting: We have light coming from several places here. My personal favorite kind is beaming through some gorgeous exposed wood beams and skylights above it. The light in the kitchen is tucked away under counters or in the ceiling, and the hallway lighting sits like torches.
Flooring: Here we have what looks like concrete floors but with a nice sheen and in a delectable shade to bring about some warmth. The uniformity from the kitchen down the hallway is particularly satisfying.
Wall Decor: Another important feature of mid-century designs is very minimal pattern or an unexpected pop of color. Though subtle, we see a very fun and colorful tile used for the backsplash which matches the bright blue oven. Otherwise, the walls are pristinely empty.
Windows: The landscape windows here almost look like paintings with such bright green leaves sitting just on the other side of them. Here we have one of my favorite aspects of mid-century modern designs: bringing the outdoors in.
2. The Pop-of-Somethin’ MCM Kitchen
Layout: Here we have a cozy and ergonomic kitchen layout. While it’s not the most spacious in the world, there is just enough space and everything has enough space for itself, you know what I mean? We’ve got a classic U-shaped kitchen with a perfect little round breakfast table. Having an outdoor area set right off of your kitchen also tends to double its size. Amazing for hosting!
Furniture & Appliances: What makes this room particularly special is the furniture choices. The more modern side of mid-century modern bar stools are so fun and go along perfectly with the egg chairs around the table. The royal cabinets match the blue artwork and bring a pop of color, but it’s not too dramatic.
Lighting: We’ve got some particularly fun lighting in this design with a couple of globe pendant lights for the main source of lighting, and a contrasting tubular pendant light with an orange shade around it.
Flooring: Very simple flooring here with some shining off-white tiles. The rest of the kitchen is the main focus of this space, and the flooring seems complimentary.
Wall Decor: We have such fun pieces of artwork to note here, and the designer expertly ensured that concepts in the kitchen reflect the color scheme of the pieces of art. Minimal, yet bold at the same time.
Windows: Not only do we have windows, but we have an entire sliding door leading an outdoor area. I love this for a kitchen space.
3. The Titillating Tiled MCM Kitchen
Layout: U shaped kitchens always give you just the right amount of space to get the job done. This modestly sized kitchen has an ample amount of counter space that doubles as a bar area on the outer edge. This is especially nice since it opens up to the rest of the house, making it great for hosting.
Furniture & Appliances: We see rather standard stainless steel appliances here, but the oven has a lovely flare with having bright red knobs, which compliments the red accents found throughout the rest of the house. We see wonderfully unique bar stools here which bring the funk to the mid-century modern appeal.
Lighting: Nothing but very simple lighting in this room with hidden pot lights in the ceiling. You can get moody with lighting in all other rooms, but kitchens need function over fashion.
Flooring: I’m simply adoring the speckled tiling going on in this kitchen. It adds just the most tender bit of texture and pattern, providing some warmth to a more cool-toned kitchen.
Wall Decor: Oftentimes with mid-century modern decor the bulk of the features are neutrally toned, while the decor is where we see pops of color. We’ve got a generous amount of wall art here in abstract concepts and poppy tones, bringing the red accent throughout the room.
Another aspect where we see some lovely texture and color is in the backsplashes under the sink with aquamarine tiling, and some lovely patterned tiles on the back wall.
Windows: We love a generously sized window in the kitchen, keeping it feeling open airy.
4. The Easy Breezy MCM Kitchen
Layout: Here we have a really lovely galley style kitchen space. Very generously sized, this kitchen has ample counter space, a breakfast bar on the outer edge of the kitchen island, tons of lower storage, and some lovely exposed shelving for all of your best dishware.
Furniture & Appliances: We see nothing but state of the art stainless steel appliances here which really let the other features of the kitchen shine. A simple but effective dining table at the end of the room brings some added flare.
Shining white countertops bring a nice level of freshness, while the stunning wooden cabinetry brings warmth and and texture with the grain of the wood. A lovely contrast all together.
Lighting: We have mostly hidden pot lights in the ceiling in this kitchen, but we get some added light from the windows in the living room area and the absolutely gorgeous stained glass accent wall.
Flooring: A very classic industrial-inspired move here with the cement flooring. I personally love cement flooring it’s durability, it’s ability to hide crumbs, and the fact that the its insulated and helps cool your feet when it’s hot, and warms your feet when it’s cold!
