7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (2024)

Charming, timeless, inherently beautiful, we're talking about mid-century small living room ideas. You've probably encountered this interior design style without even knowing it, but it's the one that had that touch of put-together coolness.

It might look effortless but it's anything but, needing balance pull it off. Our expert interior designers dive into bringing mid-century small living room ideas to life with wooden pieces, tufted furniture, and slimline, low-slung chairs.

Achieve this unfussy, earthy, yet energizingvibe that works brilliantly as a small living room idea, with inspiration from our super seven style tips.

7 mid-century small living room ideas

Simply put, mid-century design is cool without being overdone, and timeless without feeling dusty. Lack of square footage will not interrupt this interior design style's presence with help from our panel of experts and their recommendations.

1. Keep it simple with a gentle contrast of colors

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (1)

(Image credit: Created by Amy Youngblood Interiors, photography by Kortnee Kate Photography)

The mid-century modern aesthetic is eye-catching for many reasons, including its balanced color palettes. When deciding your mid-century smaller living room idea, lean into a neutral base palette, before layering shades of brown.

Interior designerAmy Youngblood says. "When designing a mid-century style living room, stick with a more neutral and light pallet. I like colors such as caramel, tan, blacks, shades or white with pops of green."

The key is to keep it pared-back. Amy adds, "The mid-century modern era produced a lot of nature-inspired colors so keep it organic looking and simple!"

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Amy Youngblood

Amy Youngbloodcreates stunning interiors thoughtfully blending lifestyle and design preferences. With extensive experience in the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio markets, as well as Northern Kentucky and beyond, Amy Youngblood Interiors continues to take the design world by storm.

2. Let artistic elements speak for themselves

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(Image credit: @opulencepdx)

While a vintage Picasso print (such as Harlequin on horseback here) does not really need emphasis, a small mid-century modern design takeaway is its soft and unfussy approach to colorful accessories and wall decor. Notice how Harlequin stands alone, with just a dash of natural and artificial light, and that is enough to add style and elegance.

"Vibrant throw pillows, bold area rugs, fun lighting, and eye-catching wall art can inject personality and warmth into the space without overwhelming it," explains Amy. "The key lies in striking a balance between simplicity and pops of color, creating a harmonious mid-century small living room that feels both inviting and stylish."

3. Add life with greenery

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(Image credit: Artem Kropovinsky, Arsight)

A biophilic element (things that connect people with nature) will make a small mid-century modern living room more lively, not to mention that greenery nearly always features in this style of space.

"Stay with neutral base colors such as soft grays or warm beiges but apply nature-infused accents," says designer Artem Kropovinsky. Think indoor plants, in architectural vases, and hang them up to enjoy adding height and green texture to your room.

Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

4. Soften with pink tones and upholstered furniture

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(Image credit: @domandecors)

Curated pieces from Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters, and Ruggable (where you can find similar super soft shag carpets) come together in this Farrow & Ball pink painted room as put together by @domandecors. It shows a sweet take on mid-century design.

The upholstered sofa combined with the sharp Sputnik lighting fixture make this small mid-century living room pretty divine, don't you think?We reckon this six-light ceiling mount Sputnik fixture with adjustable arms and dimmer capacity from Wayfair would emulate this look perfectly.

Mid-century design is not without texture, and using rugs and cozier elements is the perfect way to soften wood, and sharper-edged materials too.

"I love to mix materials for a small mid-century living room," continues Amy. "Leather, metal, glass, acrylic, and textured fabrics all enhance and bring interest to the space."

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (7)Reclined for comfort

Mid century accent faux leather chair

A low-slung leather accent chair brings all the funk of the century to a small space.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (8)Hidden storage

Pop-Up Coffee Table

Made from: MDF, acacia, eucalyptus
Size (in): H17 x W25 x L38

This sleek mid-century coffee table ticks all of the small living room boxes for this timeless style, made from MDF, acacia, and eucalyptus wood for durability, its natural finish wipes clean.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (9)Bulb included

AllModern Metal Arched Lamp

Pick this corded 20.5" table lamp to copy Mary Fitzgerald's quiet luxury look. It comes in black, too.

5. Let furniture anchor the space and streamline the layout

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(Image credit: @highboyla)

With the design of any minimal small space, there is no room for clutter, and the same goes for bringing a mid-century vibe to your living room. "Creating a stylish mid-century small living room involves a thoughtful approach to furniture selection and layout," says designer Jennifer Davis.

"Embracing the minimalist character of the mid-century design era, opt for a less-is-more approach when it comes to furniture. Choose functional yet interesting pieces that serve dual purposes, such as a sleek coffee table with hidden storage or console that doubles as a bar. Additionally, emphasize the importance of white space to give the illusion of openness."

These elements will help you avoid small living room layout mistakes.

