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Mid-Century Modern Living Rooms

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of mid-century modern design or are just starting to explore this timeless style, each of these living rooms from projects we’ve featured on NTS offers valuable insights for decorating a small space. From minimal elegance to eclectic mixes, there’s a world of inspiration to take in and make your own.

ūüďćEG112 Simple Dwelling, Barcelona

Architect: Jacobo Valentí. Images: Juan Serlo

One of the striking features of EG112 Simple Dwelling is its characterful and timeless décor and the artful ways in which architect and furniture dealer Jacobo Valentí has seamlessly combined original mid-century furniture and details with cleverly adapted IKEA pieces. His open-plan space is a tribute to his love of mid-century design with richly textured timber details and a particularly stunning and colourful original mid-century cabinet designed by Charlotte Perriand that Valenti installed above his kitchen sink (and IKEA kitchen cabinets!).

Key Features:

  • Open-concept living area
  • Richly textured timber
  • Vintage lighting fixtures
  • Second-hand mid-century furniture

Takeaway Tip: Mix and match beautifully designed mid-century pieces with more affordable furniture that can be customised to suit your aesthetic to balance your budget.

ūüďćVM36, Paris

Architect: Jean-Malo Le Clerc. Images: Juan Jerez Studio

While VM36 is a 70s inspired design, its dark-panelled wood accents share links with mid-century aesthetics.
A clever curation of contemporary and vintage lighting and furniture are also at play in this small but
luxurious space.

Key Features:

  • Dark wooden panelling
  • Combination of vintage furniture and lighting

Takeaway Tip: Opt for iconic mid-century pieces to instantly elevate your space.

ūüďćBayside, Sydney

Architect: Nicholas Gurney. Images; Never Too Small

Bayside offers a living room space that is simple yet sophisticated. Nicholas Gurney‚Äôs clients were eager for his design to reflect the 1960s/1970s origins of the original apartment design. The focus is on quality over quantity, with sleek custom built-in furniture and cook flooring setting the tone. While it’s technically part of the kitchen, as the living, dining and sleeping spaces are all combined in Bayside, Gurney‚Äôs laminate and plywood breakfast bar is well worth a mention. It’s a brilliant contemporary take on the style of bench tops that were so popular during this period. The breakfast bar is supported with a custom raw brass leg and it‚Äôs details like this that make his mid-century look feel so complete.

Key Features:

  • Minimal d√©cor
  • Dark timber details
  • Laminate and brass details
  • Cork flooring

Takeaway Tip: Exploring materials that were once more fashionable like cork and laminate might save you money while also adding to your mid-century look.

Check out our Book + Essential Guide to Your Living Room bundle for more unique living room designs that you can use for inspiration.