20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors

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By Ethan Lance / Published by Ethan Lance
The following rooms provide a modern take on what it is to live today in a midcentury modern home. Scroll to the bottom for links to articles that will transport you to what midcentury modern meant in the 1950s and 60s.
20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 1 of 20 - A vintage Molded Plywood Lounge Chair (LCW) by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller sits in front of built-in shelving in untreated hemlock.

A vintage Molded Plywood Lounge Chair (LCW) by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller sits in front of built-in shelving in untreated hemlock.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 2 of 20 - The living room sports a panoply of wood: Douglas fir for the ceiling, hemlock for the walls, and stained oak for the floor. The sofa is the Neo model by Bensen and the rug is vintage.

The living room sports a panoply of wood: Douglas fir for the ceiling, hemlock for the walls, and stained oak for the floor. The sofa is the Neo model by Bensen and the rug is vintage.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 3 of 20 - A walnut-topped table and Womb chair, both by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, offer a cozy spot for reading.

A walnut-topped table and Womb chair, both by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, offer a cozy spot for reading.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 4 of 20 -
20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 5 of 20 - A tub zone lined in redwood connects to the master bedroom, which is furnished with a vintage Sergio Rodrigues lounge chair and Voyage Immobile seats from Roche Bobois.

A tub zone lined in redwood connects to the master bedroom, which is furnished with a vintage Sergio Rodrigues lounge chair and Voyage Immobile seats from Roche Bobois.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 6 of 20 - A white brick wall provides visual and material contrast to warm wood elements throughout the home.

A white brick wall provides visual and material contrast to warm wood elements throughout the home.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 7 of 20 - Marcel Breuer Hooper House II Den

Marcel Breuer Hooper House II Den

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 8 of 20 - Lambert pours wine in the kitchen, which is defined by a low concrete-block wall and serves as the home’s central core. The seating-area chairs are from Herman Miller.

Lambert pours wine in the kitchen, which is defined by a low concrete-block wall and serves as the home’s central core. The seating-area chairs are from Herman Miller.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 9 of 20 - Speaking to his original design, architect Saul Zaik says, "We were really just building boxes with a bunch of windows but experimenting with how you integrated indoor and outdoor spaces." The house has seven different openings to the exterior, allowing different courtyard or patio settings for a range of outdoor activities, including seating for a gathering on the street-facing side. The Milfords hired Lilyvilla Gardens for the landscaping around the house, including variegated bluestone steps with thyme joints.

Speaking to his original design, architect Saul Zaik says, "We were really just building boxes with a bunch of windows but experimenting with how you integrated indoor and outdoor spaces." The house has seven different openings to the exterior, allowing different courtyard or patio settings for a range of outdoor activities, including seating for a gathering on the street-facing side. The Milfords hired Lilyvilla Gardens for the landscaping around the house, including variegated bluestone steps with thyme joints.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 10 of 20 - Delighted with the result, they requested additional structures, including a pool house with a dining area that opens to the outdoors. Rising from the edge of the pool deck, a planted overhang shelters a gym and sauna below.

Delighted with the result, they requested additional structures, including a pool house with a dining area that opens to the outdoors. Rising from the edge of the pool deck, a planted overhang shelters a gym and sauna below.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 11 of 20 - The light fixtures, a string of dangling lights seen above the dining table, emulate what SHED Architects principal Thomas Schaer calls Zema’s "builderly" style: straightforward and unpretentious. The wooden screens, seen top right, are all-new to the house but follow Zema’s Japanese-inspired style.

The light fixtures, a string of dangling lights seen above the dining table, emulate what SHED Architects principal Thomas Schaer calls Zema’s "builderly" style: straightforward and unpretentious. The wooden screens, seen top right, are all-new to the house but follow Zema’s Japanese-inspired style.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 12 of 20 - Ipe paneling and concrete floors continue into the living area, where a photograph by Scott McFarland hangs above the fireplace. Surrounding the dining table, by Riva 1920, are walnut chairs the couple found locally.

