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Crafting Your Mid-Century Modern Design Haven: Tips, Tricks, and Traps to Avoid

Updated: Apr 17


Every year I think the world will find a "new" old style to love, yet the Mid Century Modern design style continues to surprise me with its staying power. At Adina Hall Design we are constantly working with clients that strive to embrace the timeless allure of the MCM aesthetic in their home in some way, shape or form.


Today, I wanted to take you on a mini tour of of the key ingredients you should focus on if you are fond of the sleek sophistication of this iconic aesthetic of the MCM style. We have synthesized our best advice on essential tips, insights, and potential pitfalls to consider when bringing this style into your home, while still making your home look and feel like you.


Personalize Your Space

First and foremost, Mid Century Modern (MCM) style is more than just a design trend; it's a reflection of your personality and story so you will want to make sure that while discovering the MCM style you do not lose your very unique and beautiful self, which should be reflected bright and clear in your interior. We also like to consider the project environment and infuse elements that tie the design to the local ethos. Our Castaway Oceanfront Getaway project blends Mid Century Modern design elements with Coastal influences that speak to it's beachfront location.



Mid Century Modern Open plan living room overlooking the ocean with wood-look porcelain floors, eames chair, live edge coffee table and white sectional, blue modern accent lounge chair and kitchen island with modern stools
Castaway Oceanfront Getaway

Mid Century Modern Open plan living room overlooking the ocean with wood-look porcelain floors, eames chair, live edge coffee table and white sectional, blue modern accent lounge chair and kitchen island with modern stools
Castaway Oceanfront Getaway

The MCM style not only mixes materials but also aesthetics. You want your interior to reflect your personality and your story. During our Visioning and Discovery session we take a deep dive with our clients to discover their core values, their stories and roots, places travelled that resonated with them, items that carry a certain meaning and review various stylistic nuances. Our designs are always layered to respond to our client’s rich story. This is a Mood Board we are currently implementing from our Glenview, Illinois project that layers MCM with the minimalist elegance of Japandi and the rustic charm of Southwestern influences.  


Mood Board for a mid century modern design living room
AHD Mood Board, Glenview, Illinois

We encourage you to take a similar approach when tackling your own interior and identify the stylistic nuances that most resonate with you from the MCM style as well as other aesthetic styles, rather than replicating a pure MCM look in your home.


Embrace the Classics

At the heart of Mid-Century Modern design lies a reverence for iconic pieces by legendary designers like Eames, Wegner, and Knoll. These vintage original pieces can go for a small fortune however there are savvy ways to discover affordable MCM pieces. We like to scour thrift stores, attend estate sales, and explore online marketplaces to find hidden gems for our clients. Remember, quality often trumps quantity, so focus on acquiring a few key pieces that will anchor your space with authenticity and style.


Mid Century Modern Design Eames chair in walnut and white leather with 3 clustered coffee tables in an open plan living room with a two way fireplace
Zen Beach Home Retreat

Nature-Inspired Palette

Channel the natural world by incorporating earthy tones and vibrant pops of primary colors into your color scheme. Think rich teals, warm oranges, and sunny yellows alongside classic neutrals. The juxtaposition of organic hues creates a harmonious balance that evokes the essence of mid-century design.

Mid Century Modern Dining Room with Eero Saarinen Knoll Chairs, Blue accent wall and artwork
Castaway Oceanfront Getaway

Mid century modern Living room with storage coffee table carved wood console and orange andn blue rug and accent pillows
Off the Beaten Path
Green Velvet Womb Chair with ottoman Mid Century Modern Design by Knoll with colorful rug
Urban Haven Dream Home

Material Matters

When selecting finishes, prioritize authenticity in materials. Opt for luxurious teak, timeless walnut, and supple leather to capture the essence of Mid-Century Modern craftsmanship. Don't shy away from mixing natural elements with man-made materials like lucite and fiberglass for a dynamic, eclectic look.


Mid Century Modern Design Living room with vaulted ceiling, eames chair. two way fireplace
Forever by the Lake

Beware of Pitfalls

While navigating the world of Mid-Century Modern design, beware of common pitfalls that can detract from the authenticity and integrity of your space. Avoid overcrowding your interiors with excessive furniture and décor, as this can dilute the clean, minimalist aesthetic of MCM design. Instead, let your furniture pieces breathe by allowing plenty circulation space, pulling your furniture away from the walls and create the illusion of more space by keeping your furniture pieces fluid and low to the ground.

Mid Century Modern Open plan living room overlooking the ocean with wood-look porcelain floors, eames chair, live edge coffee table and white sectional, blue modern accent lounge chair and kitchen island with modern stools
Castaway Oceanfront Getaway

Another pitfall is neglecting the importance of authenticity in materials and craftsmanship; it is best to wait and save for the authentic piece rather than opting for cheap replicas, which can compromise the integrity of the design and comfort level. I was once thrilled to find an Eames lounge chair replica that looked identical to the real thing for a fraction of the price. When I sat in it, I could not have been more disappointed. At the core of MCM design is incredible craftmanship, beyond what meets the eye, in order to create pieces and spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.


Home Office design with mid century modern furniture, walnut chair, mongolian fur sheep stool, screen printed wallcovering, free standing white desk in room with wall molding
Adler On the Park Showhouse Home Office

Designing your home around the mid-century modern style is a journey of exploration and self-expression. By adhering to timeless principles, embracing authenticity, and infusing your space with personal touches, you can create a MCM haven that celebrates both style and substance.


Comment below with the styles that you identify with most that you are considering for your home if you would like our input on how to mix these styles!


Let's Bring Your Mid-Century Modern Design Vision to Life!

Are you feeling inspired to dive into the world of mid-century modern design? Here at Adina Hall Design, we're dedicated to helping you bring your vision to life in a way that feels authentic and true to you. Whether you're revamping your furniture, exploring new color palettes, or hunting for hidden gems, our team is here to help you create your Dream Home.


Contact us to set up your complimentary design consultation. We are excited to start a conversation about your design aspirations!



If you enjoyed this quick read, we would love nothing more than to hear your thoughts! Please drop us a comment below!



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