top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrad

How To Design: Midcentury Modern Homes

Updated: May 18, 2019

This post will outline key midcentury modern design framework so readers have a compendious idea of what it takes to create a home in the midcentury style.

Photos courtesy of: realtor .com | daniel kim | jed pearson | rian morgan


This article is for you if you love Midcentury Modern style homes but you don't quite know exactly how to make your home fit the style. You've collected a thousand images of Midcentury example homes but you aren't certain what about these examples makes them so appealing.

We've researched and understand the best traits of Midcentury Modern style and have illustrated them in this post to help you find clarity in your design and create a beautiful Midcentury home!

A Look Back: honoring the past

Midcentury Modern style has had a revival comeback in a very big way by the likes of Mad Men, West Elm, Article, and more. What some experts would call the golden age of design characterized by sexy furniture, streamlined products, eye-popping graphic design, and architecture cooperating with nature, this post-war aesthetic has found a refocused popularity.

Architects like Ray and Charles Eames, Joseph Eichler, Richard Neutra, Phillip Johnson, and other modernists powered by advanced achievement of the industrial age, stripped their designs of ornamentation, found inspiration in nature and simplified details, and created an architectural movement that was centered on a sleek style. Each of these influencers had a slightly different way of achieving Midcentury Modern architectural design however, they all shared some common design facets that made their designs revolutionary and still popular today.


As mentioned above, the heart of Midcentury Modern style was all about removing ornamentation and simplifying architectural form to shift focus away from decoration and the "extras" onto the inherent beauty of materials, simplified details and form, and most importantly, the natural world. Wherever possible architects would design walls, floors, ceilings, and even glass to be large, unbroken, simple planes. Ceilings would be defined by the underside pitch of the roof and large unbroken planes of natural materials would help to give identity and warmth to spaces.

Expansive Glass

This cannot be stated enough. Glass is HUGE in Midcentury Modern design. Literally! Before the modern age architects were limited with how big glass could be, which is why windows of the past were comprised of smaller panes of glass held together by small mullions. But as the processes for creating larger panes of glass improved, so did its use in buildings. Modern architects took full advantage of this and tested the limits of glass by creating full walls of it. This accomplished two things, first it opened up enormous views of the natural surroundings for their designs while letting in a fantastic amount of natural light. Second, it instills a sense of weightlessness to the roof form and structure, creating a beautifully delicate balance of solid and void. So when you design your midcentury modern house, you'll need a lot of glass.