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How to Create a Mid-Century Modern Kitchen

As we emerge from the last few years spent indoors, we’ve seen a huge shift away from minimalist, monochromatic kitchens in favour of spaces that create a sense of warmth and personality. 

One such design style enjoying a resurgence right now is mid-century modern – a style that emerged after World War II in an attempt to balance the technological advancements of the early 20th century with some much-needed positivity and exuberance. 

Characterised by its signature materials and distinctive colour palette, mid-century modern is a perfect fit for the kitchen environment. 

If you’ve got mid-century modern on your kitchen design style wishlist, here are the top kitchen upgrades you can make to recreate this look in your own home. 

 

Make wood the hero 

Often the centrepiece of mid-century modern design, wood can be used across multiple elements of your kitchen to evoke this style. 

Timber flooring is an obvious choice when it comes to kitchen upgrades, but don’t stop there – carry the wood up your island bench, to cover your kitchen cabinets and even to decorate the walls. 

The choice of wood will also determine whether your kitchen skews more mid-century or Scandinavian. Opt for a medium tone with a grain throughout to add the signature character of this style to your space.  

 

Embrace a variety of materials

Outside of wood, there are a number of other textures that regularly appear in mid-century modern kitchens. 

Glass often goes hand-in-hand with wood in these kitchens, whether that be through a glass backsplash, a feature pendant over your island bench or glass-front kitchen cabinets. 

Vinyl stools for your breakfast bar are a great way to incorporate this material without committing to vinyl flooring. 

Tile is another common inclusion in this style of kitchen. The black and white checkerboard flooring is synonymous with this style for many and provides a more long-wearing option than vinyl – but a subtle terrazzo or natural stone-look tile looks just as at home in a mid-century style space. 

 


If you’re interested in other design styles for your upcoming kitchen upgrades, look no further than our exclusive eBook. Filled with design inspiration from a variety of trends and styles, gather the inspiration you need for your project – download it here. 

 

Open up the space

Bringing about the birth of the open floorplan, mid-century modern design emphasised functional spaces with multiple uses. 

True mid-century modern kitchens were galley style, but this still represented a departure from the enclosed and separated kitchens of the years before. 

With this in mind, keep a wide berth of open space between your benches when creating a mid-century inspired kitchen. 

Add to the feeling of space by maximising natural light wherever possible. Whether this is through large windows in the kitchen itself, installing glass doors in a neighbouring living area or even installing a skylight, ensure there’s a source of natural light hitting your space as unobstructed as possible. 

 

Add a splash of colour 

As natural materials are at the heart of the mid-century modern style, these elements will rarely, if ever, date over time, meaning they’re a great investment for the base of your kitchen upgrades

Where this truly becomes mid-century modern, however, is through the introduction of bright colours and bold accents to balance the neutral palette. 

For those unafraid of colour, opt for a bright shade for your cabinetry or backsplash as a focal point of the space. 

For a more muted take on the style, introduce accents through your decor or furniture for a less permanent feature. Alternatively, use pastel shades of bold colours like yellow or turquoise to get a mid-century feel without it feeling overwhelming. 

 

Whether this is the first time you’re reading about mid-century modern design or you’d like more guidance around creating this style in your own kitchen, our team of experts have years of experience in designing kitchens made to stand the test of time.

Visit one of our showrooms for a look at how classic styles can be given a modern interpretation, and how we can help you to design a kitchen that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

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