Trend Report: Mid-Century Home Décor


Hi fabric lovers!

To continue our 2015 Trend Report, today I want to show you some gorgeous home décor trends to inspire your sewing projects. In particular, I want to discuss Mid-Century design and how you can use fabric to recreate this trend.

Historical Background of Mid-Century Modern Design

The Mid-Century Modern look first came about with the end of World War II and the need to build new homes and communities quickly by using wartime technology. These designs were often focused on functionality and furniture was built to be multi-purpose. Many homes were constructed with the idea of experiencing the transition between public space into private space, with entryways being very private but transitioning into open-concept shared living areas. Many of these concepts were lost in the last few decades, but now with the resurgence of the Mid-Century look, designers have revisited them and incorporated them into our contemporary décor. Here’s a few key concepts of the new Mid-Century Modern look, and some tips and ideas to incorporate great fabrics with it.


Inspiration: Mid-Century Modern in contemporary homes. Images via

Inspiration: Mid-Century Modern in contemporary homes. Images via

#1 Shape and Geometry

Since most homes built in the post-war period were built quickly, most of them were only one storey high and instead emphasized horizontal lines and views. This reflected itself in the design of furniture which featured geometric patterns and open concepts. Although furniture itself was extremely simple and non-ornamental, decorative pieces showcased polymorphic shapes and bright colours. Just look at the infinite possibilities this created for simple objects like clocks!

Vintage Mid-Century Clock via

Vintage Mid-Century Clocks via

This feature is easily incorporated into your everyday home décor. From curtains, cushions, quilts and throws, a bold graphic geometric print will add a little Mid-Century flare to any space. Our favorite geometric prints are those from Riley Blake’s Home Dec line.

Mid-Century Inspiration from Riley Blake's Home Dec line.

Mid-Century Inspiration from Riley Blake’s Home Dec line.

#2 Colourful Accents

This brings us into colour territory. Although many Mid-Century homes had a quite neutral paint palette (often white or off-white), pops of colour were incredibly popular! Tones of turquoise, mint, mustard, coral, and tomato were the most popular in Mid-Century décor, although other tones were also common. Although colour was typically reserved for decorative objects, rugs, sofas, chaises and other accent pieces, some liked to add colour in more unusual ways. For example, some furniture featured a single drawer on a chest painted an entirely different colour! However, wood finishes for furniture were generally the standard. Back in the 1950’s, furniture was produced quite differently than today and showcased high quality finishes like walnut, teak, oak and rosewood; none of the cheap pressed wood we see today!

Colour Palette from 1954. Image via

Colour Palette from 1954. Image via

To give Mid-Century Modern an updated look, try using colour in a similar way, but choose some trendy colours like Marsala, Lucite Green, Custard, Classic Blue or any other 2015 Pantone colour! Upcycle a vintage bookcase by using fabric as a liner for the shelves and back panel, or frame your favorite print and hang it as art!

Mustard pop of colour on Mid-Century Modern furniture via

Get this look! Add fabric to the inside of a bookcase to upcycle vintage furniture! Image via

#3 Starbursts and Sputniks

Starbursts designs are probably the most common contemporary inspiration from Mid-Century design and an emblem of this time period. Reminiscent of the Atomic Age, starbursts were used as mirrors, patterns, decorative pieces, clocks, glassware, linoleum, you name it! Sculptural lighting, or what is often called Sputnik lights, were also incredibly popular and inspired by the starburst design. I’m sure I don’t have to remind any of you of the amount of starbursts once featured in shows like The Jetsons! Indeed, Mid-Century design was also highly influenced by Googie style, which according to Wikipedia can be defined as, “a form of modern architecture, a subdivision of futurist architecture influenced by car culture, jets, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age.” [1]


Mid-Century Modern Decor: Starbursts. Images via

Try using a retro starburst fabric as chair upholstery in your kitchen, or on a sofa! To make it easier to work into your décor, try a more neutral starburst print. For a bolder look, contrast it against a solid bold color (as pictured below).


Reupholster chairs and sofas using a Starburst pattern. Image via

More Tips on How to use Fabrics in Mid-Century Modern décor:

Obviously, the key to the trendy Mid-Century Modern look is to replicate some of the 1950s aesthetics without going overboard and looking like you’ve stepped into a time capsule. Lucky for us quilters, quilts were SUPER popular décor items! Did you spot any in the pictures above? Have fun creating a simple retro quilt and using that as an accent piece! Try a simple pattern like this one. Also, adding a few good prints to cushions, curtains, table runners, and even dish towels will really brighten up a room and create that retro feel. Finally, try incorporating one or two Mid-Century Modern pieces with your contemporary furniture for a really trendy look.

Inspiration: Mix a few Mid-Century Modern pieces with your contemporary furniture. Image via

I personally really like the idea of taking the Mid-Century style into your bedroom, or even in a nursery. Check out how the lighting and the prints really give this nursery a retro vibe, while still being really contemporary.

Mid-Century Modern-inspired Nursery. Image via

Mid-Century Modern-inspired Nursery. Image via

Do you want to try to incorporate some Mid-Century Modern into your décor? Here’s a few examples of great fabrics to recreate the look:

New! La Vie Bohème by Riley Blake (Available in April 2015)

New! "La Vie Boheme" by Riley Blake.

New! “La Vie Boheme” by Riley Blake

Color Love by Marcus Fabrics (In Stock & Available Now)

Available Now: "Color Love" by Marcus Fabrics

Available Now: “Color Love” by Marcus Fabrics

New! R15 Intrigue by Nancy Rink for Marcus Fabrics (Available June 2015)

New! "R15 Intrigue" by Marcus Fabrics.

New! “R15 Intrigue” by Marcus Fabrics.

Modern Mixers by Studio e (In Stock & Available Now)

"Modern Mixers" by Studio e

“Modern Mixers” by Studio e

Overall, Mid Century Modern inspired décor is a trend to look out for this year! Whether you love reminiscing about the past, or just love the look of it, one thing’s for sure, they sure knew how to make a great sewing box table! Tell me what’s your favorite Mid-Century Modern concept? Answer in the comments below!

Mid Century Modern Sewing Box Table

Mid Century Modern Sewing Box Table

Happy decorating!




Notes and further reading: