Mid Century Modern Tips and Tricks
Do you love mid century design? After a recent trip to Palm Springs, I’m outlining some tips and tricks to get this vibe in your home.
Palm Springs’ mid century homes were built with an outdoor focus. This was a pretty radical idea at the time. Back before air conditioning was prevalent, windows were placed up high near the ceiling, thus providing morning and evening light while keeping mid-day heat at bay. Every home is enclosed with decorative fencing using concrete blocks of differing shapes, patterns and colors. Besides providing privacy, these concrete walls don’t readily absorb heat and are robust enough to keep the desert sand from blowing into the yard.
Mid Century Finishes- in one word- Simple. Besides hardwood flooring (used predominantly in colder climates), terrazzo tile is the first thing that comes to mind for mid century homes. It is durable and lasts for years (decades). Any large format tile will work in your home but I especially love terrazzo’s multi color hue.
Unlike the current popularity of using a subway tile pattern, mid-century tiling is stacked in straight lines. Rectangle and pentagon tile is popular, but 6″ squares were used when these homes were built. At it’s best, mid century finishes reflect a fuss-free, easy to maintain attitude.
There is a tendency for mid-century rooms to be terribly boring. There are a handful of iconic furniture pieces and they have been replicated at every price point. These are the pieces to avoid. What you want to search for are interesting colors, shapes and warm woods that exemplify this simple style while offering great design and function.
We all have items that naturally draw us in. My current obsession is mid century decorative glass. In molten sculptural shapes and shades of teal, green, orange and red, these pieces are a joyful addition to my rooms. Other things to look for- Mid century furniture interpreted in punchy fabrics. Multi color patterned rugs. Wood and metal accents. Splashy contemporary art. These all work together to add personality to your home.