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How To Make The Perfect Mid-Century Modern Dining Room

July, 2021

Mid-Century Modern Dining Room

Mid-Century Modern style is not a passing trend. Popularized in the 1940s and still popular today, this design style is defined by clean lines, high functionality, organic forms (think rounded and often asymmetrical), and bold primary colors to contrast a neutral palette. With timeless appeal, it’s easy to work this style into your home, particularly into your dining room. 

After learning about what defines this design style, where it comes from and our dining room style guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect Mid-Century Modern dining room.

Mid-Century Modern Style Explained

Originally influenced by new manufacturing techniques, a post-war lifestyle and new materials, Mid-Century Modern has stood the test of time. Why are these designs so resilient some 70 years later? The furniture was (and still is) designed for a way of living that is still relevant. People still want chairs to curl up in, storage which is accessible and stylish, and everything on a smaller scale making it more mobile. 

In the age of drones, wi-fi and smartphones, the allure and influence of Mid-Century Modern designs rests in its ability to both transport us back to the past and propel us to dream of the future.

What Defines Mid-Century Modern Style

Mid-Century Modern  is a style defined by an understated and classic look with clean/sleek lines, limited ornamentation and minimal fuss. The curves are subtle, gentle and organic. 

The furniture is all about functionality - form follows function - and that form is organic and often geometric. Featuring a discovery of traditional and non-traditional, often contrasting materials, this is a style all about being as simple and practical as it is beautiful. 

Other features of Mid-Century Modern design include low streamlined seating, plastic shell chairs, cocooning lounges, hairpin/tapered legs on tables and dressers, matte finishes, and plain surfaces showing personality via design flourishes. 

Mid-Century Modern is fresh, tinged with a retro vibe, dedicated to comfort and functionality, in a design that is beautiful and timeless. Streamlines in design, form follows function, highlighting the materials the pieces are made from rather than pretending to be something they aren’t.

Real Wood Dining Table

Where Does Mid-Century Modern Style Come From?

While American modernists were loving the industrial materials and the ability to mass produce, their Scandinavian counterparts were staying with the longstanding traditions of crafting furniture from the natural elements of leather and wood - handmade over mechanical processes. The result was beautifully crafted pieces loved as much for the quality as the simple, modern forms and curves. And, many of the exact pieces designed in the 1950s and 1960s are reproduced today. 

Cara Greenbery who coined the phrase ‘Mid-Century Modern Style’ in 1984 is unsurprised that the style has stood the test of time, “it seems to appeal anew to each rising generation of young people. Mid-Century design hasn’t been bested by any other movement since, so it remains the style of our own time, not of some antique pasts. And it still looks cool!”

Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Style Guide

Overall, the perfect Mid-Century Modern dining room design can be created by: 

  • Foundational furniture - dining table and chairs with tapered legs - provide simple elegance to substantial pieces and yet, in small spaces, create an open flow and the illusion of more space. 
  • Showing off natural wood tones - select furniture where the grain is highlighted (not hidden) and stick to a single wood finish/hue such as Oak to create cohesiveness. 
  • This is design that is as practical as stylish - pieces are function first such as closed storage, dressers and benches. 
  • Organic/geometric forms and retro shapes. The starburst or boomerang are very popular and classic examples however select one, not both to style a room. These forms and shapes can be incorporated in accessories such as mirrors and lamps. 
  • A mix of materials such as wood, leather, fiberglass, molded plywood, bent tubular steel, and metals. The more materials the merrier. 
  • Embracing natural textures such as jute and seagrass - think baskets and rugs. 
  • A minimal approach to styling - less is more. This design is defined by uncluttered surfaces and clean lines to create a sense of more space. 
  • Combines a neutral palette with bold primary colors - yellows, reds, blues to infuse spaces with a sense of fun. Earthy hues also work. 
  • Playful patterns such as bold, geometris, organic, abstract in bright colors to create contrast and interest. Patterns can be introduced through wall art, rugs, table runners. 

Solid Wood Table

Magnus Dining Table

Create a tranquil space in the heart of your home with our solid American oak Magnus dining table. With a refined, elegant combination of soft curves and clean lines, the timeless design brings the perfect blend of authenticity and simplicity. Serving as the relaxed hub of a busy home, Magnus’s smooth, rounded corners serve both practicality and style. The durability of solid oak makes the Magnus dining table one of our best selling pieces - designed for living and built to last for decades to come. Magnus’s effortless and gentle strength is inspired by Mid-century modern furniture movements. Available in rectangular, round and an extension for added space at your table. 

Solid Wood Dining Table

 Magnus Dining Chair with a natural wood seat 

The Magnus solid oak dining chair’s curved seat is built for ergonomic comfort, blending the relationship between soft curves and the clean lines with a refined elegance contributed by the angled legs. Enjoy relaxing for a few minutes longer than planned over morning coffee, or forget how quickly time passes over a meal with friends as the Magnus’s gentle, smooth design transports you to a tranquil space. Designed for effortless living, the soft, warm tones inspired by the timeless Mid-century modern furniture movement will complement your dining room for decades to come.

Oak Extension Dining Table

Magnus Sideboard

The Magnus Sideboard has versatility with clever reversible doors; there's an option of white and gray on one side or matching solid American oak on the other side. It channels mid-century modern furniture design that inspires calm, elegant spaces. The mid-century modern sideboard is made of high-quality American oak for durability and functionality. Easily keep everything in its place, with two sliding-door cabinets and three classic drawers. Bring the soft, warm tones and smooth texture of our solid oak furniture into your home and enjoy long-lasting, refined design. 

Solid Oak Sideboard

Magnus Fabric Dining Chair

With all the benefits of the Magnus dining chair above, the Magnus fabric dining chair is available with 100% polyester fabric for durability and easy cleaning, as well as a perfect way to bring in a pop of color to your Mid-Century Modern dining room. 

We recommend vacuuming the fabric seat monthly and applying a fabric protective spray every three months. Fabric seats are available in: 

  • Warm Gray - mid-tone gray with warm undertones in a tight weave
  • Midnight Blue - dark, rich blue color in a tight weave
  • Cement Gray - light gray with warm undertones in a tight weave
  • Sage Green - earthy, light green color in a tight medium weave

Solid Wood Chair

Introduction to IconByDesign

At IconByDesign, our promise to you is that we will deliver high quality contemporary furniture that is designed for a modern, easy and relaxed way of life. We do that through our focused approach to design, craftsmanship, value and service. Each aspect of our business has been, very deliberately, designed to bring you a simple and satisfying experience of buying furniture you’ll love online. 

We want well-designed, sustainable modern furniture to be available to all. That’s why we designed our own unique supply chain and sourced only the highest quality real American wood. Our artisans then respect nature by designing and crafting furniture that is designed for life.

IconByDesign launched in the USA in January 2021 and delivers Australian-designed, Scandinavian-inspired, mid century modern furniture at a great price through a highly innovative business model.


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