Wall Decor: Though we don’t get much artwork in this room, the glorious stained glass wall is pretty much the only pop of color and texture that I could ever need. The photo below shows you the difference it makes depending on the time of day, which colors come out in the stained glass. Simply gorgeous.
Windows: Again, the majority of the light we get in this room is thanks to the gorgeous stained glass window, but also since it’s an open concept room, we get natural light from the sliding door in the living room as well.
Here’s a second view of the kitchen so that you can see how dramatically lighting can effect the look of a room!
5. The Stoned MCM Kitchen
Layout: Here we have a more modestly sized galley-style kitchen but the room still feels very open thanks to high white ceilings. Personally I find that this is the perfect amount of space in a kitchen, and you can easily fit more than one cook in the kitchen, too!
Furniture & Appliances: The gas stove we see here has got to be my dream set up, while a superbly deep drop down sink and matching stainless steel hardware sets the room to a high standard. Super cabinetry work in a glorious wood stain brings warmth and the wood element we need from mid-century modern designs.
Lighting: While we have the standard pot lights featured in many kitchen, we also have some cheeky lightbulb pendant lights hanging over the open counter end for a little added flare.
Flooring: Standard limestone tiling here really compliments the other features of the room while keeping it MCM.
Wall Decor: We don’t see much by way of wall decor, but one aspect that’s hard to ignore is this stunning accent wall that is entirely made from stone. To me, this exposed stone is the most mid century modern inspired aspect of the room and is bringing something unique to the space.
Windows: We get a little peek of a window right above the kitchen sink, bringing in that natural light that is essential to every room in my opinion.
6. The Industrial MCM Kitchen
Layout: This is clearly a professional person’s kitchen with this layout: tons of counter space, tons of storage space, and everything made from stainless steel. While the majority is for utility, we get a little bit of a homey aspect in the breakfast bar and corresponding stools.
Furniture & Appliances: A combination that you will often see with mid-century modern designs often happen with industrial inspiration as well. These two aesthetics work very well together because they are both minimal in texture, color, and orientation.
In this case, the industrial aspects are most obvious in the stainless steel appliances and cabinetry which is rather unusual. This is clearly a professional grade kitchen belonging to someone who is also a fan of MCM designs.
Lighting: All of the lighting is completely hidden in this room, but you can be sure there is all that is necessary for a chef’s kitchen.
Flooring: Keeping up with the marriage of industrial and mid century modern aesthetics here by using gorgeous stone tiling but in a dramatic black shade. This is elegant yet rustic, and the perfect choice for an area that gets a lot of use.
Wall Decor: We don’t see much by way of wall art, but what we do receive is that burst of MCM warmth thanks to using wood panelling for the walls, made all the more dramatic by lining the room with black framing.
Windows: Who needs windows when you can just have an entire wall made from sliding doors? Here again we receive some MCM inspiration: bringing the outdoors in.
Do yourself a favor and click to see the rest of this home here.
7. The Earthen MCM Kitchen
Layout: This has to be my favorite of the collection. This is an amazingly generously sized kitchen area with a back wall layout that comes into an L, and a corresponding kitchen island. We have a little breakfast bar set off of the island but also a designated seating area that looks like it’s built right off of the end of the L counter.
Furniture & Appliances: All of the cabinetry work is clearly custom here, as it provides us with some stunning white cabinets with cleverly hidden handles, and a camouflage refrigerator and shelving on the back wall. The stone cabinets set above just really bring the entire space to another level.
The built in breakfast nook is cheeky and adorable, while the custom wooden table built off of the kitchen counter with peach colored chairs are simply to die.
Lighting: While we have our standard pot lights for utility, we also see featured a stunning caged light fixture made from brass which goes beautifully with the stone cabinets.
Flooring: Though it’s simple as can be, this stunning lightly stained wood flooring makes such a statement. This color reminds me a bit of sand, and this particular shade compliments the room splendidly.
Wall Decor: With a room this expertly designed, you don’t really need to do any spicing up. The cabinets and shelving do all the work themselves.
Windows: Thanks to the open concept design of the entire home, we receive natural light from the floor to ceiling windows that are present on the other side of the house.
