Project Breakdown: Mid-century modern in the 21st century

Our client lives in a 60’s ranch style house that surrounds a central courtyard.  Over the years various owners have added more traditional elements to the house but our client was hoping to restore it to it’s former mid-century glory.  We blended vintage with new to create a space that is both an homage to mid-century design and an example of a clean modern aesthetic.

We scored the two mid-century Danish modern chairs from eBay which inspired the design of the two person sofa with the built-in coffee table and magazine holder. We designed the piece and had it fabricated by AWD in Savannah. The back wall consists of four teak panels running the full height of the wall paired with grey “floating” shelves. The screen in the corner was found locally and refurbished with a new column to create a focal point in the room.

1.  Vintage refurbished teak screens

2.  Book-matched veneer teak wall panels

3.  CB2 Russian Nesting Dolls (we love the retro patterns and small punch of color!)

4.  Saarinen side table with marble top

5.  Arco floor lamp by Flos

6.  Alseda Stool (Good design doesn’t have to be expensive- we found these two banana fiber stools from Ikea for 29.99 each)

7.  Mid- century pair of chairs from unknown designer (Ebay)

8.  Custom two seat sofa bench with built in table and magazine holder.  This piece was inspired by an original Jens Risom sketch and the Ebay chairs above.

9.  Thomas Paul silk pillows

10.  Ivory felted wool shag rug from West Elm.  See similar style here

A couple of tips:

Detailed moldings tend to look a bit traditional.  In order to create a more modern feel we painted the walls and the trim the same color making the base and crown moldings “disappear”.

When styling a bookshelf – stack books horizontally and vertically in order to create more visual interest.

Magazines are a great resource (no need to rely solely on books).  We used clear magazine holders to keep them organized and easily accessible.

Protect your shelves – always attach thin felt tabs to the bottom of heavy objects such as magazine holders.


  1. Pingback: Project Breakdown: Kid-Friendly Living Room | Rethink Design

  2. Pingback: Mix and Match MCM | Mid-Century Modern Interiors

  3. Pingback: Project Book Shelving: The Plans | Chris Loves Julia

Leave A Reply