How to Decorate a Mid-Century Home Office

Mid-century modern design began to make a comeback a few years ago. With the success of the TV show Mad Men, the trend gained popularity and inspiration spread.

Today, mid-century mod is still popular. Interior and furniture designers have enthusiastically embraced its use of clean lines and utilitarian chicness. The trend toward minimalism likely has something to do with it, but mid-century mod has reached the level of classic aesthetic, particularly when it comes to decorating the home office.

1. Minimalism: Keeping It Simple

Mid-century was a time after the World Wars when the world was more balanced and economically sound. The furniture and design aesthetic reflected this return to simplicity.

Now, minimalism is all the rage in this busy, technological world, and like its similar modern counterpart, mid-century mod is about doing away with frills. In minimalism and mod aesthetics, the focus is on what’s necessary.

Flare may be present in the unique architectural curve of a desk, chair or bookshelf. The focus could also be in the use of clean lines sweeping across the room, to point to the desk as a point of wisdom and authority. What’s great about this design trend is that you focus on needs for your home office — the fluff and frills get cut. You are left with a functional office that suits a modern form.

2. Few Furnishings Open Up Small Spaces

If you’re working with a small nook of your home or a tiny spare bedroom, maintaining space is an optimal goal. Focus on what you need and limit furnishings to a few choice items that will open up a small nook, especially in a room with beautiful, big windows.

Push a desk against the wall, add a curvy, comfortable chair for your back, and include a map or mirror over the desk for a larger focal point in the room. Utilise the wall for simple shelving needs.

3. Choose a Theme

If your mid-century mod aesthetic pushes more toward a funky, peace and love 1960s vibe, go with it. Pick a theme for your office. The rebellion of sixties youth had a far-reaching effect on music, fashion and decoration. Graphics, geometric shapes and colour were dynamic, but at its core, mod still focused on clean lines and simplicity.

Your home office theme could also focus on music, such as The Beatles. Line the walls with reprints of posters and albums, with clean lines on one wall over a beautiful restored record player or low table with music magazines. Since the band originated from London, you could also incorporate red, blue and white or geometric pattern from the British flag or include other memorabilia from your travels.

4. Go Thrifting for Vintage Mod Finds

You’ll find many small mod or mod-like items to decorate your home office with at yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores and antique stores. Chairs, coffee tables, artwork and vases are a few of the typical items you’ll encounter, but you may also luck up and find an amazing desk.

Look for shapes and colours reminiscent of the era, with geometric designs and vibrant, bright colours. Try a natural green or tan color, alongside a vibrant blue or red on the warmer side.

5. Choose Your Statement Piece Wisely

While mid-century modern was about a return to simplicity, if you think of the era or watch episodes of Mad Men, there was also a high level of class and elegance represented in design.

Every home office deserves one elegant statement piece of furniture, whether that’s a desk with beautiful curves or a sturdy oak shelf filled with endless books. Let your statement piece speak about your work, your passions and your personality.

Mid-century mod is the perfect interior design aesthetic for your home office if you wish to return to simplicity. Its classic and elegant sensibility is centered around clean lines, geometric pattern and vibrant colours.

Express yourself boldly while doing so with only what is necessary. Choose this aesthetic for a comfortable and open home office, where you will feel truly focused.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum