Choosing the proper decor, furnishings, and colors are the key components for creating a functional, timeless mid-century modern home office.
When mid century modern first came back into vogue, most decorators were forced to scour thrift stores and garage sales to find the perfect pieces to anchor their interiors.
As working from home has become the new normal, and more and more homeowners are seeking out this classic style, a lot more options have become available.
A great start to a mid-century modern home office is to choose a desk and chair to anchor the room. Next, decide on a color scheme to match your mood. Then comes the real fun of finding minimalist, colorful decor to round out your retro home office.
If you’re ready to dive into some cool, clean mid-century modern design ideas that will transform your ho-hum home office into a sophisticated space worthy of Mad Men, read on.
After all, wasn’t it Don Draper who said, “Success comes from standing out, not fitting in?”
The Perfect Desk and Chair
One of the most fun aspects of the mid-century modern motif is the ability to pick and choose furnishings that fit your personal taste, and then build an atmosphere around them.
Some designers might prefer a stout desk.
Vintage desk, builder unknown
Lauren Desk by Burke Decor
Mid Century Executive Desk by West Elm
Other designers might want to go with something more minimalist:
Andersen Desk by AllModern
Parker desk by Savafieh
Such an imposing desk requires the right chair to accompany it. Some designers will opt for a more traditional office chair, like this:
Cooper Swivel Office Chair by West Elm
But, if you really want your mid-century home office to pop, you’ll need something more curvy:
Wells Leather Desk Chair by Pottery Barn
Curvo Chair by Lumisource
While you are shopping for the perfect desk and chair keep an eye out for storage options that match them, such as modular wooden shelves or a corner nook to stash your set of after-hours rocks glasses.
Decide on a Color Scheme
Once you have chosen the furnishings to anchor the room, you can start playing around with different color schemes.
Of course, any mid-century modern design requires some dark browns and other wooden tones. Depending on your personal taste you might want to dress that up with colorful accents, or keep it low key.
Remember that this is where you will spend most of your day. Does your brain require splashes of bright color to keep the creative juices flowing, or do you prefer a muted, understated environment?
First, let’s look at some mid-century modern office design ideas that really pop:
Note how the designers built some vibrant color schemes around the muted wood and natural tones.
Here are some more understated examples that reflect the mid-century modern aesthetic:
For more mid-century modern color palette ideas, check out Benjamin Moore paint’s page on the topic here
Find Decor That Fits Your Office
Now that you’ve found the perfect furnishings and landed on the perfect color scheme, it’s time to piece together the proper decorations for your mid century modern office.
You might be surprised to find that many of your personal belongings will fit in just fine since this aesthetic is so timeless and forgiving.
If you must shop, however (mustn’t we all?), I would suggest finding decor that speaks to the creative and fun side of the person who will be using the office.
If you are an art fan, choose some small period-specific abstract works, such as a small print of one of Henri Matisse’s Blue Nudes, or just about anything by Mark Rothko:
Blue Nudes by Henri Matisse
Untitled, c. 1950 by Mark Rothko
If abstract art doesn’t suit your taste, opt for any work that showcases geometric designs or presents a minimalist feel.
Art Print by the Miuus Studio
After you have found the perfect wall coverings, start looking for a desk or corner lamp to tie the room together, as well as a centerpiece light fixture.
Desk Lamp with Charging port from Amazon
Sculpted Overarch Floor Lamp by West Elm
Sputnik Sphere Chandelier by Corrigan
When designing your mid-century modern home office, be sure to choose versatile furnishings, such as a desk that can double as a makeup vanity for when guests stay over, or a modular shelving unit that can change height as you update your decor.
Don’t be afraid to play around with different colors until you find the perfect match for your attitude and workspace, either.
Feel free to stray from a fully minimalist design and go for a more cozy atmosphere if that fits your style. Just be aware, however, that too much clutter will detract from the mid-century modern aesthetic.
Above all, have fun restyling your home office into your sophisticated retro headquarters, and check back here for more home office design ideas in the future!