Mid-Century Modern (MCM) design in Los Angeles is a celebration of style and simplicity. With its iconic features and timeless appeal, MCM design has firmly rooted itself in the city’s architectural landscape. To help you create an authentic MCM home in the City of Angels, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts.

In this article, we’ll delve into these essential guidelines, while also exploring some key insights to elevate your MCM design experience.


1. Choose Your Color Palette

In MCM design, color plays a crucial role. Consider classic MCM hues like burnt orange, deep emerald, mustard, and rich brown. Alternatively, explore the bold and impactful colors inspired by the Bauhaus movement. If you prefer a more modern twist, opt for a palette of muted neutral shades. Whatever you choose, repeat a handful of key colors throughout your scheme for unity.

2. Vary Heights

Break away from uniformity by incorporating varying heights in your MCM space. Pair low coffee tables or sofas with tall floor lamps or low-hanging chandeliers. Experiment with elements like color block walls or painted archways to add levels and interest.

3. Mix Textures

Embrace the diverse textures inherent to MCM schemes. From handwoven tapestries and Mexican pottery to Brutalist metal artwork and wooden furniture, ensure these elements coexist harmoniously. Layering rugs, from soft patterns to textured sisal, can add depth and warmth to your home.

4. Consider Lucite and Plexiglass

For a sleeker MCM look, consider materials like Lucite and plexiglass. These were highly popular in the mid-20th century and offer a more minimalist aesthetic. Think of coffee tables, side tables, and dining chairs, but also look for smaller home decor items made from these materials.

5. Pay Attention to Details

MCM design thrives on the details. Subtle changes, such as adding wall sconces or upgrading dimmer switches to brushed brass, can make a significant difference. Even simple elements like kitchen cabinet knobs can instantly elevate your space.

6. Invest in a Statement Sideboard

To achieve a striking MCM look, invest in an authentic wooden sideboard or credenza. These impressive pieces, often finished in dark woods like teak or oak, can serve as captivating centerpieces in entryways or dining rooms.

7. Incorporate Mirrors

Mirrors, in various shapes and styles, are a foolproof way to infuse MCM charm into your home. They’re also great for brightening up hallways and windowless bathrooms. Consider mirrors with organic, pond-like shapes and dark wooden frames.

8. Create Unique Spaces

If you’re renovating, use the opportunity to incorporate unique spaces like a reading nook or a bar. MCM design is about curating and collecting over time, so take the chance to add personalized features that elevate your daily life.

9. Add Legs to Existing Furniture

Give your existing furniture a MCM twist by adding hairpin legs. Craft a bespoke home office desk or revamp a coffee table to create new storage space beneath it.

10. Embrace Eclecticism

Don’t pigeonhole yourself or your home into one specific style. MCM design can embrace the eclectic nature of various eras, locations, and artists. Your home is a reflection of your personal style, so let it be a canvas for your unique tastes.


1. Overwhelm with Color

While exploring a range of colors is encouraged, avoid overwhelming your space with too many hues. Balance is key to achieving an authentic MCM look.

2. Uniform Heights

Avoid a uniform look by varying the heights of furniture and decor elements in your MCM space. This design style thrives on contrast and juxtaposition.

3. Discard Textures

Don’t overlook the importance of textures in MCM design. Harmoniously blend different textures to create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

4. Neglect the Details

Remember that the devil is in the detail when it comes to MCM design. Pay attention to the smaller elements like lighting, hardware, and switches to achieve a polished look.

5. Forget About Mirrors

Mirrors are versatile and can enhance the MCM aesthetic while brightening spaces. Don’t neglect their potential impact in your design.

6. Avoid Unique Spaces

Larger renovation projects provide opportunities to create distinctive spaces within your home, so don’t hesitate to add reading nooks, bars, or other unique features.

7. Over-Accessorize

While MCM design can be eclectic, avoid cluttering your space with too many accessories. Use practical pieces, like MCM sideboards, for storage and display.

8. Miss Out on Upcycling

Upcycling existing furniture with hairpin legs can be an affordable and stylish way to achieve a MCM look without buying new items.

9. Limit Your Style

Don’t limit yourself to stereotypical MCM design. Embrace your eclectic taste and draw inspiration from various sources to create a home that reflects your personality.

Creating an authentic Mid-Century Modern home in Los Angeles is a journey of design exploration. By following these dos and don’ts, you can master the art of MCM design while infusing your unique style and personality into your living spaces. Whether you’re revamping your existing home or starting from scratch, remember that MCM design celebrates the balance of simplicity, color, texture, and individuality.

Check out Mid-Century Makeover Ideas for Your Los Angeles Kitchen for more inspirational ideas.

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About Us:

Founded in 2017, Satin and Slate is one of the elite interior design studios in Southern California. Located in Long Beach, this dedicated team of designers oversees from kitchen and bathroom renovations to commercial projects. Equipped with their own showroom/studio they can satisfy the needs of any client. Featuring clean lines, bright colors and fresh ideas Satin and Slate’s mission is to bring your vision to life and help transform your space into something extraordinary.

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