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Midcentury Modern Homes Let the Sun Shine In

Midcentury modern architecture is an American classic that emerged after World War II, recognized for its clean lines, minimal decor and an emphasis on bringing nature in.

These homes are characterized by floor-to-ceiling windows, large open spaces, simplicity and a use of natural materials.

Although midcentury modern architecture grew across America from 1945 to the 1969, there has been a resurgence in recent years. Interior decorating styles that draw inspiration from this style, like Scandinavian design and Danish Modern, make it even more attractive.

If you’re thinking about building or remodeling with a midcentury modern style, there are a few defining elements you don’t want to overlook.

Clean lines, geometric shapes

Most midcentury modern homes have flat roofs with straight lines rather than the ranch-style gabled roofs. Straight lines and right angles are essential with an emphasis on simple geometric form.

Floor-to-ceiling windows

Windows reaching up to the ceiling from the floor are a hallmark of the period, allowing nature and natural light to enter the home.

Views of the landscape are important, as well as numerous access points to the outdoors, including sliding glass doors.

Changes in elevation

Many of these homes have split-levels and short staircases connecting rooms throughout the house.

Tall fireplaces centered in rooms and partial brick or glass walls also add depth and variation in elevation.

Minimal decoration

Simplicity is key when it comes to midcentury modern styling. Natural, unpainted wood and white walls, along with simple furnishings with clean lines and a muted color palette reflects the home’s simple exterior.

Outdoor access

Connecting with nature is vital. Most midcentury modern homes have abundant access points to the outdoors. In some homes, a single room may have several doors and windows to access the outdoors.

Vaulted ceiling

with exposed beams

The classic midcentury modern low-vaulted ceiling has exposed natural wood beams. A feeling of openness is vital. Vaulted ceilings remain grounded with wood in natural tones.

Sconce lighting

Cone-shaped metal sconce lights, as well as metal cone pole lights, were a core element in these homes. These sconce lights evoked the shape of jets and rockets popular in the ’50s and ’60s.

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