Mid-Century Modernism is in part based on the ideal that good design constitutes an essential part of good living. It’s no surprise then, that the clean-lined, optimistic designs of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s still hold sway over interior decorators working today. To prove this point, we rounded up 15 eye-catching interiors that incorporate mid-century pieces to breathtaking, modern effect. Scroll down to see an impressive variety of living rooms filled with furniture by the likes of Charlotte Perriand, Eero Saarinen, Oscar Niemeyer and more — then shop the pieces themselves on 1stdibs.
Pamela Shamshiri, one of Commune‘s four principals, spent two years renovating and restoring the Lechner House, a 1948 Rudolph Schindler design, after taking possession of the home. The living room — originally a closed-in grassed terrace — contains pieces by Serge Mouille, Edward Wormley and Ray and Charles Eames.
Photo by François Halard.
Furniture collector Miquel Alzueta‘s passion for European mid-century design is evident in his Barcelona living room. Pieces by French creators Jean Royère, Jean Prouvé, Serge Mouille and Charlotte Perriand take center-stage, standing out against the room’s old-world architecture.
Photo by Pablo Zamora for AD Spain.
For the Ellwood House in Malibu, California, designer Michael Boyd chose a pair of Eames rosewood LCM lounge chairs, a Paolo Piva table and a Laverne sofa, loveseat and stools. Three vintage African masks hang over the fireplace.
Photo by Richard Powers.
For a recently completed home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, architect Steven Harris and interior designer Lucien Rees Roberts created a glass-box living room that offers stunning ocean views, and filled the space with a stylish selection of modern furniture. Among the pieces are Angelo Lelli‘s Triennale lamp for Arredoluce and an Adrian Pearsall Wave lounge.
Photo by Scott Frances.
In a duplex in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood, Lee Mindel used a sheet of steel-framed white glass around the fireplace to give the appearance of lightness; the SM2 armchairs are by Knoll and the daybed is by Poul Kjærholm.
Photo by Michael Moran/OTTO.
In Palm Springs, California, the Elrod House — designed by architect John Lautner in 1968 — is furnished with pieces by Pierre Paulin and Bruno Matthson.
Photo via Imgur.
The rooms in Scandinavian designer Finn Juhl‘s Copenhagen home were constructed around the furnishings, based on Juhl’s theory that furniture created a room. In the corner of this living room, Juhl’s Poet sofa sits under a portrait of his partner Hanne Wilhelm Hansen, painted by Vilhelm Lundstrom.
Photo from House of Finn Juhl.
Glass walls are a common characteristic of mid-century-style homes, as in this example by David Jameson Architects. Sleek reflective accents on the Warren Platner chairs and Knoll bench emphasize how natural light pours into the space.
Photo by Paul Warchol.
When mid-century enthusiasts Todd Goddard and Andrew Mandolene purchased a beautiful but derelict rectilinear home in Armonk, New York they sought an authentic renovation. Fittingly, they employed architect Arthur Witthoefft to spearhead the project, who had built the home for himself in 1957.
Photo by Richard Powers via Elle Japan.
Upon learning that the property was under threat to be razed, preservationist and architect Michael Boyd purchased Oscar Niemeyer‘s landmark Strick House in Santa Monica, California for his own personal residence. Boyd filled the space with an impressive collection of pieces by Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille and Niemeyer himself.
Photo by Scott Frances via Architectural Digest.
Designers The Archers put a bohemian spin on modernism for a home in Santa Barbara, mixing a pair of rare Thonet caned lounge chairs with a shag rug and bold pillows.
Photo by Laure Joliet via WSJ.
Located in a 19th century Berlin building that boasts 16-foot ceilings, retailer Emmanuel de Bayser’s home uses mid-century pieces to contemporary effect. Lithe Serge Mouille lamps stand in contrast to the organic, round Jean Royère sofas and low, plump Charlotte Perriand stools.
Photo by Manolo Yllera via Trendland.
The Sculptured House, a curvilinear mountaintop residence designed in the 1960s by Charles Deaton, uses sprawling spaces to exhibit iconic mid-century pieces from designers including Eero Saarinen,Warren Platner, Arne Jacobsen and Pierre Paulin.
Photo by Richard Powers.
For her Chelsea, New York, loft, photographer Anita Calero mixed industrial touches — concrete floors and bare walls — with carefully placed, conversation-encouraging mid-century seating.
Photo by Anita Calero.