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The Mid-Century Modern Color Palette

Our Favorite Colors for Your Next Project

There’s more to a room than just the furniture. Color families and complementary hues can make the room have a different mood and tone, and being intentional about where to use color can be the difference between a curated space and a turnkey room. Whether you want to incorporate the Pantone Color of the Year, or you’re hoping to think outside the box, explore our mid-century modern palette recommendations for styling tips, complimentary furniture suggestions, and more.

What is a Mid-Century Modern Color Palette?

There are numerous examples of mid-century color palettes and the truth is that they all work. It really just depends on the design. In the primary example, we’re using in this article, we use the following colors to create a color palette for your luxe home.paint color palette
  • Warm Gray
  • Light Blue
  • Creamy White
  • Rich Gold
  • Light Gray
  • Dazzling Teal
  • Earthy Taupe
  • Vibrant Maroon
  • Eye-Catching Olives

Five Bright Mid-Century Modern Colors for a Luxurious Look

All interior designers know that selecting the right furniture for a modern design is essential. One misjudged piece can throw everything off. What’s just as important as the shape of a cabinet is the color. Browse our ideas for using mid-century modern colors to curate a design that your client will love!

1. Beautiful Yellow Golds 

Starting with one of the boldest options in the mid-century modern color palette, we couldn’t pass up one of the most popular hues from the 50s and 60s—mustard and gold yellows. These shades complement other warm tones in a room and add a hint of color to the more subtle wooden furniture elements often associated with this era.

We love to incorporate yellows in our décor and accessories, as well as in our entertaining spaces for a great conversation starter. And as you can see with our Armand Arm Chair, we’re no stranger to this beautiful color. If you prefer pairing it with a more subtle piece, opt for the Wolfgang Loveseat adorned with crisp white linen. 

2. Earthy Teals or Taupes

Calming, restoring, and welcoming, the down-to-earth tones of teal and taupe complement nearly any shade in the mid-century modern color palette. Take, for example, the Angeline Bench and its warm turquoise fabric and rustic finish. We especially love this color in areas that demand the most relaxation and peace like home offices and bedrooms. Browse our entire suite of desks for a selection of complimentary office pieces, or paint a bedroom accent wall and pair it with the stately and stunning Albaninni Standard Bed.

3. Vibrant Maroons

Perfect for the kitchen, bathroom, or any space that needs a little sprucing up, bright barn reds and vibrant, rich maroons are a mid-century modern palette staple. Like yellow, these shades also complement neutral pieces and spaces, and it looks breathtaking set against a stark white or cool gray. Paired with a creamy white, like with the Skye Lounger (pictured right), it’s a perfect contrast.

4. Pure Whites

Classic white never goes out of style. Whether it’s the peak of the mid-century modern movement or a simple homage to your favorite era, you can’t go wrong. Whites, off-whites, and cream tones look striking and make a great backdrop for a room that has an eclectic mix of textured furniture, or a space with a lot of interesting shapes that take center stage— like the Campbell 4 Door Cabinet pictured here.

Additionally, white complements every color in the mid-century modern palette. Many of our own pieces are white as well—just because they’re not colorful, doesn’t mean they don’t speak for themselves. Discover our unique Kasper Console Table or our elegant Jessica Sofa for inspiration.

5. Eye-Catching Olives 

Last but certainly not least, we can’t create a mid-century modern color palette without mentioning olive greens. These rich neutrals are earthy yet exciting and look absolutely lovely as an accent wall in a dining area or kitchen. If you’re not sure what colors compliment olive, we recommend mustard yellows and neutrals like white, gray, and taupe. We’re just loving the way this looks with the Pearl Chair in a dining room.

 Wall Colors for a Mid-Century Modern Look

Selecting the right paint colors for a wall is just as important as the furniture you curate for a mid-century modern design. Here are some paint color ideas that you could consider when creating a design with a modern look.

Create a Warm Space with Smoke Gray

This darker gray is a popular choice for many mid-century designs simply because it goes with almost all neutral colors. From warm accent colors like amber to cool dark greys and blacks, this shade of gray goes with them all. One of our designers, Glenna Stone, chose a darker smoke gray as the paint color for this Philadelphia study and it exudes sophistication.

Blue: Best Mid-Century Modern Color for Pastels

Blues are another popular choice for walls in a modern design. Whether it’s a darker blue or a lighter shade of the world’s most loved color, blue goes well with most modern designs regardless of the distinct style or the purpose of the room. We really like how well it flatters more pastel colors, particularly light blues.

Enhance Any Style with Light Gray

Light gray, like other colors that fall on the mid-century modern color wheel, goes well with numerous styles that can add a unique nuance to a room. For example, if the goal is to design a colorful living room, a very neutral, light grey paint color for the walls can ensure that the attention stays on the colors of the room, right where it belongs.

Use Creamy White to Add Warmth

One of the best mid-century modern colors, this off-white shade is versatile enough that it works for many different styles, including one of our favorites, organic modernism. Use this color to add nature to your interior style and create a living space that is comfortable and relaxing.

If you needed a good jumping-off point to get your mid-century color scheme started, this is a great place to gather some ideas. But don’t feel restricted to these colors to achieve the look you’re going for, mid-century modern is a versatile style that lets you incorporate so much more. Everywhere you look, mid-century styles are becoming more popular, so it’s safe to say this palette isn’t going out of style anytime soon.

The Gallery

Discover the full range of accent colors and ways that other interior designers have used the best mid-century modern colors in their designs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the mid-century modern color palette? It’s a versatile and creative color scheme to be sure. Browse our most commonly asked questions below!

What are the mid-century modern colors?

Earthy colors tend to be the most popular choices on the mid-century modern color wheel, but they are by no means the only choices. Greyscale, blues, and other similar colors are popular in luxury furniture choices as well as paint colors for walls.

Is mid-century modern colorful?

Color is essential for most interior designers creating a mid-century modern space. From bright colors to more neutral hues, color is one of the most important components in this particular design movement.

Is black used in a mid-century modern color palette?

Black is a bold choice and often ideal serves as an accent color or focal point of the room. A popular choice for cabinets and other larger casegoods, black, especially when paired with metals like gold, draws the eye effortlessly in a design.

Is pink typically considered a mid-century modern color?

Pinks and reds make an excellent choice for accent colors in a mid-century modern design. From light pastel pinks to bold fuchsias, these colors can lead the eye around the room effortlessly.

What color is mid-century modern wood?

Given the natural hues and greys found in the mid-century modern color wheel, keeping the natural browns and tans of wood is often a popular choice in modern design. Gray stains and finishes are popular as well, along with darker stains that might enhance and contrast with lighter or bright colors.Is pink typically considered a mid-century modern color?

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