28 Decor Ideas for a Mid-Century Modern Bedroom

By: Caroline Warnock |

If you’ve never heard of mid-century modern, chances are you’ve already seen this decor style without knowing it.

It’s a style that became popular in, you guessed it, the middle of the 20th century. It’s recognizable by its use of wood and other natural materials, neutral color palette, and focus on functionality. 

Whether you’re just looking into it for the first time or you’ve already decided it’s the style for you, read on for the top decor ideas for your mid-century modern bedroom.

Use Natural Materials

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This decor style is all about using natural materials, like in this example from Copeland Furniture. The room combines some natural wooden furniture with glass and metal in the light fixtures and vase. 

You can easily recreate this look by mixing some different wood grains and looking for furniture with metal legs or trim. The plant decor in the metal vase behind the bed is a simple, but natural finishing touch.

Focus on Earth Tones and Colors

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You want to focus on the color palette, like neutrals and earth tones, when designing your mid-century modern bedroom. This is not the place for pastels or bright color blocks. Play with different shades of brown, rust, and green, with a touch of gray and white. 

If you’re using a dark wall color, make sure you have enough natural light coming in so your room doesn’t look too gloomy.

Make a Splash with Bright Accents

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Just because the mid-century modern look is all neutral colors and low-key tones, it doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Add a splash of color with some bold accents, like in this gorgeous bedroom by Modsy. A bright mustard chair and colorful abstract painting are tied in to the rest of the look thanks to the bold accent rug that features the yellow, red, and brown hues of the room.

Furnish with Clean, Simple Lines

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What’s important with this style is to keep it simple and clean with straight lines and organic curves. It’s all about the clean aesthetic here, and simplicity reigns supreme! 

Bed frames, night stands, and dressers—look for furniture that is straight and simple, without any adornments. The bedside lights in this gorgeous room add some curvature and break up the parallel lines, while still staying true to the uncluttered appearance of the room.  

Keep It White for a Minimalist Look

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If you’re all about the minimalist life, you can definitely go in that direction because white and neutrals are a staple of mid-century design. Choose all-white walls and bed linen, as well as white accent pieces like the shelving decor and light fixtures in this bedroom. 

Instead of looking washed out, the white complements the natural wood nicely and creates a light and airy bedroom that will leave you feeling rested and fresh.

Add a Touch of Retro Flair

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The retro look goes well with this decor style by making certain objects in the room pop. To pull this look off, you should look for retro pieces that have a mid-century edge, like the organic curve of the iconic egg chair, and the bold colors of the artwork in their metal frames. 

You can also go for the wood panelled accent wall, which pairs nicely with modern mid-century wooden furniture.  

Look for Tapered Legs

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One of the easiest ways to spot a piece of mid-century furniture is by looking at its legs. Tapered legs are a fixture of this style, from bed frames to dressers. Their sleek, round frames make for a roomier and more spacious look. 

If you have a small bedroom and you want to give the impression of space, or you’re looking for an easy place to start your mid-century decor journey, start with tapered legs. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Materials

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If you want to truly adopt this style for your bedroom, you have to ditch the matching bedroom sets! The mid-century style is about going against the traditional bedrooms with ornate bed frames and dressers. 

Try mixing different materials, like metal, leather, wood, brass, and plastics. You can even get a piece that combines both, like the interesting bedroom bench in this featured bedroom.

Get a Bold Area Rug as a Focal Point

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Another option to spice up your room is to invest in a bold area rug. Not only will it serve as a focal point, but it’ll be a statement piece to show your personality. 

You can use the color palette of the area rug to find the best accent color for your room, like the lampshades pictured here. Note that the area rug is in a geometric pattern very appropriate for the mid-century style. 

Add Some Pizzazz with an Accent Wall

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An accent wall is a great way to liven up a space, especially when your room is white or neutral colors. 

Don’t limit yourself to a single color for your accent wall, though, because a geometric pattern can do wonders for your decor as well! This zig-zag pattern in black and white works well with the simplicity of the rest of the room without overwhelming. 

Get Houseplants to Soften the Room

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Having some houseplants in your bedroom will not only brighten up the space but will also make you healthier and happier, as studies show

Make sure to keep the leaves trimmed for the health of your plant (and to match with your room’s clean aesthetic!) The green of the leaves looks especially pretty in a white room with wooden accents.

Create a Built-In Bookcase

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If you have a love of books, consider getting a whole wall of built-in bookcases, like in this dream bedroom by Weiss Architecture. The white shelves and clean, straight lines are pure mid-century modern, and you can add a cozy armchair in a corner to curl up with your latest book. 

With this look, you don’t need to worry about adding artwork to the walls, because the shelves themselves are the focal point.

Look for Natural Wood Furniture

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Mid-century rooms are all about natural materials, so why not get some mix-and-match wooden furniture for your bedroom? 

This example shows that you can pair a dark wooden nightstand with a lighter grain bed frame and even lighter shelves and the result doesn’t look like a mismatched college student’s first apartment.

Invest in a Classic Eames Chair

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The Eames chair is a true mid-century modern design classic. Get your own and place it in the corner of the room for an iconic look. 

