20 Beautiful Examples of a Mid Century Modern Kitchen

Sleek, clean and tidy, are all descriptive of a mid century modernly designed kitchen, and it’s one of the most popular design ideas for those who love a sophisticated look and feel to their home. The kitchen is the hub of the home, and a room you want to feel as welcoming, as it is functional. Mid century describes the mid 20th century, accentuating the 1950’s and 1960’s look, with a twist of today’s view of modernism. You can accomplish this look by transforming a few of the main elements in the kitchen. With a few key ideas, your kitchen can take on a whole new look that marries an old era with a newer, more modern concept. Here are some tips for creating a beautiful mid century modern kitchen.

Color scheme

The colors used in this decor theme are typically light and understated hues. Starting with your wall color, think back to the 50’s and 60’s era and you can probably envision pastels as well as hues of yellow, blue, or green. Wall color choice should play off the color of the cabinets you plan to install. Lighter wall colors are better paired with warm wood cabinets, or brighter colored walls, using an orange, blue or green hue, look great with white cabinetry. You might opt to use a brightly color on your cabinets, and in this case, HGTV suggests using a light cream color on your walls to balance out the room. Keep color combos aligned with what was popular for the era in order to keep your kitchen keeping true to the design.


For a true mid century modern kitchen, materials are an important part of the design. Laminate, aluminum, plywood, plastics, vinyls, Plexiglas and lucite, were all commonly used in the 50’s and 60’s. Laminate woods for cabinets are a commonality for a beautiful mid century modern kitchen, paired with a marmoreal countertop make a great combination, while stainless steel appliances keep the room modern and stylish.

Furniture pieces

According to Remodel or Move, furniture pieces for a mid century modern theme should be sleek in design, with an ergo dynamic style. The ergo styled furniture boomed in the fifties and was intended to look as free-flowing as it was functional. Forget ornamental and overstated wood kitchen tables and matching chairs. Aim for more simplistically styled pieces that are light and airy, with a retro look and feel. A white laminate table paired with colored retro-styled chairs can liven up the eating area, or pub style stools with a 1960’s design can look very posh at a counter bar.


Lighting is an element that can help tie your kitchen together and complete the mid century modern design theme. When it comes to choosing your lighting, think mid century. Retro inspired hanging lights over a bar add functional lighting, while giving your kitchen a beautiful mid century focal point, while a unique, sputnik shaped mid century modern chandelier over a kitchen table can complete your lighting makeover for your new kitchen.

Decorative touches

There are plenty of ways to incorporate decorative touches to help enhance the look of your new mid century modern design.

  • Open-shelved cabinetry – While flat-paneled cabinetry is a sleek and common look for this era, it can also seem a bit mundane with its basic application. One way to break the look up a bit and add a little spice, is to give your cabinets a little bit of openness. Add some open shelved areas to a few sections of your cabinetry to display some of your favorite pieces of cookware or other collectibles. When you get tired of one display, replace with another set.
  • Backsplashes – Backsplashes can add functionality to your cooking area while giving your kitchen a more elegant appeal. Subway tiles come in many colors, shapes, and styles. You can give your wall area a punch of color, using brightly colored tiles that replicate the era, or keep it basic by installing sleek, clean, white tiles.
  • Geometric shapes – Geometric shapes are definitely a thing of the past, and the current rendition of mid century modern design. Incorporate geometric shapes in wall art, seat cushions, window treatment, even in your lighting fixtures. Nothing says the 50’s and 60’s like fun geometric shapes that are fun to look at and fun to design with. Even kitchen fixtures can have a geometric feel, so remember to choose your sinks and faucets to fit the design theme you’re working with.

Keeping everything in sync will help to create a cohesive kitchen that flows seamlessly and doesn’t break the look. For more inspiring ideas, take a look at the following 20 beautiful examples of mid century modern kitchens and get motivated to give your own kitchen, a cool, retro make-over.

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