The design period between 1920-1950 is typically referred to as Modern (or Mid-Century Modern). It’s a classic style that never goes out of fashion and it can be a nice change from contemporary design. Let’s look at some interior decorating ideas that best exemplify the modern period.
White or slightly off-white colored walls are great for creating a spacious look that really opens up the room. White also reflects the light and brings natural lighting to rooms which would otherwise look dark.
Wood chip and thick wallpaper are not generally conducive to the modern look. Painted walls look a lot better. Of course that will mean that the walls need to be in a good condition, so you may need to freshly plaster or use filler on the walls and then sand them down to get them smooth enough for painting.
Exposed brickworks or plywood wall panels also looks nice on at least one of the walls or a section of one wall.
Bare floors are a great idea, again it means that the wood or tiling needs to be in a good condition. Laminate flooring is okay, but it’s not as authentically modern as real wood floorboards. That may mean that you need to plane and varnish the floorboards. The bare floors help with the clean, minimalistic look typical of the time period.
Where rugs are used they are typically woollen and neutral in color. Rugs are also often placed underneath furniture such: as coffee tables, chairs and sofas.
Furniture and fittings
The modern living room is very open-plan. Furniture and fittings look better in natural materials such as leather, teak and linen, though plastic and moulded plywood was used extensively as well. Polished metal is a good look that’s fitting with the time period for table and chair legs and frames. Furniture that’s raised off the floor helps keep the room looking open and helps give the room an airy feeling.
Blinds rather than curtains are good for large, full-length windows. If your windows are small it may be a good idea to use curtains but keep them as neutral looking as possible, no floral patterns or colors that sharply contrast with the color of the walls.
For lighting, try and avoid lampshades but if you do use lampshades, circular types are fantastic. Recessed spot lights are a good idea though that will require building a false ceiling which may be difficult for some people. Floor lamps are also a good look, again, polished metal is one of the best materials to use.
Check out these Modern Living Room Ideas by Jonathan Adler