Ipe paneling and concrete floors continue into the living area, where a photograph by Scott McFarland hangs above the fireplace. Surrounding the dining table, by Riva 1920, are walnut chairs the couple found locally.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 13 of 20 - "We’re trying to pretend this is our little ray of sunshine in the middle of Portland," says Jennifer, with Mattias and Moa (right), of the couple’s Eichleresque abode. The sofa is by Florence Knoll for Knoll.

"We’re trying to pretend this is our little ray of sunshine in the middle of Portland," says Jennifer, with Mattias and Moa (right), of the couple’s Eichleresque abode. The sofa is by Florence Knoll for Knoll.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 14 of 20 - Elise Loehnen and Rob Fissmer bought their house, which dates to 1950, in 2012, furnishing the living room with a Jasper sofa by Room & Board, Laccio tables by Marcel Breuer, and a wool sisal rug from Madison Flooring and Design.

Elise Loehnen and Rob Fissmer bought their house, which dates to 1950, in 2012, furnishing the living room with a Jasper sofa by Room & Board, Laccio tables by Marcel Breuer, and a wool sisal rug from Madison Flooring and Design.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 15 of 20 - Inside, a Herman Miller bench creates a small sitting area. A rich collection of artwork, amassed over the years by the Saleks' mother, Mahshad, is visible at every turn. The flooring throughout is a warm walnut.

Inside, a Herman Miller bench creates a small sitting area. A rich collection of artwork, amassed over the years by the Saleks' mother, Mahshad, is visible at every turn. The flooring throughout is a warm walnut.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 16 of 20 - The spacious living room, filled with vintage furnishings by Harry Bertoia, Paul McCobb, overlooks the heavily wooded site, which adjoins a protected watershed. Photo by: Jason Schmidt

The spacious living room, filled with vintage furnishings by Harry Bertoia, Paul McCobb, overlooks the heavily wooded site, which adjoins a protected watershed. Photo by: Jason Schmidt

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 17 of 20 - The first commissioned work by

The first commissioned work by

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 18 of 20 - Buttrick pays homage to the home’s midcentury bones with an Eames "Sofa Compact." When asked to describe the interior aesthetic, the architect explained that it very much embodies most Eamesian principles of design.

Buttrick pays homage to the home’s midcentury bones with an Eames "Sofa Compact." When asked to describe the interior aesthetic, the architect explained that it very much embodies most Eamesian principles of design.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 19 of 20 - Dieter Rams’s modular 620 Chair Programme, from the 1960s, takes center stage in the Alford-Young family’s living room. The set is accompanied by Artemide’s classic Tolomeo floor lamp and a Portofino Bergère chair that was designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti. The rolling glass doors running the length of the room are from Fleetwood.

Dieter Rams’s modular 620 Chair Programme, from the 1960s, takes center stage in the Alford-Young family’s living room. The set is accompanied by Artemide’s classic Tolomeo floor lamp and a Portofino Bergère chair that was designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti. The rolling glass doors running the length of the room are from Fleetwood.

20 Great Midcentury Modern Interiors - Photo 20 of 20 - The living room features two side chairs and an end table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar and a bronze screen designed by Harold Balazs.

The living room features two side chairs and an end table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar and a bronze screen designed by Harold Balazs.

Ball Clock by Vitra
Ball Clock by Vitra
The George Nelson Ball Clock, from Vitra, is an authentic re-edition of a classic mid-century modern design from 1947. The Ball Clock is produced from the original design document from the Nelson archive with the blessings of the George Nelson estate. This functional and geometric work of art represents the work of one of America's most original designers.
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Modern by Dwell Magazine Whale Coaster Figural in Natural
Modern by Dwell Magazine Whale Coaster Figural in Natural
Setting out to create something decorative is "not the typical starting point for a modernist," says Chris Deam the animal sculptures in the Modern by Dwell Magazine collection. Taking inspiration from the animal figures created by midcentury furniture designers, however, Deam allowed function to dictate form. The wooden whale doubles as a coaster holder in a playful reference to the creature's oceanic home, and serves as a unique tabletop accent. Four coasters and a coaster stand are included. Photo: Courtesy of Target
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