What Years Are Mid Century Modern?

When it comes to designing and furnishing your home, you are sure to see plenty of replicas of the Mid Century Modern style. And if you’re lucky, you may even spot a few originals on the market!

While you may enjoy the rustic design and atmosphere that the Mid Century Modern style provides, you may not know much about its beginnings. 

Below you will find everything you need to know about the history of Mid Century Modern style and how it rose to such popularity all these years later. We have even included some awesome design tips to keep your home on trend with the shapes, colors, and ambiance of Mid Century Modern design. 

Keep reading to find out more!

History Of Mid Century Modern 

Mid Century Modern is a rather difficult period to define. It began in the middle of the 20th century. Some say it was the years 1933 to 1965 while others claim the period was 1947 to 1957. 

The term and style were created to showcase the needs and wants of the population of that time period. Society was much more focused on gaining the “American Dream” and so homes were clean, almost minimalistic, and extremely focused on having the perfect family unit. 

And this style reflected that perfectly. With clean lines, dedicated functionality, and a simplistic design, this furniture does exactly what it says on the packaging. It shows a new time in society and design as people enjoyed the ease of designing their homes and ditching the frills and ornate detailing that embodies the furniture of the past. 

Impact Of Mid Century Modern 

As you can guess, almost every trend comes back around but it comes back better. And that is exactly what has happened with Mid Century Modern. 

The geometric shapes and crisp lines of the Bauhaus and Danish Modernist movements had entered the American psyche thanks to the New York City World’s Fair in 1939, but the style didn’t really take shape until the late 1940s, lasting well into the 1960s.

With people being rocketed into space, the boom of sci-fi and fantasy media, and the rule of the rise of the Kennedys in power, it was a time of change and all things futuristic. 

All of these developments played a part in the unusual shapes and materials that were used across the nation. And with the economy on the up and up, being a homeowner was becoming more of a reality for middle-class Americans. 

This allowed architects and designers to master their craft and let the Mid Century Modern style come to life. 

Key Characteristics Of Mid Century Modern 

With so many styles and trends, you can’t just find any old odd-looking furniture and call it Mid Century Modern. There are certain traits that give it that MCM edge. 


A common material used to create Mid Century Modern designs was Teak. The Tectona Grandis tree, which is indigenous to South and Southeast Asia, is the source of teak wood, a dense, closely-grained kind of hardwood. Teak has a smooth grain and texture, and its natural color is golden. 

Today it is most commonly used for outdoor furniture. But in the Mid Century Modern period, it was extremely popular for making desks, tables, and storage cabinets. 

Rosewood and oak were also popular woods at the time as they were extremely durable, required little care, and gave a gorgeous natural color to any room. 

However, plenty of other materials were used to create the homes of the future. Glass, vinyl, and metal were all popular in creating those smooth curves that are iconic of the time. 


Another important element of Mid Century Modern decor is the color. This style brought in a new way to use color in a way the design world had never seen before. 

Neutrals and bold pops of color were brought together to create life and perspective in the home. The period began with bright hues in the 1950s before introducing the blend of neutrals throughout the 1960s. 

You can often find a Mid Century Modern home using neutral colors in the main furniture with a vibrant chair for a fun accent. 

Over time the Mid Century Modern style simply becomes about blending patterns, colors, and textures to create something unique. Mid Century contemporary furniture has a wonderful way of smoothly combining them together to create one custom environment, whether you favor the trademark shag rug aesthetic or smooth glass pieces and textured velvet seating.

Shapes and Form 

The shape and form of the furniture and architecture are extremely important when it comes to Mid Century Modern design. As mentioned above, the future was meeting the past and it was unusual to say the least. 

The emphasis of Mid Century Modern design is on simple, organic, and geometric shapes combined with clear lines. Simplicity is key, and some of the most fundamental pieces of Mid Century modern furniture, such as coffee tables, and chairs, are frequently its most stunning examples.

When searching in today’s market you can easily spot pieces inspired by Mid Century Modern design. Always opt for the minimal design with clean lines, smooth curves, and something a little odd to give it character. 


In the Victorian era, furniture was more about how it looked and less about what it can do for the people in the home. Everyone aimed to look their best and show off their money in their home. 

Mid Century Modern design focuses on function over form. No item is without a purpose, despite its often simple appearance. Because they were designed to last, vintage items from this era are still in use today. 

This attention to functionality shows that they were made to last for decades to come!

Final Thoughts 

Mid Century Modern is a classic style of design that anyone can bring into their home. In fact, it is probably already in your home!

With a minimalistic design, unusual forms, and materials with a functional core, it is hard to ignore. This 20th-century trend has become iconic for the time but has continued to evolve and transform to ensure it is always a part of our homes.