24 Ways to Pull Off the Midcentury Modern Look in Your Apartment

It’s little surprise that the midcentury modern design movement has lasted as long as it has. When the aesthetic first surfaced, America was emerging from World War II, the economy was thriving, and more and more Americans were buying homes. Naturally, those Americans needed furniture to fill those homes. And midcentury modern design—with its sleek lines, focus on function, and emphasis on mass production—was ready to deliver.

The midcentury modern movement offered a break from the glamour and ornamentation that characterized its predecessors (namely, the Art Deco movement and the American Victorian movement). It bid adieu to unnecessary embellishments, focusing instead on clean lines and honest uses of materials. Designers sought to create genuinely functional pieces, and it shows: many of the pieces were so well-designed that we still love them today. 

Of course, pulling off any aesthetic in an apartment can be a challenge. You don’t have the option to change your space as materially as you could if you owned it. Replacing floors, fixtures, and other built-in elements is basically out of the question. So temporary additions—like furniture and decor—are basically all you have to work with. 

Thankfully, the midcentury modern look is so recognizable that furniture and décor can get you pretty far. With a few striking pieces, you can transform your space into something that feels worthy of a Design Within Reach catalog. And since midcentury modern furniture is so incredibly trendy, you probably don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get there. 

To help you see just how easy it can be to craft the midcentury modern interior of your dreams, we’ve rounded up 24 midcentury modern apartment design ideas worth trying in your space—no matter how small it is.

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