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23 Mid-Century Modern Kitchen Ideas

By: Decorated Life Team |

In a way, the kitchen represents the heart and soul of every home, it’s very core. This timeless style is perfect for accentuating that.

With its pastels, bright colors, bold shapes, geometrics, and mix-and-match patterns, mid-century modern is a big and exciting playground. 

Let your creative juices flow and have a lot of fun styling your cooking space. Snoop through these suggestions to get some inspiration!

A little bit of mixing can go a long way


 If iconic black and white combo is something you don’t want to give up, you can still bring this beloved style into your kitchen by following a few simple steps. 

First, add some silver and grey tones in the interior to connect everything. Second, cover a large area in some interesting geometrical patterns, just like the floor in the photo above.

Third, use a combination of materials-wood, metal, granite…Finally, a vintage cook stove will round and warm up this minimalistic elegance.

Bring in the outside


 Large windows and lots of light are important elements of this style. If you are blessed with a nice yard or beautiful overview, why not use it as a part of your design?

Get rid of the curtains and let the light in. Avocado green tapered leg chairs are mid-century classic and wood will add some rustic charm to this story.

One statement piece is all you need


Retro kitchen appliances are probably the most effective way of conquering this style. Remember that you don’t need to send the whole room back to the 1950s.

You don’t want to end up with an outdated-looking space. Instead, grab a few motives that you like and incorporate them in your modern setting.

Even just one striking piece can be plenty. Whether you choose gentle pastels, or you prefer bright, bold colors, an item like this will change the whole aesthetic of the kitchen.

Decorate with color


The mid-century style calls for clutter-free space, without ornaments and unnecessary details. It is function over form. This is why using several different colors is a great yet simple way to enrich the room, but still stay within the theme.

Pastel colors give off that beautiful and sophisticated vintage feel and they are always an excellent choice for this type of design. Different kinds of woodwork can be used for the same purpose, and it provides an extra layer of texture.

Small things matter


You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy vintage cook stoves and fridges. A few strategically displayed and beautifully colored pieces of kitchen equipment can be more than enough.

It can be anything, from cutlery, plates, and cups, to smaller appliances such as toasters, and even clothes. This will add a pop of retro glamour to your cooking space, but you will still follow the no-ornaments rule. It’s a win-win situation!

Make it bright and optimistic


The mid-century style became popular mostly after World War II have ended. It was the time of the great optimism, blossom, and happiness, and that spirit widely translates into this aesthetic.

So, no matter what elements of mid-century design you decide to introduce to your kitchen, you should make sure that the overall impression is warm and joyous. The easiest way to achieve this is by playing with colors and patterns.

Open up your storage places


This is a great trick to fill up and decorate the room if you don’t appreciate the negative space and minimalistic concept that mid-century style pushes.

Put your pottery and other kitchen utensils on display. In this case, you should pick just one color and go with it, to avoid the oversaturated look. Of course, this means that all of the displayed pieces need to match and look presentable, and preparing that might take some time and effort. 

The outcome is completely worth it though, it looks really special and unique.

Grace with a twist


Mid-century modern is perfect for spaces with closed walls. The clean, sleek lines that characterize this style provide elegance and grace.

Wooden surfaces and brick walls bring some rusticity and warmth to the room. This setting just calls for a glass of mulled wine and pumpkin pie, doesn’t it?

Minty fresh


The color that has been a big hit in recent years is one of the signatures when it comes to mid-century modern. Because it is so light and subtle, you can furnish the whole kitchen in mint, without the fear that it will be too much.

Then you can experiment with some smaller details in other colors to make everything pop. You’d be surprised how good a few turquoise moments would look. White or pastel yellow will add a note of romance, and a little bit of black would make everything seem more elegant.

Some things never change


Black is a timeless synonym for sophistication. It might be a somewhat unusual choice for a kitchen, but when styled right, it can look very powerful, expensive and luxurious.

The combination of different patterns on walls and floors is an essential part of this design and all you need to finish it up. If you want some more detailing, exhibited cutlery is once again a solution, just make sure that it is not colored. We want everything to look neat and graceful.

Dare to be different


Another big motive present in this style are geometrical shapes and patterns. Usually, this is shown on floors, wall prints or countertops.

