Mid Century Modern Kitchen

Last updated on July 22nd, 2024 at 07:04 am

Join me on a little stroll down memory lane and while we add a little nostalgia to your kitchen. Mid-century modern kitchens add timeless vibes to your home. You get a cool, yet sophisticated look, while all decor elements sing in harmony.

This style isn’t just about looking back; it’s about bringing those clean lines, fun curves, and the ultimate blend of form-meets-function right into today’s homes.

Whether you’re totally obsessed with everything mid-century or just looking to sprinkle a bit of that timeless charm into your current kitchen’s decor, this page is for you. I’ll run you through everything from the structural must-haves, to the materials and colors that make a kitchen scream mid-century modern.




White Mid Century Modern kitchen

The draw to a Mid Century Modern kitchen resides in its celebration of clean lines, minimalist design, and a harmonious balance between form and function. You’ll find similarities to the foundation of what makes a modern kitchen however, the Mid Century Modern decor style offers added functionality to its parent style, the modern kitchen.  Beyond that, you’ll celebrate all things nostalgia while remaining timeless, embrace uncluttered aesthetics, while featuring sleek structures that were hallmarks of the mid-20th-century design philosophy. Characterized by a distinctive architectural style featuring open spaces, large glass windows, and an indoor-outdoor flow, Mid Century Modern kitchens serve as the heart of the home, where simplicity and practicality conspire to create an inviting and stylish space.

This type of kitchen really is a testament to the era of transformation between the 1930s and the 1960s, where design moved towards a combination of simplicity and functionality, infused with bold aesthetics. Influenced by the minimalist principles of Scandinavian design, mid-century modern kitchens capture the transformative energy borne out of a post-war America, seamlessly blending sleek lines with organic shapes and integrating forward-thinking approaches to everyday living.

Mid Century Modern design has witnessed a resurgent popularity in recent years, particularly among homeowners who appreciate its timeless aesthetic combined with modern-day sensibilities. Initially trending in America in the mid-20th century, this style saw a significant comeback starting in the early 2000s. Its appeal has continued to grow due to its versatile nature, fitting well into both contemporary and traditional homes.

The iconic characteristics of these often do well in real estate listings; they attract buyers looking for classic, yet fashionable homes. In fact, the Mid Century Modern kitchen currently preform well when it comes to increasing a property’s marketability, buyers love the balance of elegance and comfort that is Mid Century Modern.


Mid Century Modern VS….


Mid Century Modern with clean lines

Modern Kitchens

Modern Kitchen design

Mid Century Modern kitchens and Modern kitchens often get confused for one another due to their shared emphasis on clean lines and a sleek aesthetic. On the other hand, Mid Century Modern focuses on the integration of natural elements and organic forms, such as wood tones and fluid shapes, which add warmth and character. In contrast, Modern kitchens are defined by a more stark and minimalist approach, you’ll often find materials like polished chrome, glass, and concrete to create a space that feels more industrial and cutting-edge.

Transitional Kitchens

Transitional Kitchen design

Transitional kitchens are a blend of traditional and contemporary elements, designed to create a timeless look. They often incorporate a balance of newer and classic finishes, resulting in a more neutral space. Mid Century Modern kitchens differ in that they embody a specific time period’s aesthetic, often featuring bolder colors and iconic furniture pieces inspired by the ’50s and ’60s. Transitional kitchens are less about making a statement and more about harmonizing various design eras.

Contemporary Kitchens

Contemporary Kitchen design

Contemporary kitchens are a true representation of the present moment in design, known for their state-of-the-art appliances, innovative materials, and a dynamic use of space. They often feature high-gloss finishes, asymmetry, and a monochromatic color palette. Mid Century Modern kitchens, on the other hand, look to the past for inspiration and frequently include period-authentic touches such as vintage appliances and mid-century furnishings, making them more retrospective in style.

Each of these kitchen styles offers a unique aesthetic and experience. While similarities may overlap, the Mid Century Modern kitchen remains distinctive for its historical influences, integration of organic forms, and its nostalgic yet timeless appeal.

Scandinavian Kitchens

Scandinavian Kitchen design

Scandinavian kitchens and Mid Century Modern kitchens share a love for minimalism and functional design. However, Scandinavian design leans more heavily into the concept of hygge—a Danish word describing a feeling of coziness and contentment—which often translates into more subdued color schemes and an abundance of textural elements like soft fabrics and knitted throws. Scandinavian designs prioritize bright, light, and airy spaces, using pale woods and a color palette dominated by whites, grays, and pastels.

Expect Mid Century Modern kitchens to feature bolder colors and rich wood tones, reflecting the optimism and energy of the post-war era. Furniture pieces in Mid-Century kitchens tend to have distinctive silhouettes and may include pops of vibrant color, reflecting the era’s iconic plastic materials and fabric designs. Functionality in Mid Century Modern designs is paired with iconic form; stating a clear stylistic narrative rooted in the design movements of the ’50s and ’60s. While Scandinavian design maintains a low profile and remains focused on comfort and an understated elegance.


Function + Style


Mid Century Modern Kitchen Function and Style

Form w/ Function

sleek Cabinetry

When designing a mid-century modern kitchen, the mantra of ‘form follows function‘ is top of mind for every design decision. As result you end up with open-plan spaces, flush construction, and uncomplicated, geometric forms. Cabinetry is typically sleek, without ornate details, often featuring flat-panel doors with simple hardware or no hardware at all.

