Possibly the most creative room in your home just might be your midcentury living room. It’s an open space that defies convention, from sectional sofas in interesting shapes to large area rugs that add a shock of color. The atomic ranch wouldn’t be the same without this, the most social space in your home!

Here are the 5 must-have elements for a groovy midcentury living room—keep reading after the video for  tips on how to get these looks in your own home!

So you have the perfect space and the perfect pieces, but how do you combine them into the perfect midcentury living room?

  • A simple color palette. Homeowners of the ’50s and ’60s loved their colors, and while color is a huge part of the atomic look today, be wise about your palette choices. If you have incredible pieces to show off, too many colors can overwhelm the eyes and keep your guests from really experiencing the design. Keep your palette small—just 1-2 color families—to emphasize the space and the pieces in it.
  • A division of space. Some smaller dens or sunken living rooms come with a nice set space for you to work with. But a large, open floor plan can often make planning your living room tricky. Consider larger pieces of furniture, like horseshoe sofas, coffee tables or credenzas as ways of dividing up the space into a nice, conversational nook.
  • A variety of textures. Whether it’s from the shag carpet on the floor or the glimmering mirror on the wall, create visual interest in your living room with different textures. A cinderblock wall loves a shining metal arc lamp, and a woven gray heather sofa is just begging for a set of patterned throw pillows.
  • Nice contrast. A good way to create a definition of space and depth is with contrast. If you have dark floors, pick lighter furniture that stands out. For brighter concrete or white marble tiles, use darker tones to ground it. Contrast is an easy way for you to manipulate the natural light in your room—a wall of windows could use a dark-teal rug to tone things down and a dark corner is brightened up by a striking white sofa.
  • Tons of personal style. It goes without saying, but the living room is the main place for you to strut your stuff! Whether you’re into googie, minimalism or tiki, find the pieces that suit your style and go all in! Follow the other four principals of midcentury living room magic and create the perfect foundation for your favorite pieces of art, furniture and accessories.