But, if you want to stand out, be creative and use these shapes differently, like in these minimalist chandeliers that are true attention-grabbers. Sometimes, the simplest designs can be the most effective and original.

 Adjust the style to your preferences


One of the many great things about mid-century modern style is its versatility. Anyone can find some elements that they like and implement them in their homes.

You don’t need bright colors and extravagant pieces if that’s not your thing. Interesting yet subtle geometrically-patterned wallpapers are a great addition to an otherwise clean, fresh and simple look, and these chairs are the reminder of some long-gone times.

Be bold


If there is one word that perfectly sums up the spirit of mid-century modern it is boldness. Boldness in colors, in shapes, in mixing…So, be bold and creative, and experiment away. The sitting area in this circular kitchen gives off irresistible 1950s diner boot vibes.

Another interesting thing is that the combination of wood and silver details is a beautiful representation of modern vs. traditional, which is the essence of this style.

Highlight certain elements


One of the most popular approaches to mid-century modern style is having all of the big kitchen appliances in one popping color.

This design is simple and easy to put, yet very eye-catching. You just need to make sure that your whole setting, besides the electrics, is in one neutral tone, so the contrast is emphasized the right way.

Color makes all the difference


Here is the perfect example of how to achieve minimalist, crisp, simple design, but avoid the sterile look. A few colorful chairs are enough to break the whiteness, with laminated floors warming up the look.

Lots of natural light is there to open up space, and a little bit of fresh flowers on the table is never a bad idea. This is a well-designed, fresh looking kitchen with a little throwback to the past.

Decorate without the ornaments


This is an amazing sample of smart designing. The room looks so full, rich and luxurious although there is almost nothing else besides furniture.

However, beautiful wooden surfaces, sophisticated lighting, and interesting but still minimalistic chairs become ornaments of their own, and nothing else is needed. You can never go wrong with combining white with wood, it radiates old glamour.

Mix and match


Having the white base means that you have the freedom to play with the styling any way you want. Mustard yellow is a great color choice for mid-century modern because it is very retro. 

Other good options would be olive green, orange, brown, any nice and warm tones. Bring in some different patterns. This is an excellent example of how to mix several textures, colors, materials, and patterns, but still keep a sleek and clean look.

Be innovative


This design looks almost reversed, and that’s what makes it special. It’s a striking, yet very effective solution of ornamenting the white room by using bright colored tiles.

It is so fulfilling that you will only need a few small matching pieces to complete the look, such as a fruit bowl or a lamp in the same color. The wooden floor is there to provide a dose of tradition.

Create the story with your design


The cabinets with glass doors are a beautiful and elegant way of creating the feel of filled up space. Also, this romantic color scheme leaves the impression of hearing the sea waves crashing in the background.

The ceiling also has a lovely vintage vibe and brings some more texture and decoration into the picture.

White with a twist


You don’t have to give up on the simple white aesthetic if that is what you like. Interestingly patterned wallpaper can be a striking and sufficient addition to the design. It will give it some more character. Laminated or wooden floors are irreplaceable when it comes to warming up the atmosphere and getting rid of the sterile feel. Vintage cook stove looks equally effective and pretty even when not in color.

Spice it up


This design is an exceptional example of a mix-and-match vision that looks very put together.

The key is having the majority of the setting in white, so it can connect all of the other details. Note that everything added is quite subtle. Yes, there is patterned wallpaper, but it’s white.

Gold is present only in the form of chairs’ legs, so it doesn’t crash with silver appliances. A simple, minimalistic luster is the only pop of color. This is why the overall outcome is so successful.

Accentuate the contrast between then and now


Metal and wood combo, as the marriage of past and present, is one of the best choices for mid-century modern style.

Darker tones help elevate everything to a more sophisticated and elegant level. An especially interesting moment are modern, silver-colored lusters over the antique-looking kitchen island. A little bit of play with textures is all you need to round up the design.

Find the key


This is another melting pot of contrasts and different mid-century modern elements that work together amazingly. The focal point is the chairs, the whole focus is on them, so everything else although very contrasting still melts together beautifully. The large windows are also very important here because lots of natural light makes the setting look very bright and fresh.


We hope that we helped you to better understand this very creative concept and provided you with enough inspiration to start your project.  Enjoy styling your kitchen. We would love to see the results!