The simplicity and modesty of the mid-century home is once again seeing a resurgence in popularity. The houses often come as single-story structures and with limited space, forcing owners with growing needs to have to renovate.
Here are some guidelines on how to bring this classic style into the modern age without ruining the aesthetic.
Do The Research
Just as with any other influential style of housing, there is a need to clearly understand the specific features that make mid-century, actually mid-century. Besides the style of furniture, it is advisable to consider the materials used in construction, color palettes applied, shapes and textures. This research is fortunately easily done with access to the internet. Examining detailed images of mid-century homes can properly guide any remodeling decisions so they do not alter the overall theme. Do not fail to incorporate or revive distinct features like geometric shapes and generous natural wood finishes.
The open plan living concept of free flow from kitchen to dining to the living area has become synonymous with modern living. Not to mention that kitchen remodels offer a high return in value. At the time mid-century modern caught on, open plan living was not quite in fashion so many homes still retained the cook behind an enclosed space. Now, knocking down the walls is considered the best way to give a larger impression of space. It also offers a better way to display the décor and focal points of the room.
No Granite Countertops
This is a common faux pas when making kitchen renovations. Granite is nowhere being a suitable look for a mid-century kitchen. To keep to the original styling, opt instead for thin quartz, matte Silestone or natural marble choices. Even affordable Formica laminates make for a better look.
Shop For Authentic Pieces
While there are plenty of aspects of mid-century décor and design that can be customized with the right choice of artisan, some things are best kept original. It is a point of pride for many who love this style to ensure they make use of authentic pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures, décor and more that actually comes from that era. Luckily, there are many items to be found through online sites like eBay.
Many mid-century homes are blessed with large windows that let in plenty of natural light. This goes well with the natural wood tones and cool colors often used in décor. When however additional light is needed, accent lighting makes for the best investment. The small and discreet nature of track and recessed lighting fixtures makes them an ideal choice. Small modern designs of floor and table lamps can also be incorporated. Where you cannot find or repair original light fixtures, shop around on sites like Rejuvenation to find suitable simple designs.
Match the Exterior
A home is not just the house itself, but also the surroundings. In modernist design, incorporating nature is a big part of the look and so is access to it. Large sliding doors leading to the garden makes for a suitable transition. If adding an outdoor seating area, ensure as many natural elements to it. Use of wood and flagstone with geometric and angular shapes can help achieve this.
Less is More
One of the fundamental design principles of Mid Century Modernism is the simplicity of the finishes and features. In traditional houses, builders use decorative molding and layers of trim to hide imperfections in construction. A modern house is meticulously crafted, so that there is no need to mask the joints between the floor or ceiling and the walls with molding. The same holds true on cabinetry, door trim and window sills. Use flat panel cabinet doors, not raised panel ones. In mid century modern houses, the architecture consists of strong, clean lines, interesting angles and big openings of glass. Those elements should be the focal point of every room, so leave the frilly wood work, busy light fixtures and handscraped floors for the Victorian and Traditional houses.