The Materials

Mid-century modern kitchens Materials

You’ll often see a range of materials — anything from wood, metal, to glass — whatever the material, the goal is to place emphasis on showcasing their natural beauty. The rich grain of teak, walnut, or rosewood is featured through careful craftsmanship. Countertops in this style are typically sleek and “non-fussy” materials, like Formica or polished concrete (which also cleans easily).


vibrant yellows color in kitchen

While the color palette of mid-century design is expansive, it’s known for its expertly balanced mix of neutral tones and bursts of color. Subdued hues might dominate the space, with pops of deep oranges, vibrant yellows, or tranquil blues creating visual focal points. Backsplashes or countertop accessories can provide these splashes of color against a more understated background.


retro appliances

It’s common to see retro style appliances that are fully equipped with top-of-the-line technology. Iconic features like rounded edges and analog knobs paired with contemporary performance standards are a hallmark of this style. Integrated appliances that meld into the cabinetry contribute to the clean, unbroken lines cherished in mid-century modern design.


sleek dining table

You can expect to pay a pretty penny for furniture. However, retailers like IKEA and Wayfair have a good selection of mid-century furniture. Most mid-century modern kitchens lean on furniture for the home run. In these kitchens you’ll find seating that is not only comfortable but also sculptural in form. Iconic chairs, such as the Eames Eiffel or the Saarinen Tulip, make a statement around a sleek dining table, serving as functional art. These pieces are a nod to the pioneering designers of the era who saw household items as an opportunity for beauty and innovation.


Sputnik chandeliers lights

Lighting fixtures in the mid-century modern kitchen are more than mere utilities—they reflect the design trend’s love for unique, statement-making shapes. Sputnik chandeliers or pendants with globular or geometric shades, often in metals or colorful glass, hang above dining areas or kitchen islands as shining examples of the period’s groundbreaking design philosophy.

Windows and Walls

Oversized windows in kitchen

Oversized windows and sliding glass doors are significant elements, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor spaces and flooding the kitchen with natural light. Wall décor stays true to the mid-century theme, with abstract artwork or prints of notable period designs complementing the room’s aesthetic.


mid-century modern kitchen flooring

Ground the kitchen with flooring that echoes the clean, simple lines of the design. Polished concrete, terrazzo, or vinyl tiles arranged in patterns or plain bold colors provide a base that reflects the era’s unpretentious elegance.


Open shelving

Open shelving or neatly arranged upper cabinets keep items accessible and contribute to the airy, open feel of a mid-century modern kitchen. Glass-fronted doors or small, clever storage solutions maintain cleanliness and order, ensuring that every object has its place.

Transition and Continuity

interactive artwork in kitchen

With inspiration from early U.S. kitchens, the mid-century kitchen is a warm heart to the home that pays homage to the past with its eyes on the future. It’s a place where each meal is a celebration of simplicity and where the space itself is interactive artwork.

Adding personal touches

small appliances for kitchen

To give a space its soul, personal mementos that reflect a love for mid-century design should find their home within the kitchen. A vintage clock, a classic radio, or a collection of mid-century ceramics are perfect inclusions to add a touch of individuality to the kitchen.

Keep in mind; transitioning to a mid-century modern aesthetic doesn’t necessarily require a full kitchen remodel.

For example, maybe you already have a kitchen that follows the design philosophy for a Scandinavian or transitional décor style, it’s possible to make subtle yet impactful changes. Simple swaps like replacing chairs with mid-century models, such as the Eames or Saarinen chairs, or introducing a vintage-inspired Sputnik chandelier can instantly instill the era’s vibe. Updating hardware on cabinets with sleek, understated designs or adding a pop of color with a vibrant backsplash can infuse mid-century modern charm. These minor tweaks can allow for a seamless blend of styles, sprinkling your kitchen with mid-century flair while holding onto your home’s existing character.

Other common elements

Floating shelves offer a clean and spacious vista while serving as display space for mid-century dinnerware. Bar stools at a kitchen island, with organic curves and tapered legs, hark back to the design era’s affinity for form meeting function. Minimalist drawer pulls and cabinet handles, often in brass or brushed metal, exemplify the period’s sleek look. Even small appliances, like toasters or mixers, can contribute to the ambiance with their vintage lines and modern capabilities. Among the most iconic elements is the boomerang or kidney-shaped form, which may influence the kitchen’s table design, countertop edging, or even pattern choices for the floor or walls.

Incorporating a few of these timeless items can transport your space to the celebrated mid-century modern era.




Mid Century Modern kitchens with island

What caracterises a mid-century modern kitchen design?

Last updated on July 22nd, 2024 at 07:04 am

A combination of simplicity, functionality, natural shapes, and a few bold colors define mid-century modern kitchen design. It’s about celebrating craftsmanship and embracing the innovative design spirit of the mid-20th century.

How can I update my kitchen to a mid-century modern style?

Last updated on July 22nd, 2024 at 07:04 am

To update your kitchen to this style, incorporate sleek lines, natural wood tones, period-appropriate colors, and retro appliances that have modern functionality. Replace ornate details with simple forms and clean finishes.

What kind of lighting is appropriate for a mid-century modern kitchen?

Last updated on July 22nd, 2024 at 07:04 am

Choose lighting fixtures that are iconic of the period, like Sputnik chandeliers or pendant lights with geometric shapes. The key is to select pieces that are as much about design integrity as they are about illumination.

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When you engage our design team, we simplify the very complicated and tedious kitchen remodel process. We do this by listening to what you want, then translating your vision and expression into a virtual design that is uniquely yours.

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