Clean lines, hardwood veneers, stainless steel and graphics that look a little out-of- this-world characterize the design aesthetics of the Mid-Century Modern home. Often overlooked, the kitchen provides ample opportunity to showcase the distinctive style of the Southern California style. From the large pieces to the smallest details, Mid- Century Modern kitchen décor is unlike any other.
Think about your kitchen. It’s full of everyday appliances, a wall is lined with cabinets, there’s probably a dining area, and like most Mid-Century Modern homes, there’s likely to be a breakfast bar. More than any other room in your Mid-Century Modern home, the kitchen reflects the changing times in mid-20th century America. Decorating it in its original style is your chance to pay homage to this age.
The Space Race prompted futuristic-inspired design elements for Formica countertops, dinette sets and light fixtures. Appliances, such as blenders and electric griddles, were geared toward making food preparation easier and served as evidence of American technological superiority. The popularity of eat-in diners prompted many housewives to want to serve their family meals at a tall bar within easy reach of the stove.
Check out this kitchen from Eichler SoCal. The Fairhaven home’s kitchen features a long countertop for homework and family meals, round globe-shaped light fixtures, and a variety of wood finishes. The green cabinet doors, when paired with the dark wood veneers, give the space a fresh look while staying true to the era’s color palette.
The bones of your Mid-Century Modern home should dictate how you decorate the individual spaces, and the kitchen is no different. Take a cue from the colors of your cabinets when choosing paint colors. Consider the size and scale of windows and walls. A small window over the sink would be better complemented by a simple space age graphic instead of one that is bold and brightly colored. Looking for Eichler Homes in Southern California? Contact us to find out whats currently available.
Homes from this era in history are already so interesting that very little is needed to really make your kitchen a show-stopping space. Dress up the heart of your Mid- Century Modern home by selecting a few key pieces that will showcase the beautiful structure and style of the space.
Start with the large, central pieces: the table and chairs. Mid-Century Modern design featured beautifully grained wood pieces, usually made from teak or walnut. This stunningly restored piece offered by Deja Vu out of Long Beach, California, is an example of iconic Mid-Century dining tables.
￼￼The simple lines of the table top and the detailed wood grain are typical of Mid- Century Modern wood furniture. With black tubular legs, the Don Knorr for Cal Vista table expresses the architectural influence on American 1950s furniture design. Pair it with white plastic Eames-style chairs and your eating area is complete. Dress it up with a starburst pattern stainless steel fruit bowl piled high with bright green apples.
Go graphic with big, bold prints reminiscent of the space age. Several online retailers like Spoonflower will ship reproduction prints straight to your door.
Look for prints with bright colors like turquoise, lime green and bold orange. The Mid- Century Modern era was all about celebrating the technological innovations in the years after World War II. Cheery fabric is a great way to bring authentic Mid-Century styles to your kitchen. Score some pillows covers for your built-in banquette in a spring green star fabric or have your favorite tailor make panel curtains from a ballistic print to frame your backdoor. Whatever print you choose, opt for something that is full of angles, lines and geometric shapes.
Be open to unconventional décor opportunities. Small details go a long way in a Mid- Century Modern kitchen. Take advantage of brand new, modern appliances that look like they have been kept safely tucked away in a bomb shelter for decades. Waring Pro has a great line of small countertop appliances that are so pretty that you can leave them out every day.
Stack your cabinets with bright Fiesta ware. The iconic dishes do double duty as serving pieces and accessories at every mealtime. Think of them as jewelry for your kitchen table; they complete and complement the design. Search the shelves of your local thrift shop or antique store for individual pieces that can be used for decoration on your Mid-Century sideboard. For everyday use, full place settings of newly- produced Fiesta ware can be found in just about every color of the rainbow.
Light fixtures are another great décor element to bring your Mid-Century Modern kitchen back to its original greatness. Helix-style fixtures or sputnik chandeliers are visually interesting light fixtures that draw the eye upwards and crown the room perfectly. Be adventurous when it comes to lighting and choose something like this Possini pendant:
When decorating your Mid-Century Modern kitchen, remember the guiding influences in the original design: modernity, creative technology, convenience and quality time spent together as a family.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, or if you are looking for the perfect Mid-Century Modern Home for you! Contact us
Article written by our contributing writer: Megan Winkler