Learn how to add midcentury Googie style to your home.
Unique furniture shapes, bright colors and flashy George Nelson clocks bring this space a truly Googie feel. Photo by Jim Brown.

Head into the Space Age with the Googie look! This style is named after the popular midcentury coffee shop in West Hollywood designed by John Lautner in 1949. The look epitomizes the midcentury Space Age craze, and you can bring it to your own home with these simple elements.

Converse Angles

Midcentury designers were living in the post World-War era, when consumers wanted new products for a new age. Unusual angles that contradict normalcy became hip and fun. One of the most iconic features of Googie architecture is upward slanting rooflines. Even if your house doesn’t sport a Googie roof, you can incorporate the idea into your design with angles that don’t necessarily make sense. Try out Panton’s heart cone chair or McCobb’s fiberglass origami chair for a few furniture options that hint at Googie style.

Geometric Shapes

This is a classic element of many midcentury styles, but it works especially well with Googie. As the post-war culture moved to explore the attractive possibilities of abstract art and space travel, geometric shapes became popular. Try covering some pillows in a reclaimed midcentury geometric pattern, or lay a foundation for your room with a vintage Ingegerd Silow rug. This is also the perfect time to hang a classic Nelson sunburst clock or install a coconut chair in your living room.

Space Symbols

Neil Armstrong didn’t land on the moon until 1969, but the decades leading up to that date were filled with Cold War space competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. It’s no wonder that pop culture favored entertainment such as Galaxy magazine and The Jetsons. Bring this galactic excitement to your decor through pieces such as the Aarnio bubble chair that looks like a space pod, or a lava lamp that resembles moving planets.

Neon Lights and Colors

The Googie style shouts, “Look at me!” One of the ways it does this is through bright lights and colors. The original Googie itself is a good example—when it was open, the coffee shop had a large “Googie’s” sign on its exterior that drew in coffee drinkers. Recreate a diner’s neon welcome sign in your living room, or hang a poster of the famous Fabulous Las Vegas sign.