After spending a lot of time researching mid-century modern design ideas and figuring out ways to incorporate that aesthetic into Mini Mermaid Manor, I realized that there might be someone else out there interested in the same thing. Therefore, I’d like to share my favorite mid-century modern design ideas in this article. I actually like a combination of mid-century, sixties and seventies styles, so that will be the range you see here. You certainly wouldn’t want to use all of these ideas at one time, but adding just a few of these ideas will definitely give you that super cool mid-century modern/retro vibe.
In my opinion, the entry creates the style you want to convey right from the start. It really sets the tone of your home. Because I grew up with these kinds of doors, seeing them invokes a homey feeling in me. I want to get that feeling every time I step up to my door.
For me, this green door with the round windows is my favorite mid-century modern door of all time. I first discovered it on Pinterest, but could not find out where it originated. Recently I tried a reverse image search on google and actually found the original article and the whole house is amazing.
I would change the color to orange for my tiny house but I just love the style. This article with eight different sources for mid-century modern doors on Retro Renovation is a also great place to get inspiration for some unique door styles.
This is another great way to set the tone of your style from the exterior before you even enter your home. This DIY project from A Beautiful Mess is a budget-friendly way to get some mid-century modern love incorporated into your design if you are planning on having a deck of some sort for your tiny house. For me, it has a hint of Palm Springs style, which I absolutely love. It is made with 2″x 2″ lengths of wood nailed together with a nail gun, then painted white. It’s a bit of work but doable and affordable.
This SMEG refrigerator is so unique and definitely makes a statement. The price ranges from $2k-$3k and it comes in a multitude of colors and several different styles. They also have mini-fridges, juicers, blenders, and a variety of kitchen appliances and gadgets in this 50’s Retro Line to coordinate the look. It isn’t cheap but it definitely sets the style.
Big Chill is another manufacturer with an extensive line of Retro Appliances in a wide variety of colors. The dishwasher is about $2k, but if you have an existing dishwasher you can get a panel option for around $500 that simply places over your existing dishwasher. They also have stoves, hoods and refrigerators.
Elmira Stoveworks has a line of retro-style appliances called Northstar, which includes this microwave. It runs about $700 and comes in nine different colors. They have other lines that are even antique looking if that’s more your thing.
These brands no longer exist, but devoted fans remain and you can sometimes find them for sale on eBay, where you can also find parts for them. This links to a great article on them. I believe the one we had when I was growing up was a Tappan. It had the pull-out burners with the butcher block counter. I absolutely loved it. It was more the sixties style (which is really my fav) than fifties and was really made popular by Samantha on Bewitched. If only a manufacturer would come out with this in an updated but still retro-ish way, it would be ideal. Some of the best things about it are you don’t have to bend down to get into the oven, you can close the burners away and the butcher block is built in. It’s a dream.
The All Modern website has a nice selection of mid-century modern lighting options. I want a nice pendant light in my tiny house. Lighting itself is key to creating ambiance and a statement lighting piece can really establish your design style. This is a good place to start to get you on the road to creating some killer mood lighting. Houzz also has a great selection of mid-century modern style pendant lights and the majority seem fairly affordable. Home Depot even has some really nice, affordable options.
If pendant lighting isn’t what you’re looking for then you should definitely consider lamps. These lampshades and fixtures at this Etsy Shop will definitely inspire you. They are handmade with authentic parchment paper and have a such a great variety, it’s hard to choose a favorite. Most range from about $64-$75.
9. Donna Minus
I first discovered this artist in her Etsy shop. She has an awesome sixties style that is super cool. And she’s just a super cool person as well. Her canvas prints are affordable at $75. They all have a very cool retro vibe. I have since discovered she has an even more extensive collection at another website where you can get her designs on everything from pillows to mugs.
If you want to add the mid-century modern flair but are looking for something more affordable, then I think these fabric wall panels are a great option. They are $65 for a set of three panels. This Etsy shop has a nice variety of colors so you’re bound to find something in your color scheme.
If you’re interested in 3-dimensional design art, this Etsy shop is the place to go. There’s a wide variety of pieces and they look amazing. They are a little more pricey but they definitely make a statement.
I discovered this embroidery pattern website years ago. I’ve always loved the modern style she uses. It’s not your grandmother’s embroidery patterns. She also has space-age and other modern designs. If you’re a maker like me then this is just the perfect kind of personal project that doesn’t take a huge time investment but adds a handmade touch to your decor. They make great gifts too.
Palm Springs Style is a pretty cool website with a style that is right up my alley. These classic DIY starburst glasses are much more affordable when you make them yourself. It just takes an Exacto knife, painter’s tape and liquid gold leaf. For anyone interested in mid-century modern this site offers a ton of ideas. One day I’d really like to make it to Modernism week. In the meantime, this site will suffice nicely.
14. Portable Desk
Even though this really isn’t exactly mid-century modern design, I like this sixties-esque style and I feel like it fits in very well with the overall retro look I’m going for. This is a great practical option to use on a balcony or deck. It’s pretty cool that it has an area for plants and it’s big enough to hold a laptop.