Palm Springs, haven for all that is colorful and midcentury. You don’t need to plan a getaway to have your own rainbow oasis, however. Mix a few accent pieces with minimalist furnishings to recreate this fun retro space. Here are some key pieces to recreate the quintessential Palm Springs-style colorful living room:
Bright Accent Chairs
Some may believe a furnishing is automatically an accent piece just because it’s not black or white. But a color within the rainbow family does not necessarily qualify a furnishing as the standout piece. Hues like mustard and navy blue don’t captivate the eye as much as their brighter cousins lemon and azure do, so make sure you’re seeking saturated and vibrant shades when selecting your armchairs. An armchair is often the focal point of interest in a midcentury living room, and your chance to get a little whimsical—don’t opt for a piece that the coffee table or the portrait on the wall could easily dominate. You can purchase this zealous yellow armchair and blue chair and ottoman set from Wayfair.
To have fun, you need balance. A sofa with clean lines and toned down upholstery, like this Adrian Pearsall piece on 1stdibs, acts as an anchor to a living room bursting in personality. A more minimalist furnishing like this is crucial—too many loud colors, funky shapes and kitschy decor competing with one another will give a living room a tacky or avant-garde impression.
Ox-Art Coffee Table
Bold geometric shapes are a trademark of Midcentury Modern style. That art style is not limited to the typical prints featuring triangle patterns in red, blue and yellow. Ox-Art designed these coffee tables with unique geometric patterns on mosaic tiles in the 1970s—the Danish vintage tables can be purchased from Houzz or 1stdibs. Besides serving as an interesting conversation piece, perfect for a Palm Springs-inspired living room, the tables stand on teak bases that blend in harmoniously against your more flamboyant furnishings. Fun fact for Harry Potter fans: The Weasley family own a signed Ox-Art coffee table, which can be seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
With three arms dangling over your furnishings, this standing lamp draws even more attention to your colorful pieces. Serge Mouille designed the standing lamp featured in this living room, but you can purchase a replica on France and Son. The matte finish also aids in modernizing the room for that perfect balance of retro and sleek.
Pearl White Shag Rug
Your cheery furnishings will especially pop against a white floor. But if you have wood flooring or carpet, a white shag rug is the perfect solution! Stray away from off-white colors like ivory, which won’t give you that stark contrast between monotone and colorful that you are trying to achieve. This pearl white shag rug from Overstock is a good example of what to look for.
Metal Photo Frames
Whether it’s a print or a photograph, wall art is a must-have for a true MCM living room. Whatever you hang, stray from wood or ridged photo frames and instead opt for matted metal. This thin metal frame, which you can buy from Wayfair, helps streamline the room and pull all those multi-colored pieces together.
As for the art itself, look for pictures and prints that have pops of color mimicking the furnishings. The yellow flowers in the Ken Druse photographs pictured complement the lemon armchair.