This incredible space was designed by: Stonehouse Bespoke Kitchens.
Here’s a different angle of the kitchen for you to really fall in love with.
8. The Japanese Inspired MCM Kitchen
Layout: It’s a little bit tricky to pin point what about this room feels Japanese inspired, but I think it’s the overall feel of the room and the layout it has. It has clean lines, open spaces, and a large windows that take over the entire space. We have a combination of an L shaped and galley style kitchen, giving you tons of space.
Furniture & Appliances: Another aspect of this room that feels Japanese inspired is that particular type of wood used for the cabinets. A lighter color that almost blends in to the countertops themselves. I particularly love how the majority of the appliances are completely hidden from view.
Lighting: We see lighting in all of the places that it should be: hidden in the ceiling and set away in the hood vent. Not showy, but providing the exact right amount of light to get all of your prepping done properly.
Flooring: Though it’s rather unusual to see hardwood flooring in kitchens, I love it every time that I see it. This gorgeous and rustic shade pairs so well with all of the neutral tones of the room, it almost turns it into a pop of color when in reality, it’s just another neutral color!
Wall Decor: Though we catch just a glimpse of it, we have a stunning accent wall that isn’t using color to create a statement, but texture. It’s almost like a sand dune texture lining the wall to the left to bring a little something extra to the space.
Another very special feature of the space is the incorporation of plants in the kitchen. Though it may seem odd, I love adding plants to kitchen areas especially when they have such huge windows. It just adds a bit of freshness and life, which is very characteristic of MCM designs!
Windows: These windows are working wonders here, filling every possible inch of what could be wall with window.
This beautiful kitchen design is courtesy of Trulia.
9. The Quaint MCM Kitchen
Layout: A very simple lay out with this kitchen with a back wall feature and a very generously sized kitchen island. This gives a very open and airy feeling, and also provides the correct amount of counter space and storage space underneath.
Furniture & Appliances: We have a very simple aesthetic here with wooden cabinetry, white countertops for contrast, and stainless steel appliances. I particularly love how the stove top is built in to the kitchen island.
Lighting: We have simple recessed pot lights lining the ceiling to ensure you have just the right amount to complete all of your cooking tasks.
Flooring: Something I really appreciate about this room is how the wood used for the flooring is almost an identical shade to the wood used for the cabinets. This brings about a fantastic cohesion and symmetry to the room, which is super duper MCM inspired.
Wall Decor: Though not present in the kitchen itself, we see some fun pieces of art present in the other rooms of the home. I find that the kitchen is often a place where the room speaks for itself, and doesn’t need that much added flare.
Windows: The window in this room is almost a piece of art in itself. A floor to ceiling window with tall and glorious bamboo shoots directly on the other side do the job of bringing the outside in, and also adds an incredible pop of freshness to the space.
This incredible room design is courtesy of Trulia.
10. The Different MCM Kitchen
Layout: A wonderfully simple layout here with a feature back wall and a large kitchen island set off of it. This room feels super open thanks to the high ceilings and skylight windows, and since it is set off of the main living area as well.
Furniture & Appliances: It’s rather unusual to see an entire kitchen that has a very delicate sea-foam color theme to it, but I think it works so incredibly well here. Using a subtle but still impactful color like this allows you to relax a bit with the other features, as this type of color elevates the entire space.
State of the art stainless steel appliances bring some modernity to the space, while the matching fridge to the sea foam cabinets bring it back to vintage. This space is modern yet sleek, fun yet functional.
Lighting: While we see the functional recessed pot lights in the ceiling, there is a bit more moody lighting that is set underneath the upper cabinets. These serve for function, but also serve to bring a warmer light to an otherwise cooler toned room.
Flooring: Very classic and cool cement flooring here that acts as a great undertone for the other kitchen colors.
Wall Decor: We don’t see much wall decor here, but I think that’s because the fun color used for the kitchen really speaks for itself. Additionally, personal effects found across the room provide that kitschy element that always makes a home feel inviting.
Windows: Plenty of windows in this beautiful kitchen showing a landscape view, and some upper tier windows acting as skylights.
