My Favorite Ways to Update and Add Comfort to Midcentury Modern

joy of nesting

doesn’t love a great transformation, especially when it involves redesigning a

workers and I recently completed an apartment remodel/refurnish outside San
Francisco. The home is mid-century, and is a second home for returning clients.

Via Visual Vamp

challenge of this particular project was finding ways to warm up the typically
“cool” mid-century modern style of the architecture and make it more
comfortable. I spent a few hours at the San Francisco Design Center sitting on
furniture, looking at woods and pulling fabric samples that would bring the scheme
together with current colors and motifs. From those fabrics, I came up with
four or five strong design schemes, presented the best two to the clients, and
they chose the one that best represented their personal preferences.

reupholstered an existing sofa and purchased new armchairs, an area rug, dining
room set and dining room ceiling fixture. We did new window coverings and throw
pillows; painted; added crown molding; designed and built a new mantel; and
redesigned two pony walls.

home has spectacular views. We took that into account when designing the window
shades. When the shades are raised, the whole expanse of glass is exposed. The
fabrics consist of soft textures; subtle graphic prints. There is an amazingly
soft, light mousy taupe colored “silk chenille” with a subtle damask imprint; a
“MIssoni-esque” zigzag in taupes, grays, corals and terra cottas; a cream
colored, faux reptile skin; a dark taupe “silk chenille” with a small, “wavy”
imprint; a crisp linen with a graphic patterned, coral colored embroidery, and
a black and cream “Ikat dot”. The area rug is Williamsburg design in caramel
wool that has a repeating, scallop motif. In the living room we chose a
beautiful, modern bookcase to act as a visual anchor to the room. Even small
spaces such as these need some kind of anchoring piece to make the room feel
complete. The petite, gold leaf chandelier we chose is tailored and modern. In
place of a chain, it hangs from unique, linked rods.

of my favorite pieces is a sexy, modern cross leg bench covered in cream
colored faux reptile. The wood finish coordinates nicely with the finish of the

interiors are not known for being cozy but adding livability and warmth isn’t
as difficult as it seems. The main elements you want to add to your midcentury
schemes are texture and scale.


can be added via rugs in solid colors; heavy textures; and subtle, classic
graphic prints. Midcentury florals are too busy for today’s home, with the
exception of kids’ bedrooms. Moroccan style rugs are wonderful. Even faded, vintage
Indian rugs work and imbue a bohemian style.

add warmth and comfort and if correctly chosen will stay in keeping with the
midcentury style. Like rugs, choose fabrics that are textured solids or subtle,
classic prints. I love a great zigzag print too.


midcentury homes weren’t known for having scale and by scale I mean large
pieces of furniture, I love to use the design element to add stability to all
my projects including midcentury, and adding a large scale piece is a great way
to give the era a more up to date feel.

choosing large scale pieces for midcentury modern homes choose pieces with
straight, clean lines like Danish or French Modern. I also love adding scale
with oversized mirrors and large pieces of modern art.


midcentury colors are burnt orange and brown of course but avocado green works
well too, as do some golds. Brass is a great metal finish with these colors.
Typical woods used were teak and walnut.

August 24, 2020

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My Favorite Ways to Update and Add Comfort to Midcentury Modern

My Favorite Ways to Update and Add Comfort to Midcentury Modern

My Favorite Ways to Update and Add Comfort to Midcentury Modern