There are so many ways to bring your house back to the 1950s and ‘60s, whether you go with a ranch feel, desert minimalism, Googie or a more feminine diner style. This living room has a different midcentury take: high-end modern gentleman. It’s eclectic and artistic, subdued and yet distinctive. Here are a few ideas you can incorporate if you want to emanate this look.
If you want your home to feel classy and upscale, look for artwork that can become the focal point of the room. This original Richard Diebenkorn painting is an authentic midcentury piece, and sets the tone of the space by being the main source of color and pattern. To do this in your own home, make the art one of your first shopping priorities, and design the space around your art. You’ll then have a baseline to work with, and every other element will somehow work with or complement your statement piece.
The other statement piece in this room is the Murano blown-glass lamp over the dining table. Notice how there’s very little pattern in the room, except in three places: the art, the area rug and the lamp. These three pieces are also the main source of color. Being tasteful about pattern and color will convey a high-end feel without being pretentious—perfect for a midcentury gentleman.
What stands out to you about the seating in this room? Is it the shape, the colors or the materials? Since the colors are neutral, it’s the shape and materials that stand out. While most of the seating is midcentury (a black Eames plastic chair, tan Peabody chair and Arne Jacobsen Series 7 dining room chairs), none of the pieces are the statement of the room—that’s left to the art and lighting. Instead, what the furniture provides is a subtle complement that adds to the high-end feel of the room while not taking over the limelight, like a good blazer that will step up any outfit.
Part of the gentleman feel in this room comes from the floor. The lighter the colors, the more feminine the room—the darker the colors, the more masculine. The walls and ceiling here are white, which is for function as much as for style. The light from the windows bounces around and creates an open feel. But the concrete floors add a more masculine note, yet don’t make the room too dark because they’re paired with the white floors and ceiling. Bare concrete can also be a cost-effective flooring option, and will help keep your house cool in the summer heat.