11. The Heavenly MCM Kitchen
Layout: This has to be one of the most amazing kitchens I’ve ever seen. It has such a unique layout with the main L feature of the kitchen facing a floor to ceiling window, a kitchen island facing the most adorable little breakfast nook, and a camouflaged double refrigerator on the back wall.
Furniture & Appliances: Everything in this kitchen is clearly customized for the warm, peach colored wood to match the beautiful exposed wood beams on the ceiling. All of the furniture here is so gorgeously simple, and it’s just waiting to be filled by your loved ones.
Lighting: While the light is coming from hidden pot lights, so much of the lightness of this room just comes from the fact that all of the features are so warm and bright. Any light coming from any direction refracts off of the light countertops, white couch, and light flooring.
Flooring: I simply adore wood flooring that is stained in this light shade. It reminds me of the color of sand, and that’s something I would always like to be reminded of in my home. This light flooring really just hits home the heavenly feel that this room provides.
Wall Decor: Not much is needed by way of wall decor in this room, as the wooden beams and huge windows make such a big impact. Though we do see some fun little framed pieces in the corners to add a little personal flare.
Windows: Floor to ceiling windows are always welcome in my home. This is such a great way to incorporate light, and to make it feel like the outdoors is seeping in.
Take a gander at the rest of this house here, with the design from TopTenRealEstateDeals.
12. The Simplicity MCM Kitchen
Layout: Finishing off this wonderful collection with a super open concept layout. A large L shaped kitchen with a huge island in the centre provides all of the counter and storage space that one could possibly need.
Furniture & Appliances: We’ve got some industrial flare here with stainless steel appliances and truly gorgeous wood cabinetry that resembles teak – staying true to that mid-century modern aesthetic. I particularly love how the same wood stain is used for the wood framing in the rest of the home.
Lighting: You’ve got all of the lighting you could ever need in this space with pot lights in the ceiling and under the hood vent, as well as some little cheeky pendant lights for personality.
Flooring: I think that this stain of hardwood for the flooring was such a smart choice to offset the darkness of the cabinets and to brighten up the room.
Wall Decor: You needn’t need much wall decor with such beautiful windows and a beautiful scene outside.
Windows: I simply adore the the kitchen is set off of a corner window situation, with sliding doors on the other side.
Check out the remainder of this home here, with the design courtesy of Architectural Designs.
A Little More About the Mid-Century Modern Aesthetic…
Mid-century modern designs allowed interior designers and furniture makers to be creative in their use of material and color. Their designs were considered futuristic at the time and may have been heavily influenced by science fiction novels and movies, which were very popular during the mid-1900s. Here are some of the mid-century kitchen ideas you can use in your home.
Mid-century interior designs become popular around the late 1930s to the mid-1960s. The design style features clean lines, geometric shapes, and a mixture of organic and synthetic materials. As more synthetics were invented by chemical companies, they became widely used in furnishings and construction materials during the mid-20th century.
Even though wood was still a popular material for construction and furnishings, the development of synthetics like nylon, polypropylene, and plastic laminate changed how things were made. Formica, which is a brand name for plastic laminate, began using it to build counter and tabletops. Chrome dining sets with Formica tabletops and vinyl covered chairs are typical of mid-century designs.
Some people use laminate in their kitchens today, but it isn’t very popular. In a recent kitchen survey, only 15, 919 kitchens 616, 632 had laminate in them. This lack of use is reflective of the use of mid-century designs since only 0.77% of over 1.78 million kitchens have this design style.
Organic wood furniture is reflective of the mid-century as most furnishings were created from oak, walnut, rosewood, and teak. Its style is very distinctive because many of the wood pieces were boxy.
This shape was in juxtaposition to many chairs, light shades, and other accessories, which were curvy, or rounded. Chairs were often made from curvy metal or plastic frames, padded seating and metal bases.
Warm Earth Tones
To further imitate mid-century designs, a variety of color should be instrumental in the kitchen. White and black kitchens are reflective of mid-century kitchens, but warm citrus colors like warm yellow, orange, olive green, and chartreuse are found in mid-century homes.
Mid-century designs are also well-known for their minimalist appearance. Everything always appears clean, neat, and there is very little clutter on counters, tables, and minimal art or decorations on the walls.
Some of the fun of decorating in a mid-century style is finding vintage or retro-style pieces in antique or second-hand stores for your kitchen.