Mid-Century Modern Making A Comeback In The Office

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While the phrase "mid-century modern" may suggest a fixed moment in time, the design itself has proven to be adaptable just as much in this century as it was in the last. Designers all over the world are returning to mid-century modern styles.

Mid-Century Modern Office Cubicle

This reimurgence of past design is not only making its way into homes, galleries, and stores... but office furniture as well.

With office furniture, the mid-century modern look has recently hit the spotlight with popular television shows such as Mad Men. The design exudes an uncomplicated aesthetic of post-war United States focusing on clean lines and sharp angles.

Looking at these designs in modern furniture will transport us right back to the ’50s and ’60s. This era brought on time for innovation in the design world.


Here’s a summary to give more insight into one of the most influential design movements of the 20th century.

Simple, Clean Lines To Create A Mid-Century Modern Vibe:

Mid-Century Modern Office Cubicle

To achieve a true mid-century modern feel in an office, look for furniture with clean, simple lines to provide the best results.

Sticking with furniture that is simple (rather than flashy) will create a more modern, chic atmosphere within the office.

The mid-century modern era is known for the straight, clean lines used on many of the angled tables and the desk legs of that time.

This does not mean everything must be square or rectangular! Try incorporating geometric patterns and clean-cut shapes to define both the modern and mid-century sides of style. Geometric wall art incorporating a brand’s color theme can be a great addition to any room.

Incorporating Movement And MinimalismTo Mid-Century Style

After the two world wars, global resources were limited. However, new technologies made manufacturing easier and more innovative.

Internationally, styles were changing stripping away many colors and themes that were once popular. Many started reverting to the bare and basic style that once existed since materials were hard to find.

In modern-day culture, we are starting to see designs that mock these airy, stripped-down spaces; but now it’s considered an “industrial” look.

Originally, the discovery of tubular steel allowed seating solutions to bend and flex without breaking. An element crucial to the mid-century modern product design was a fluid movement in structure, fabrication, and light.

In an office atmosphere, well lit, airy spaces help support a creative mind. It also eliminates extra clutter.

Although plastic is not natural, it is essential to the mid-century style of movement and availability. This is where the ergonomic office chair comes into place.

The popular planters from West Elm that have recently blown up are mid-century modern inspired. Bentwood plays a big role in creating a mid-century vibe.

Keeping things minimal, yet functional is where an office will prosper.

Natural And Industrial Pieces Bring In Mid-Century And Modern Feels

Mid-Century Modern Desk and WorkstationTo balance the mid-century look with a modern look, mixing a natural wood product with an industrial piece will create the perfect outcome.

Adding in plants will not only help with air circulation but also enhance the aesthetic of the look. Incorporating greenery into your space can bring a decent dose of nature into the room.

A table with a wood top and steel legs is a great way to mix the styles in a tasteful way. Metal accents can be present in not only the legs of furniture but also the accent pieces. Such as the handles, pulls, etc.

The main difference to remember when blending the two is to keep the clean lines; so the pieces do not look so rough looking.

Statement Pieces:

Now that clean lines and a bit of wood furniture is in place, it is time to add a piece that will set a business apart. 

For seating and artwork, bold patterns and colors are the way to go. Many think mid-century modern refers to black and white, but that is not the case.

Mid-Century Modern Office Chair

Whether it’s is an interesting piece of art or an iconic lounge chair, every good mid-century modern office should have a statement piece that immediately draws the eye at just a glance.

Typically, in an office, the most commons piece to make a statement in the style of desks. Embracing a top-heavy desk, with a large work surface and metal or wood legs that are straight or slightly angled will provide the best outcome.

The popularity of the mid-century modern office space exploded after several larger corporations changed their office space over. This is when the open floor plan is introduced. Many mix the classic style of an office with mid-century modern and create a beautiful space. Just like other old trends, history continues to repeat itself.