Blog Post

What colours should you choose for a mid-century modern interior?

  • Mid century modern
  • Model 10
  • Retro
Back to blogs
Olivia Lowry
Orange sofa mid century modern room

Mid-century modern is here to stay. Colour palettes are probably one of the most important things to consider when you’re decorating a room. Getting them right is key to nailing that look you’ve saved on your Pinterest board. Thankfully for fans of a mid-century modern look, this style has a well-established colour palette of its own. 

Starting as early as the 1940’s, mid-century style was all about optimism and injecting bold, joyful colour into interiors in the post-war era. Today, it’s just as expressive, and different interpretations have made mid-century style into one of the most versatile ways to decorate. If a bit of contemporary retro is your thing, stick around to learn how to incorporate mid-century colours into your own place.


Super important for anchoring down a mid-century modern room, neutrals provide a base for adding bolder colours. Don’t skip incorporating tones like these when decorating a retro-style space.


Beige mid century style sofa

Beige makes the perfect base for this retro living room look. Our stylist has used a Model 10 sofa in Pumice, building up the colour in the rest of the room. By choosing beige upholstery, the look is future-proofed and accessories can be easily swapped further down the line.


brown leather sofa

Leathers and other natural materials are key components of mid-century modern design. Brown works as both a practical and aesthetic choice for this style, ticking both form and function boxes. Easy.


Taupe colour interior

Image: @cocolapinedesign

Mid-century evolves into its modern version with taupe shades. Use this colour on walls for a dramatic effect, or weave it into soft furnishings for an earthy feel that works seamlessly with all other bold colours.

Warm colours

Mid-century interiors should always feel inviting. Create a cosy, calming atmosphere for yours by making the most of warm colours. Reds, yellows and oranges are some of the best choices for mid-century style living rooms and bedrooms.


Orange mid century style sofa

Choosing happy colours is important when creating a mid-century modern look, and thankfully this one’s got it covered. Inject some fun into your space with orange tones. In this look, our stylist has combined the Model 10 sofa in a rich Bronze tone with other warm elements, creating a super inviting space.


Yellow mid century modern kitchen

Image: @mwarchitects

Equally joyful is yellow, the ideal choice if your retro decor preferences lean more towards a 1970s feel. Use deep shades like Mustard in velvet upholstery, or colour-drench walls. Combine this shade with mid and dark-tone wood in cabinets and joinery for a truly mid-century modern vibe.


Terracotta red bathroom

Image: Pinterest

Create a warming, cosy feel in even the coldest of rooms by using red. This mid-century staple shade is great for use in any room of the house. Experiment with terracotta tiles, burgundy chenille sofas and fire-engine red lamps. The possibilities with red are endless.

Cool colours

Getting a balanced colour palette is key to nailing the mid-century modern look. Contrast your warm shades with cool colours. Add drama by choosing darker cool tones, or use them as accents with lighter, more colourful versions for your retro-themed rooms.


Green mid century style sofa

Create tonnes of interest by utilising green in your mid-century modern space. Ideal for bedrooms and living rooms, green is one of the best calming colours that doesn’t have to compromise on dramatics. In this look, our stylist used a Model 10 sofa in Vine to bring out the best in this retro-inspired living room space.


Blue armchair

Blue is arguably one of the most important cool colours in mid-century design. Teal is at the forefront, and when decorating a room inspired by this era, you should try to include at least one element of it. Blues make a striking choice for upholstery, but they’re also great wall colours, especially if your room is south-facing.


Black velvet sofa

Black might not been the brightest of shades in the mid-century modern colour palette, but this doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Just like beige, black should be used to anchor down the space and bring in an element of sophistication among a mix of playful colours. Use black fabrics like velvet to nod to mid-century design, keeping with the overall theme you’re going for.


What is the best colour for a mid century modern house?

The best colours for mid-century modern houses are earthy and bold. If you’re decorating with a mid-century modern theme, choose warm tones of beige, orange, ochre yellow, mustard and brown. Combine these with a mix of punchy, playful colours like teal, burgundy red, mustard yellow and moss green.

Is mid-century modern going out of style in 2024?

In short - absolutely not. Mid century interior decor is a timeless style that will never go out of fashion, making it a great choice for any home. Mid-century modern furniture with bolster cushions, pulled-button detailing and piped seams still reigns popular and is unlikely to ever disappear from the interior design world. Investing in a mid-century style sofa or other piece of furniture is a great choice for longevity of design.

Is beige a mid-century modern colour?

Beige might not be the boldest of colours out there, but surprisingly it’s still considered as a great choice for mid-century rooms. Mid-century modern decor needs a base colour to anchor it down, and beige is often used to create a blank canvas that lets brighter and more daring mid-century modern colours shine. Use beige for flooring, walls and large furniture pieces to help balance out the colour palette in a mid-century modern room.
Shop Model 10 Shop Model 02

Want more? Discover interior inspiration and exclusive updates

Sign up to our weekly newsletter for more like this.