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Midcentury Modern Living Room That Brings Back the Classic Charm

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Design styles often repeat in a cycle, and one such style that keeps coming back is "midcentury modern." This style became popular during the 1940s and is known for its clean lines, simple shapes, and practicality. It had a resurgence in the late '90s and has remained popular ever since. Some famous designers associated with this style are Florence Knoll, Herman Miller, and Arne Jacobson.

The midcentury modern style has had a significant impact on the world of design, and there are valuable lessons we can all learn from its combination of function and form. Whether you want to fully renovate your home in this style or just add a few touches to your living room, we've collected some favorites to inspire you. Take a look at some of these modern living rooms that will transport you back in time. We think you'll love them so much that you won't want to go back to your old style.


midcentury modern living room with velvet sofa

In the living room of the Goldwyn House, a famous home in Los Angeles that's now the Future Perfect Gallery, there's a fancy lounge in rich jewel colors covered with soft velvet. It's lit up by a special chandelier made of woven rattan by artist Chris Wolston. Even though the room combines different styles from different times, the furniture's simple and sleek lines, along with the dark wood that's been stained, give off a strong feeling of the mid-1900s. So, even with the mix of old and new, the room has a clear and classic look.


warm beige living room with ethereal tones

Imagine a peaceful apartment in New York that's a fresh take on midcentury modern style. It's designed by Augusta Hoffman and has a cozy feel with a touch of old-fashioned charm. The apartment is full of gentle shapes like curves and straight lines, as seen in the lights and furniture. The whole place is painted a soothing ivory color called "Baby Fawn" by Benjamin Moore, and the floor is made of parquet wood. Augusta Hoffman, the designer, made sure that everything in the small space was both pretty and practical:"Every part you see can be used, and every chair is really, really comfy," - according to ELLE DECOR.


midcentury modern living room in warm earth tones

If you want to combine different styles and time periods, this early Frank Gehry home shows how to do it beautifully. Gehry's unique style and simple colors match well with the neutral tones, fancy materials, and curved shapes used in the house. For instance, in the living room, there's a luxurious mohair sofa from the 1970s, a handwoven Scandinavian wool rug that balances the concrete floors, and a concrete fireplace softened with a warm woodgrain pattern. Everything fits together in nice contrast, creating a balanced and appealing space.


warm palette 1950s living room

In the same home, there's a cozy sitting area filled with old things discovered from the past. For example, there's a special chair from 1955 made by Pierre Jeanneret that reminds us of the modern style. There are also interesting things like a painting by Robert Loughlin. In the painting, there's a person with a strong jaw and a cigarette, which he called "the brute." This spot is a mix of old and new, making it a unique and lively place to relax.


midcentury modern living room with mixed materials

In this house in Los Angeles, the designer, Pamela Shamshiri, didn't just stick to the midcentury style. She found inspiration in the quirky yet functional furniture of the famous designer Paul László. Shamshiri created several custom pieces for the home, including a simple and blocky burl-wood sofa in the living room that contrasts with a plush and unconventional L-shaped sofa. The living room also has a beautiful custom tiled bar cabinet, which adds a decorative focal point and shows that tiles and wood can be used creatively beyond the floor.


living room with exposed concrete walls and midcentury modern style

In the living room of the Pacific Palisades house, there are two seating areas on either side of the original midcentury fireplace. The room has large windows that go from the floor to the ceiling, offering a view of the Pacific Ocean. There are also tinted mirrors that reflect views of the garden. This design shows how a mix of old and new styles can come together beautifully and evolve over time. It proves that the midcentury design style can adapt and still look amazing.


vertical lines in a midcentury modern living room

If you went for a classic low-slung tufted couch with a midcentury vibe, you can enhance the look by using repurposed objects. For example, vintage Eames screens and tall floor lamps can be added to draw the eye upward. This style is also seen in the beautiful retro Hollywood home of Sophia Bush. It's a great way to bring a midcentury feel to your space and make it visually interesting.


natural tone green and brown living room

Designer Pamela Shamshiri has recreated the classic midcentury green vibes in the den of this Pacific Palisades home. The room features vintage furniture with unique shapes as well as modern artwork and light fixtures. It's a beautiful blend of old and new styles that adds a special touch to the space.


midcentury room with bright yellow colors

Whoever thought midcentury design was only about earthy colors was mistaken! This vibrant home on Long Island has lively splashes of bright green and bold yellow, creating a mix of natural and lively elements. The homeowner, Linda Rodin, compared the house to a place where Joni Mitchell might have lived in Laurel Canyon in the 1970s, and that's exactly what she had dreamed of. The house is full of color and character, making it a fun and lively place to live.


half circle couch in a midcentury room

The best part of the midcentury style are crescent-shaped couches. It's both charming and practical because nobody is left sitting at the edge with this circular arrangement. In this beautiful tropical retreat, the Lejeune sofa is the standout feature, upholstered in a special velvet fabric on the front and a lovely tapestry on the back. It's the real star of the show, adding a touch of wonder to the space with its unique design and blue color.


indoor-outdoor living room

Indoor-outdoor living is really popular these days, but it's not a new idea. In this calming home in Malibu, California, the formal family gathering spot has sliding doors that open to the backyard. The room has wooden oak details and lots of green plants, making it feel cozy and blending it with the outdoor space seamlessly.


room with unique architectural shapes

This midcentury house is a real gem with amazing features. Even skeptics would have a hard time finding anything negative to say about this three-bedroom home in Beverly Hills. The living room has a unique arched lighting fixture that adds some excitement to its sleek design. The hardest decision you might have to make every day is whether to have breakfast in the bright and airy living room or step just outside to enjoy some sunlight and Vitamin D.


marble wall room

The owner of this Beverly Hills home believes that the midcentury architecture was way ahead of its time. The design, with its low and hovering proportions, aims to blend with nature and be minimal, which is crucial when thinking about sustainability. The living room exemplifies this idea, with a marble cocktail table by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia and a quartzite wall above the original brass fireplace. The result is a modern and stylish space that fits well with its natural surroundings and respects the environment.


wooden and natural material decor

Kovac Design Studio believes in keeping things simple and elegant. In the great room of Todd Feldman's retreat in La Quinta, California, they chose neutral furniture that goes well with the wooden accents in the house. The muted colors help highlight the fabulous roof line of the home, making it the center of attention in the room.


old Hollywood style great room

This desert home has a special way of bringing back the feeling of the midcentury era. They project a classic black-and-white movie, Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" from 1960, on a custom motorized screen in the great room. The room also has a floating theater with a glass railing and a curtained bar area, which combine old and new elements perfectly. It feels like a nostalgic trip to the good old days without losing touch with the present.


retro luxury midcentury living room

This vacation house in La Quinta, California, has seven bedrooms and covers 9,200 square feet. It's located at the private Madison Club and has a stylish Palm Springs vibe, like a boutique hotel. The design includes elements inspired by the TV show Mad Men, with a bar that sets the scene for a seductive evening like in the movie Out of Sight and a concession stand ready for a fun Fight Night. The Kovac Design Studio, the designer of this house, embraced midcentury features like low-slung furniture and tall wood paneling from the floor to the ceiling. The result is a dramatic and exciting space that feels like a true retro experience.


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