Mid-Century Modern Homes That Will Stand the Test of Time

Mid-century modern homes are a much-loved design style that has its roots in earlier decades. In fact, while this is a historic style, the interest in the sleek lines and lack of superfluous ornamentation of this style is growing stronger everyday.

Mid-Century Modern HomesView in gallery

Of course, mid-century modern home architecture is recognizable by some, but the nuances get lost by many of us. 

Mid century modern homesView in gallery
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

Therefore, we are here to provide all that you need to know to become an expert on the mid-century modern home style.

We will browse through some of the most beautiful current MCM home designs. See for yourselves why we are such fans of this stunning design style.

Mid Century Modern Homes: History of the Style

The mid century design movementView in gallery
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

The mid-century design movement was first popularized during the mid-century era from the mid-1940s until the end of a decade of the 1960s.

The architect most identified with mid-century modern is Frank Lloyd Wright, though other architects like Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Bruer popularized the style too.

The style, with its unaffected look, fit with the new American lifestyle that developed in the post-World War II period.

This included a new emphasis on simple habits, enjoyment of the natural surroundings, and spending more time with the family.

Mid Century Modern Architecture: Characteristics

Mid-century modern (MCM) houses share many of the same characteristics making them easy to spot when you know what to look for.

  • Floor to ceiling windows – The architects of mid-century design were interested in ways of being closer to nature. Thus, they made use of floor-to-ceiling windows to bring in the views and the natural light of the outdoors.
  • Distinct levels – One feature that you will notice in many MCM homes is the use of split-level design. This is an efficient use of space and a more cost-effective way to build multiple-level homes.
  • Access to the natural world – Many architects built MCM houses into the landscape rather than being distinct from it. Therefore, these homes have more ground-level entries and pathways leading into the natural world.
  • Clean and functional design – The MCM style prizes function over form. In turn, this has led to many distinctive design features for better function. For example, this includes flat roofs and simple lines. Thus, designers keep superfluous architectural details to a minimum in mid-century homes.
  • Textures – There is a striking use of varied textures in MCM design. This includes the use of glass walls, rustic beams, and angular walls, plus the use of stone and brick textures.
  • Decor – Experts define mid-century modern home decor by simple lines with an emphasis on function over form. There is a great use of natural elements like wood and stone. However, the mid-century was also a time where manufacturers utilized man-made products like plastic. Also, the color palette of historic mid-century design was bright with an emphasis on colors like aqua, russet, and ochre. Yet, the new MCM aesthetic is neutral with a few pops of color.

Mid Century Modern Homes: Ideas and Inspiration

Mid Century Modern ArchitectureView in gallery
Klopf Architecture

Mid-century modern houses are popular in our present moment. Current architects are creating modern mid-century home designs and renovating historic homes to bring them new life.

Stanford Mid Century Modern Remodel

Stanford Mid Century Modern RemodelView in gallery

Stanford Mid Century Modern RemodelView in gallery
Klopf Architecture

Roger Lee designed this original MCM home in 1962. It was bought by the current owners who wanted to turn it into a modern family home.

Klopf Architecture carried out a full remodel of the property. Because of the preference of the owners and the fact that it is a historic property, the architects had to pay special attention to the historical details.

In addition, they updated the dated material and opted for floor-to-ceiling windows to take advantage of the views of the natural world.

Five House

Five HouseView in gallery

Five HouseView in gallery
Photographs :Parrish Ruiz de Velasco

M Gooden Design created the Five House. They constructed it as a supplemental guest house for a larger house MCM home on the same property.

Some of the owners’ main priorities for this project were a compact footprint and a simple form.

Also, the cottage can engage with the outdoors in an organic way as the glass-paneled walls open with the use of pocket door mechanism and disappear from view.

MCM Home by Studio Twenty Seven

MCM Home by Studio Twenty SevenView in gallery

MCM Home by Studio Twenty Seven View in gallery
Anice Hoachlander | Hoachlander Davis Photography

Studio Twenty Seven expanded this home which you can find in a large and private forest setting.

The architects and owners wanted to preserve the windows and the attractive MCM architecture during the renovation so the style of the new home is open and sleek.

In addition, the house is situated on a hilly setting; therefore, the architects utilized the split level style to fit into the hilly surround in a seamless way.

Inglewood Courtyard House

Inglewood Courtyard HouseView in gallery

Inglewood Courtyard HouseView in gallery
Photographs :Casey Dunn

The Inglewood Courtyard house, a renovation from Mark Odom, captures the essence of mid-century style in both its exterior and its mid-century modern home decor.

