Mid Century Modern style is filled with beautiful shapes, colors and designs— but what if instead of trying to fit every-single-Eames-chair-there-ever-was into your dining room, you took a more pared down approach? Seem overwhelming? Minimal Mid Century Modern style is actually quite doable, thanks to the KonMari method. (But we’ll get to that later.)
Working with less allows individual pieces to stand out far more than they might if they were surrounded by that cool vase you found at the flea market, the handmade bowl your second cousin made you that you just *can’t* part with, the stack of books you’ve been meaning to get to (and you swear, you will) and of course, your succulent garden that you’re trying your best to keep alive.
Minimal Mid Century style makes a space feel clean and open, and gives it a breath of fresh air. Want to see for yourself? Check out this less-is-more approach from Leanne Ford Interiors.
The simplified space allows the architectural details of the home (like the sloped roof and fireplace) to stand out. The use of white space in the living area makes it feel relaxing while still maintaining that classic Modern look. But Minimal Mid Century Modern doesn’t need to be firmly rooted in a grayscale color scheme, as this home from Amber Interior Design shows.
The pops of cool color, from the vibrant green plants to the muted blue rug, give the space some life. The use of textiles in this living room is perfect too— the chunky blanket contrasts perfectly against the sleek sofa.
Ready to take the plunge into decluttering all your decor? Take a deep breath, settle in and read ahead.
To start, we’ll follow the method of the Master Declutter-er, Marie Kondo. Called the KonMari method, it’s loved by people worldwide and, even better, it works. Here are four guidelines to create a simplified, functional and beautiful space.
- Take an ‘all-in’ approach. No half-hearted attempts on a Wednesday night when you’re trying to procrastinate from doing that one thing you *really* should be doing. Nope, this needs to be something you do all at once. So, set aside a whole day (or even an entire weekend) to get it done.
- Visualization is key. What will your tidied-up life look like? Will it be clean counters so you can finally make that complicated recipe? Will it be a decluttered dining room so you can host Thanksgiving this year? Take the time to think specifically about how this will positively impact your life.
- Tidy by category, not location. Start by going through your clothes, then your books, then paper, then your miscellaneous items, then any sentimental items. Going by category and following this order keeps you on track and keeps the whole thing doable. Check out this article from KonMari Consultant Lisa Tselebidis for more details.
- Does it spark joy? This is a key tenet of the KonMari method— what’s the point in keeping an item if it makes you sad? This can mean getting rid of clothes you’re waiting to fit back into, a memento that reminds you of a bad experience, or that set of extra dishes you’re keeping ‘just because.’ Touch each item as you do this— the tactile experience helps with understanding your emotions towards the object. If you do decide to get rid of an item, make sure you thank it for its service.
Mid Century Modern Considerations
- Simple displays are more captivating than overcrowded ones. When creating displays, choose one or two key items to show off, and go from there. The same goes for rooms too— pick a few statement pieces and build the room around them.
- Put your collections to work. What good will your collection of vintage Pyrex do if it’s just sitting on a crowded shelf, collecting dust? The same goes for other collectibles too, like old radios and record players. You can still keep a few just for show, but try to make your collection functional. Ie: use those beautiful vintage bowls every once in a while, and try and fix up that cool-looking radio. You’ll enjoy your things so much more if you actually use them.
- Save up for the quality stuff. Love the look of Mid Century Modern, but don’t think you can afford it? Instead of buying cheaper mass-produced knock-offs that will only last a few years before adding to the clutter, try saving up to buy a quality vintage table or dresser. Or try and find Mid Century Modern furniture in thrift stores and flea markets— they can be much more affordable than antique dealers.
- But don’t let your treasure hunt take over. Don’t let the ‘thrill of the chase’ lead you to buying seven different Mid Century Modern dressers, even if they’re all amazing deals. You don’t need seven different dressers. No one needs seven different dressers. However, if you really love Mid Century thrifting, but have no more room (studio apartment, anyone?) consider trying to find things for family and friends or finding pieces to restore and sell.
- Don’t just throw it away. Speaking of selling, if you’re getting rid of nicer things after decluttering (like good quality clothing or furniture), don’t forget about selling it online! Craigslist, OfferUp, and consignment stores are all great places to start. If you’re parting with any high-end Mid Century Modern furniture, eBay and Etsy are also good options.