In this example, we see how perfect the black of the chair matches the white walls and gold accents in the bookshelves. The best part about this chair? It’s extremely comfortable on top of being fashionable!

Change Things Up with a Platform Bed

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Don’t hesitate to change your basic bed frame for a more glamorous platform bed. The straight lines of a platform bed work well with mid-century decor. 

This option is perfect in a larger room if you want your bed to be the focal point of the room. That’s because platform beds appear to be larger than life. 

Bonus tip: if you’re short on storage space, get a platform bed with drawers underneath! 

Get Bold, Abstract Paintings

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A classic feature of this decor style is the abstract paintings on the wall, which add a splash of life and color to the spartan, simple look of the rest of the room. 

The color scheme for the furniture and the walls and the use of materials in this room are all perfect inspiration for your bedroom decor. If you’re not sure about going all out, start small by adding an abstract painting or two.

Try a Dresser with Hairpin Legs

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Hairpin legs makes your furniture look like it’s floating, creating the illusion of more space in the room. This is a staple of mid-century decor, and the metal of the hairpin legs works really well with the natural wood of the sturdy dresser. 

Add a Touch of Geometric Patterns

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Some geometric patterns here or there go a long way towards making a room pop, especially this yellow chevron bedspread. 

This is a classic mid-century modern room, from the tapered legs on the nightstand and dresser to the organic shapes of the lamps, and the clean, straight lines of the furniture without adornment. There is even an Eames chair artwork on the wall. 

Decorate with a Pendant Light

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Because mid-century rooms tend to be light on decorations and fluff, we tend to see in this style a lot of statement light fixtures to add some flair to the room. A common option for the bedroom is the pendant light. 

When you look for your own pendant light, you’ll want to choose one that’s simple, not an elaborate chandelier. Look for smooth metals and exposed light bulbs. 

A Chaise Lounge Adds Elegance 

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If you’re not a fan of the Eames chair, consider a chaise lounge. This type of chair works well in the mid-century bedroom because of its organic, curved shape that brings to mind the natural world. 

As we see in this example, a chaise lounge can be trendy and still respect the sleek and practical mid-century look. 

Create a Gallery Wall to Draw the Eye

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A gallery wall is a great idea for bedroom decor because you can mismatch frames and sizes to create a focal point for a room. It works well with mid-century modern because you’re using different natural materials, and adding a pop of color and more straight lines in your room. Another benefit is that it eliminates the need for an accent wall, because the photo gallery acts as the accent wall. 

Play with Different Textures

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Mid-century modern is all about mixing materials and shades, as we’ve explored in past ideas. Another great way to do this is to use different textures to add life to the room. 

Here, we see a great example of the hardness of the wood, paired with the softness of the rug, the sleekness of the metal lamp, and the plushness of the upholstered headboard. Because they’re all in the same color palette, it looks fantastic.

A Geometric Mirror Fits Right In

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Instead of going geometric with the bedspread, why not incorporate it in the mirror? A brass, thin-frame mirror in a geometric pattern is a great addition to the room, drawing the eye without overwhelming. Best of all, it’s an easy place to start your own mid-century decor journey!  

Encourage Natural Light for an Airy Feeling

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To add to the natural and airy feeling of the mid-century room done right, make sure you’re getting in as much natural light as possible. 

Rooms with big windows are best, and you’ll notice that curtains aren’t used here. They add too much frilliness and unnecessary decoration, plus they tend to make a room look smaller and darker even when open. The high ceilings and white paint help the sunlight spread through the room.

Look for Brass Accents

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As we’ve seen in many of these previous examples, brass is a popular material in mid-century modern design. 

Whether you’re getting a brass light fixture, mirror frame, or bedside light, a few touches here and there tie the room together and look great paired with your wooden furniture. Don’t go overboard, though, a few accents are enough.  

Get a Wooden, Functional Nightstand

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To be truly mid-century modern, you don’t want any extra detailing or frills. Make sure the nightstand you get is functional and sturdy. 

A common material is wood, as we see here. You can even go a step further and use different pieces as a nightstand instead of buying a traditional one. Don’t be afraid to use a bench or even a concrete block as a nightstand.

A Patterned Throw Adds Intrigue to the Room

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An otherwise bare room can come to life with a patterned throw pillow or blanket. You can either get something in earth tones to match the room or in an accent color, but get one that has an intriguing pattern to spice things up.

In this example, we don’t even notice that the walls are bare white walls, because our eye is immediately drawn to the interesting pattern on the throw pillows, blanket, and rug. 

Add a Leather Headboard to the Bed

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What better way to mix and match materials than to combine a leather headboard with a wooden bed frame? In this collection from Wayfair we can see how well it works in the room, especially with the metal accents of the floor lamp and the end table. 

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it. Don’t be overwhelmed by all of these ideas; you don’t have to completely overhaul your bedroom right away. Start with a couple of small steps, while keeping in mind the key elements of mid-century design: functionality, simplicity, and modernity. 

Whether you start with a piece of artwork or a statement light fixture, the point is that this is an accessible style for everyone. Who knows, maybe once you fall in love with your mid-century bedroom, you’ll go for that look in the rest of your home?