Home Design Styles Mid Century Modern vs Scandinavian: Discover The Difference
Scandinavian vs Mid Centruy Modern Style

Mid Century Modern vs Scandinavian: Discover The Difference

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by Helen
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Mid century modern vs Scandinavian styles have both gained immense popularity over the years. While they do share some commonalities, like clean lines, fine craftsmanship, and simple silhouettes, they are distinct in their design philosophy and material choices. The use of bold colors, asymmetrical shapes, and materials like molded plastic, metal, and plywood characterizes mid-century modern style. On the other hand, the Scandinavian style emphasizes natural materials such as wood, leather, and wool and incorporates light colors and minimalist designs. The furniture and decor pieces from these styles are timeless and classic, and their popularity continues to inspire contemporary design to this day.

Redecorating in Mid-Century Modern on a budget can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips to help you refresh your space without breaking the bank. 

Sustainable Furniture: Scandinavian vs. Mid Century Modern

If you're concerned about the environment and want to invest in sustainable furniture and decor, you'll be happy to know that you don't have to sacrifice quality and design. In fact, sustainable furniture can be just as stylish and well-made as traditional furniture while also being better for the planet. Many furniture manufacturers are now making sustainable furniture using eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices.

Scandinavian vs Mid Century Modern Furniture and Decor

Mid Century Modern vs Scandinavian Modern


Scandinavian Design: What Is It?

Scandinavian design is a style that originated from the Nordic region of Europe. It is known for its minimalistic and clean-lined approach that combines functionality with beauty. The movement was inspired by a group of influential designers who brought a fresh perspective to the overall aesthetic. Natural materials are the focus of this style, as they are used to improve daily life through unique and purposeful design. Durability, reliability, and functionality are also essential components of this design style.

Pelican Lounge Chair

Series 7 Dining Chair

Scandinavian Design Tips

Here are some tips to create a Nordic-inspired living space:

  • Emphasize bright, light, and open spaces, and ensure you have enough room to move around. Use furniture and decor to create a balanced and harmonious atmosphere.
  • Choose well-made, multipurpose, and practical pieces of furniture in line with the Scandi craftsmanship tradition. This will help you create a lasting design that is both beautiful and functional.
  • Use contrast to add interest to your space. This can be achieved by playing with different colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.
  • Create a cozy and inviting atmosphere by selecting pieces that inspire warmth and comfort. The Danish word “hygge” describes the feeling of cozy togetherness that you should aim for in your living space.


Mid-Century Modern Design: What Is It?

Mid-century modern design is an interior design and furniture style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century. It is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, low profiles, and the use of natural materials, creating an open and airy interior. This design approach has its roots in the Bauhaus movement and combines functionality with a balance of organic and geometric shapes, along with bold pops of color. Many iconic furniture designs have emerged from this era, and the mid-century modern aesthetic remains a popular choice for interior design today.

Mid-Century Modern Design History

Mid-century modern usually refers to architecture and furniture design from the mid-20th century, specifically between 1933 and 1965. It originated during the Industrial Revolution and was coined by art historian Cara Greenberg in 1985 to describe furniture popular in the post-World War II era. George Nelson's 1946 Platform Bench is often cited as the first memorable design of this genre. It was elegant, carefree, and made to be mass-produced. Thanks to its ingenious simplicity and sculptural elements, the mid-century modern style has stood the test of time and remains an iconic and instantly recognizable design aesthetic.

READ NEXT: Beautiful Bedroom Ideas To Suite Every Style

Catalina 5 Drawer Dresser

Limited Edition Mama Bear Chair

Haven Nightstand

Mid-Century Modern Design Tips

  • Opting for smooth, curved angles and clean lines is essential when selecting furniture pieces for a mid-century modern space.
  • Low-profile seating and angular legs are key attributes to look for in many designs. You will usually find something other than fancy ornamentation or upholstery in these spaces.
  • Instead, high-quality materials like solid wood, fiberglass, metal, and stone are utilized to create designs, with simple fabrics and leather being the go-to choices.
  • Don't be afraid to be bold with colors. Choose one or two bright hues to pop in isolated spots and use symmetry to balance out the rest of the space.
  • Mid-century modern lighting often features rounded exteriors and geometric shapes that provide eye-catching contrast and a statement-making focal point for a room. Opt for a neutral-colored shade, or use a lamp to bring in a pop of unexpected color.
Don't be afraid to extend your furniture and decor theme to outdoor spaces, mixing and matching different mid-century modern pieces to create a cohesive yet eclectic look. With the right balance of form and function, your porch can become a stylish and comfortable extension of your home's interior design.


Mid Century Modern vs. Scandinavian Modern Design Tips

Both Scandinavian and mid-century modern design styles are influenced by the era they come from. Still, they have unique differences in their use of color, shape, and material that set them apart. Both styles focus on comfortable pieces that are simple and functional and have subtle hints of color. 

However, the mid-century modern style introduces more man-made materials and innovative technological processes, while Scandinavian design favors natural materials. Both styles follow the principle of minimal decorative ornamentation and functional pieces that reduce clutter. Therefore, they are fresh, inviting, and can be customized to your taste.

READ NEXT: Transition Easily To Farmhouse Decor With Our Handy Guide

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