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Jennifer Davis

Jennifer fell in love with design at a young age and has been working in the industry for over 25 years. She has developed an eye for detail and a talent for creating timeless designs. Jennifer offers a balance of creativity and forward-thinking with a structured, organized, and detailed mentality.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (12)Also in white

Aria Coffee Table

A walnut wood veneer base, topped with tempered glass adds an artistic element.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (13)Ceramic

Decorative geometric figurine by Ivy Bronx

Pop this abstract piece on a sideboard for a twist.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (14)1 gallon container

Plant with Purpose Live Olive Tree

This potted olive tree will yield fruit in the right conditions - plenty of sunlight (ideally outdoors), weekly watering and slow-release fertiliser. The extra care is worth it as this houseplant for small spaces is a beauty.

7. Give it life with geometric and colorful accents

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(Image credit: @domandecors)

"To strengthen the mid-century feel, use some lighting fixtures with geometric shapes," continues Artem.

It's clear @domandecors does this beautifully in this small lounge space, which also features a linear patterned Ruggable and curvaceous forms in the couch and coffee table.

Although the furniture, such as the olive-green sofa, is chunky, since the color and pattern aren't over the top, it doesn't overwhelm the small living room.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (16)The Sputnik classic

Iconic, this Sputnik sphere chandelier is available in gold, black and gold, and rubbed white gold.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (17)Velvet

Modular velvet sofa

Make a mid-century small living room space bounce with this burnt amber modular sofa.

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (18)Solid wood frame

Dark Green Sectional

Green pairs perfectly with orange and wood tones.

7. Let it take a retro twist

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(Image credit: @mylifeinmulticolor)

We told you there were options and we love @mylifeinmulticolor's take on mid-century on this maximalist small space.

The cloud wall mural, bright carpet, and artwork is all toned down and brought together by a charming wooden cabinet and groovy chair. It proves that sometimes going big is all you need in a small space. Jazz up a more minimal scheme with a cute addition like this bubble candle from Target or pop art print from Etsy.

Though a neutral base is often where designers start, especially if working with a small space, adding color in this way can ignite a mid-century modern scheme beautifully.

"Use a neutral color palette for larger furniture items and walls, allowing colorful accents to take center stage," recommends Amy.

Go big on curves, especially with big furniture items, and be sure to contrast textures and have fun with color and lighting. Mid-century modern living room ideas are a firm favorite in small spaces that want to look cool and timeless.

Next, take vibe elsewhere in your home, with celeb inspiration from Olivia Rodrigo's mid-century dining room.

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or credentials, but I can provide information on a wide range of topics. I have been trained on a diverse dataset and have access to a vast amount of knowledge, which allows me to generate responses and provide information on various subjects.

In this article, the topic is mid-century small living room ideas. The article discusses different concepts related to mid-century design and provides tips and recommendations for creating a mid-century-inspired living room. Let's go through some of the key concepts mentioned in the article:

Mid-century design: Mid-century design refers to a style of interior design that emerged in the mid-20th century, roughly between the 1940s and 1960s. It is characterized by clean lines, organic shapes, and a minimalist approach. Mid-century design often incorporates elements such as natural materials, bold colors, and iconic furniture pieces.

Color palettes: Mid-century design typically features balanced color palettes. For a mid-century small living room, it is recommended to start with a neutral base palette and then layer shades of brown. Nature-inspired colors like caramel, tan, and shades of white with pops of green are commonly used in mid-century design.

Artistic elements: Mid-century design emphasizes the use of colorful accessories and wall decor. Vibrant throw pillows, bold area rugs, eye-catching wall art, and fun lighting can inject personality and warmth into a mid-century small living room without overwhelming the space.

Greenery: Adding greenery to a mid-century small living room can make it more lively and enhance the connection with nature. Indoor plants in architectural vases, hung up to add height and green texture, are commonly used in mid-century design.

Upholstered furniture: Upholstered furniture, such as sofas and chairs, can soften the look of a mid-century living room. Pink tones are often used to add a sweet touch to the design. Mixing materials like leather, metal, glass, acrylic, and textured fabrics can bring interest and enhance the overall look of the space.

Furniture selection and layout: When designing a small mid-century living room, it is important to consider the furniture selection and layout. Opting for functional yet interesting pieces that serve dual purposes, such as a sleek coffee table with hidden storage or a console that doubles as a bar, can help maximize space. Emphasizing white space can create an illusion of openness.

Geometric and colorful accents: Geometric shapes and colorful accents can strengthen the mid-century feel of a small living room. Lighting fixtures with geometric shapes, linear patterns in rugs, and curvaceous forms in furniture can contribute to the overall aesthetic.

Retro twist: Adding a retro twist to a mid-century small living room can create a unique and maximalist look. This can be achieved by incorporating bold colors, artwork, and statement pieces of furniture. Contrasting textures and having fun with color and lighting are also important aspects of creating a mid-century-inspired space.

These are just a few of the concepts discussed in the article. If you have any specific questions or would like more information on a particular aspect of mid-century design or small living room ideas, feel free to ask!

7 mid-century small living room ideas to covet now and forever (2024)

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