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Mid-Century Modern Home Accessories

Mid-Century Modern Home Accessories

The premier of AMC's final season of Mad Men airs April 17. On a personal sidenote, I think the show is riveting, but clearly I'm not the only one who thinks so. It's obvious a show is popular when the very decor of its set is being clamored after and copied. If you haven't tuned in, you may not be aware of the show's spot-on set and costume design. I gave you a run-down of the hallmarks of mid-century modern style, so now let's talk about specific accessories you can add to your home if you want a little Mad Men in your life long after its final episode airs this year.

1. Starburst Anything

Other than mid-century modern furniture--which is really the star--starburst mirrors and clocks seem to be the most ubiquitous pieces of the era. With the space race on and the Cold War in full swing, celestial themes and atomic shapes were uber-popular. Adding one of these pieces is sure to channel the '60s. The piece here is quite colorful, but these days, starbursts are often metallic or wooden. Starbursts are a popular DIY project as well. You can find tutorials all over the web, but two simple ones are on The Lettered Cottage and Home Made Modern.

2. Brush Up on Your Geometry

As the florals of the '40s faded, geometric shapes ruled "back in the day." One easy way to add geometry to your space is to create your own art. These DIY wall circles, for instance, were made out of embroidery hoops. The full tutorial can be found on Mid Century Modern. Another idea for making your own art is to channel famous artists of the time. Curbly offers this idea for creating a minimalist, geometric mobile in the style of Alexander Calder.

3. Colorful Soft Furnishings

I mentioned that atomic and geometric motifs are common ways to evoke mid-century modern style. Another sure-fire way to achieve this look, however, is to choose wiserly bold and colorful patterns for your soft furnishings. Fabric.com and Spoonflower both have a ton of options. Orla Kiely, a UK-based designer known for her retro prints, is famous for her multi-stem motif perfect for pillows or curtain panels

4. Lofty Lamps

Go big or go home when it comes to your lamps if you really want to evoke mid-century style. Back in the day, table lamps weren't for the faint-of-heart. They were almost hilariously-big. Although modern versions have been scaled down some, they still have a presence. Many are organically shaped, like this gourd lamp, and are usually topped with drum shades. Others had more of a Jetsons-space-age-feel. Either way, don't ignore your lighting when evoking mid-century style. A dainty, or too-traditional lamp would just be all wrong.

5. Get Your Drink On While

I'm not suggesting you drink copious amounts of hard liquor during the day--or even the evening--as they do on Mad Men, an easy way to nail the lounge look is to add some bar ware to your space. In a dining room, it makes perfect sense on a buffet; but, it would also look great on a bar cart in your living room or family room. Check out antique stores for some vintage pieces, such as a shaker or ice bucket. Or, create your own mid-century modern glassware like these inspired by Eames on Curbly. (That's an Orla Kiely print in the background of the photo, by the way.) Another way to DIY some bar ware is with a starburst pattern, like these from Palm Springs Style. Perfection!

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