In the renovations, the architects wanted to stay true to the historic style and that of the neighborhood. Therefore, the house maintains a small footprint and uses materials that blend with the natural environment.

For instance, the centralized courtyards connect the space in the house to nature with multiple points of access.

Arguedas House

Arguedas HouseView in gallery

Arguedas HouseView in gallery
Ryan Gamma Photography

The Arguedas House has a unique design, but it was a home that had suffered years of neglect and bad renovations decisions.

The owners tasked Seibert Architects, P.A. to create a cohesive house plan. They wanted a plan that was faithful to the mid-century ideas of the house if not the original design.

They did this and maintained the unique roof structure made from Pickett panels in a “V” formation.

Rammed Earth Modern

Rammed Earth ModernView in gallery

Rammed Earth ModernView in gallery
Photographs :Winquist Photography

Kendle Design Collaborative, in partnership with the owners, built this stunning home in beautiful Paradise Valley.

They wanted to create a home that had a MCM aesthetic and an edited design. Thus, they utilized simple forms and beautiful textures to create a home that is elegant without being overstated.

Number 6 House

Number 6 HouseView in gallery

Number 6 HouseView in gallery
Black Rabbit Architecture

Black Rabbit Architecture + Interiors completed this beautiful renovation of this home using gorgeous mid century modernist architecture. The large windows fill the house with light and the clean lines of the interior spaces give the house an uncluttered style.

Black Desert House

Black Desert HouseView in gallery

Black Desert HouseView in gallery
Photographs :Marc Angeles

This home is situated in Yucca Valley, a location near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. The owners hired the architects, Oller & Pejic Architecture, to build a house like a shadow.

Thus, the architects designed it to blend with the pristine environment and to provide shade against the harsh desert sun.

In the end, they created a home that both blends with the landscape and stands apart from it.

Modern Addition, Turo

Modern Addition, TuroView in gallery

Modern Addition, TuroView in gallery
Photographs: Bill Lyons, Peter Vanderwarker, Rick Grossman, Mark Hammer

Hammer Architects complete a renovation of this home to turn from an unheated summer cottage into an energy-efficient home.

Also, the owners wanted a design that blends into the natural environment. In addition, the house designs needed to conform to the strict codes of the area. Notice how the exterior materials mimic the look of nature.

Residence de l’Isle

Residence de l'IsleView in gallery

Chevalier Morales Architectes designed the Residence de l’Isle as a modern interpretation of the modern American house of the mid-century.

Mid-Century Modern HomesView in gallery

The setting for this home is in the northern suburbs of Montreal. It is situated on the banks of a river and hidden behind a row of mature pine trees. In addition, the mid century modern house plans for this home are a perfect 100 x 100 foot square.

The architects and owners wanted the home to look seamless in the environment. Thus, they chose to use materials that fit the color and style of nature including the ceiling of light wood and the floor made of stone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Why do people like mid-century modern homes?

People like MCM houses for many reasons. First, they have a simple and unaffected style that echoes the needs of many to aspire to a clean and uncluttered lifestyle. Also, these homes are integrated into nature in a way that modern people find attractive. Last, MCM style and decor is popular and it looks nowhere better than in an MCM home.

Do people still build mid-century modern homes?

Yes, because demand for these homes is high, some architects will design new styles of MCM homes. However, most architects are forward thinking and would rather design new styles than styles of the past. More common is renovations of MCM homes.

How would you describe a mid-century modern home?

MCM homes share similar characteristics like clean lines, large floor to ceiling windows, multiple points of connection to nature, and geometric forms. There are a few different categories of MCM homes. There were minimal modern homes which had a smaller footprint than other MCM styles. Next, the Eichler modern homes which were a ranch style house with low roofs and exposed internal rafters. Last, there were Alexander homes. These were built by the Alexander Construction Company which focused on minimalism and an indoor and outdoor design.

What is the difference between modern and mid-century modern?

The Modern design movement and the MCM design movement are distinct design periods and types. Modern design developed in the 1930s as a reaction against the heavy and elaborate styles of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. This movement harnessed the power of machines to create furniture that had simple forms and was less expensive to produce. This style led into the MCM movement which began around 1945. Both styles emphasize function over form.

Conclusion

The mid-century modern design style is popular for both homes and decor alike. Owners of these amazing homes are working with architects to design ways to give them 21st-century functionality.

In addition, designers are creating new homes with the attractive aesthetic ideas of the MCM movement. This is a style that has proven that it has the ability to stand the test of time.

These homes look amazing in our present moment, but they will still be beautiful for years to come.