XPLOR’s Ideas on Decorating Mid-Century Modern Homes

Mid-Century Living Room


Mid-century modern homes are back full steam. You want your guests to feel the vibe as soon as they enter your home. Mid-century furniture is just the beginning of mid-century design. To pull the look together, you are going to need accent pieces for the wall, tables, and floors. Lighting and greenery are another important part of that vibe.

This article will give you some suggestions about what types and styles of décor you should use to complete your mid-century home to get the ultimate modern vibe.

What is Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century modern is all about simplicity, functionality, clean lines, and minimalism. Bright colors and abstract patterns are common to the mid-century vibe. The concept of an open, airy space is also key to capturing the mid-century vibe.

After you are happy with your furniture, it’s time to accessorize. Pull the look together with wall art, floor and table sculptures, plants, table and floor lamps, and throw pillows.  Pieces are made from brass, bronze, pottery, wood, glass, ceramic, metal and canvas are common materials for mid-century pieces. So, use the material for a cue to determine if a piece is modern enough for your space.

Wall Hangings

Wall hangings help to pull the entire mod look together. Mid-Century modern wall hangings tend to be abstract, geometric, and atomic patterns accompanied by pops of color. Atomic patterns differ from geometric patterns as they are made up of curves and waves. The waves and curves often overlap and look like vintage computer graph displays. Abstract patterns tend to stray from the recognizable by using color, shape, form, and lines encouraging you to make your own interpretation of what is being represented. Geometric patterns use a combination of shapes with repeating patterns. But styles are appropriate for mid-century wall art.

Art and Paintings

Choosing wall art can be overwhelming. There are so many style directions to choose from. Do you want to have abstract patterns with alternating colors? Maybe abstracted landscapes? Are you a lover of geometrically shaped art? Maybe you love animals and want to display modern versions of some of your favorites. Whatever tickles your fancy.

If you are passionate about abstract art, you won’t find any shortage of those mod shops. They make for great conversation pieces. One of our favorite pieces of abstract art is one entitled “In the Flow” painting. With hues of yellows and grays, viewers are free to decide what it is they see.

Geometric art will give a pop to any room. With the alternating shapes and colors, you can always find a piece to go with your theme. There are so many amazing pieces to choose from, but if we must choose, it would be a geometric landscape with bright colors that quickly grab your attention.

Atomic pieces shouldn’t be overlooked either. With the use of curves and waves, you will have a mesmerizing piece of wall décor. One of our favorite picks of an atomic piece is most definitely the atomic wall blocks. Mixing different colored blocks with different atomic patterns really make a room pop.


A clock, being a necessary piece of décor, doesn’t have to be dull and boring. There are several beautiful shapes, designs, and colors that are sure to compliment your modern décor.

Of these clocks, you can choose from the starburst, sunflower, atomic, sunburst, urchin, and mandala patterns as well as other common patterns. Made of wood, metal, glass or a mixture of materials, you will find a clock that satisfies your needs and tastes. We are partial to the starburst pattern that has a metal face and steel rod accents.


You can’t go wrong with a decorative mirror to brighten up a room. Wood, metal, and stained glass are used to fashion the frames of these accent pieces. In addition to the most common patterns of mod décor, mirrors can be asymmetrical, round, rectangular, and oblong, plus other awesome shapes! If we were picking, we would choose a round mirror with a pleated metal frame.

Table Pieces

Table pieces are a nice touch for bringing out that mid-century vibe, but you don’t want to overdue it. When choosing a sculpture for your table, you want to make sure that it doesn’t overwhelm the table itself. These pieces follow the mod vibe with clean lines and simplicity.

Animal sculptures for the table are rather popular. You will find that mid-century animal sculptures are made from ceramic, bronze, brass or metal. These are animals found in the wild and the modern depictions of them should reflect their personality. They are exact replicas, but suggestions of their elegance. For example, the Roadrunner is an iconic desert animal. A wooden version that shows off the bird boxy body versus its slender legs and triangular tail would be a great choice for your modern room.

Floor Lamps

Do you have a room that doesn’t have enough natural lighting? You may want to get yourself a great looking floor lamp. Choosing a lamp that has a fabric shade is a good idea if you are the type of person that likes to change the color scheme of the room.

The tripod floor lamp has three legs that can be made of metal or wood. These usually have a fabric shade that casts a warm glow over any room. The tripod floor lamp has three legs that can be made of metal or wood.

The shape of the crane or arc lamp is ideal for placing over the sofa or chair to use as a reading light. These lamps sometimes have a fabric shade that you can change. But a metal shade is also quite common.

Floor Pieces

A floor sculpture will be a nice piece that gives your room an extra flair. These pieces can be like your table pieces, just bigger. While a table-sized Roadrunner sculpture might be made of stained wood, a floor version can give a pop of color or shine or texture. Male roadrunners have a bright red and white stripe on the side of their heads. They also sometimes have bold maroon crests. These might provide color cues if the Roadrunner speaks to you.  If you have several similar pieces –such as animals, shells, or mod clocks—group them together. Collect them in a corner for added drama.


Plants go a long way in bringing the feeling of outside inside, so have at least one. Plants with geometric lines work best. Try something in the Sanseveria or Euphorbia family. Perhaps the most mod of the Sanseveria family is the “Snake” plant. Nearly every home had one due to its ease of care. As the name implies, it has the shape of a snake with alternating dark and light green leaves.

The fiddle leaf fig is another common choice. It boasts very large, shiny leaves with thin fragile stems. They are a beautiful plant that is perfect for a dark corner. Another plant worth mentioning is the Swiss cheese plant. It is identified by its large, shiny leaves with a hole in them.

Contrast the plants color and shape with the pot it’s in. For example, a boxy and tall plant can be contrasted with a squat, rounded pot. A bright green plant can be contrasted with a bright white or putty colored pot.

Throw Pillows

Throw pillows add to the décor of the room and are a comfort piece when lounging. They can be square, circular or rectangular. You want to choose a color and design that fits both your personality and color scheme. Also, you want to pick throw pillows that match the vibe of the room. Pillows are perhaps the easiest way to add colors, shapes, and textures to a room. So, this is the place to go wild!

 The throw pillow we would choose would be a square pillow with a geometric pattern with hues of greens, blues, and pinks.

We sincerely hope this guide has given you enough information to know what you need to decorate the perfect room with that mod vibe.

We have put a lot of thought into all things mid-century modern and have written a couple of articles. If you love entertaining and would like to get that mod look and feel, we have written an article entitled A Guide to Entertaining with Retro Theme Serveware. Do you like the mid-century mod fashion? Not sure what you need to get that modern look? We have an article entitled The XPLOR Guide to Mod Fashion – The Style of the 60s. It’s very informative as to what types, styles, and colors the people of the 60s wore. You should have no problem finding fashion items to take on the mod look.

Do you have a room you would like to show us? Do you have any other ideas you would like to share? We welcome any and all comments and pictures. Let us know @XPLORzine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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