15 Mid-Century Modern Style Kitchens – Inspiration and Ideas
Mid-century modern style kitchens are a hot trend at the moment. In fact, mid-century modern design, in general, has been growing in popularity over the past few years.
Characterised by vintage simplicity and functionality, you’ll often see some design influence and similarities with Scandi and Japandi elements.
In this post, I’m sharing 15 Mid-Century Modern Style Kitchens to inspire you for your next kitchen renovation project.
What Is Mid-Century Modern Kitchen Style?
Mid-century modern kitchen style refers to an aesthetic movement in interior design that emerged roughly from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, with a resurgence in popularity in recent years. It’s known for its clean lines, minimalist approach, and functional simplicity, heavily influenced by the post-WWII era, which welcomed the idea of mass-produced but high-quality goods.
Key elements of a mid-century modern kitchen include:
- Flat Panel Cabinets: These cabinets are characteristically sleek with straight lines and little to no ornamentation. The cabinet doors are often flat, creating a clean and uncluttered look.
- Natural Wood Tones: A key feature of this style is the use of natural materials, especially wood. Wood tones can vary, but often lighter woods like teak, oak, or walnut are used.
- Open Floor Plan: A hallmark of mid-century modern design is the use of open spaces. This means kitchens often blend seamlessly into dining or living areas.
- Minimalist Hardware: Hardware tends to be subtle and often features clean lines. It may be completely absent, especially in very sleek designs, or could be simple pulls or knobs in materials like brushed nickel or chrome.
- Mid-Century Appliances and Furniture: Appliances might have a retro look, often in muted or pastel colours like avocado green or soft yellow. Furniture often includes iconic mid-century designs, like Eames chairs or Saarinen tables.
- Graphic Patterns and Bold Colors: While the overall aesthetic is minimalist, pops of bold colour or graphic patterns are often used for emphasis. This could be through a brightly coloured backsplash, patterned floor tiles, or colourful countertop appliances.
- Lighting: Lighting is often seen as a statement piece in mid-century kitchen decor. This might be in the form of a Sputnik chandelier, starburst light fixtures, or globe pendant lights.
Each of these elements contributes to the overall aesthetic of a mid-century modern kitchen, creating a space that is both functional and stylish, blending vintage charm with modern sensibilities.
How To Get The Mid-Century Modern Kitchen Design Look
Mid-century modern style combines vintage style with simplicity and functionality. Think Mad Men, but set in Copenhagen or Tokyo.
To achieve this look, think about functionality (form follows function) as well as sleek lines and juxtaposing materials. Add geometric elements and vintage colours to complete the look. Just don’t go overboard on decoration – mid-century modern style calls for quality over quantity in the items you use.
Effortless, timeless, chic, and simple – those are your guiding rules. Now let’s see it in practice!
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– 15 Mid-Century Modern Style Kitchens –
1. Pretty in Plywood
Plywood kitchens are a growing trend and this mid-century modern style kitchen makes it clear to see why. Perfectly combining style and simplicity, you have everything you need in one sleek package. The often affordable price tag of plywood kitchens only adds to their charm.
2. Flawless Functionality
The benefits of mid-century modern kitchens go beyond their visual appeal. This kitchen demonstrates the simple functionality that defines the style. Ample cabinet and worktop space will make cooking a breeze, while the seating adds to the social nature of the room.
3. Wooden Wonderland
Combing luxurious dark-stained oak with white worktops and a bright orange drawer perfectly achieves the juxtaposition that mid-century modern style calls for. The wooden feature wall feels effortlessly vintage, harking back to the seventies without feeling outdated. If you’re worried about being too old-school, take inspiration from this design and throw in an ultramodern pendant light.
4. That Teal Feel
The dark wood and teal cabinet doors are perfectly juxtaposed against the bright yellow rubber flooring. Not only a contrast in colour but material and texture too. The clean white worktop and minimal layout round off this colourful mid-century modern-style kitchen.
5. Mid-Century Modern Memories
There are few things that add nostalgia to a kitchen better than an Aga. This design makes the most of this feature, allowing it to softly accent the white run of cabinets. A vintage-looking centre bench brings the classic look together.
6. Let the Light Shine
This mid-century modern style kitchen makes the most of light in two ways. First, the large doors allow ample natural light to flood the kitchen and brighten the room. Second, the fun and functional pendant lights add a modern twist. A classic combination of white countertops and wood cabinets and floors allows the lightness of the room to be the real standout feature.
7. Blue and Breezy
Geometric shapes are key to achieving a mid-century modern look. In this kitchen, the turquoise blue splashback adds this element with a fresh, modern twist and a pop of colour. While the honeycomb floor subtly complements the look. I love the punch of orange in the bar stools, too. A true mid-century style!
8. Cool, Calm, and Collected
Just looking at this kitchen inspires a sense of calm and relaxation. The choice of delicate green splashback, paired with soft marble counters and neutral wood cabinets, puts you perfectly at ease. While the soft dark contrasting colour on the kitchen islands helps to add some visual interest to the space. And breathe….
9. Mid-Century Modern Japandi
Is it mid-century modern? Is it Japandi? It’s both – and it’s stunning. This kitchen pulls together all the best elements of these styles to produce a rich, attractive, and functional design.
10. Speaking in Accents
The first thing you notice about this kitchen is its striking dark grey beams. Rather than distracting from the look of the room, however, this feature accents the mid-century elements sprinkled throughout the kitchen. From the coloured kitchen cabinets to the white and wood island, it’s a pick and mix of perfection. A practical L-Shape + Island kitchen layout makes the open-plan kitchen, living and dining space that much more functional.
11. Mid-Century Modern Luxury
The natural elements of this kitchen set it apart as a more natural, Scandinavian style of mid-century modern. The large, open island makes for endless opportunities to gather the family for meal preparation. In fact, you may never get them to leave!
12. Sweet as Honeycomb
Another example of how to do geometric design well. The honeycomb tile backsplash in white delicately adds visual interest rather than taking over the room. The natural wood cabinetry on the island and organically-shaped bar stools keep the kitchen from feeling too clinical. And who doesn’t love a sink perfectly centred under a window!?
13. Adding Industrial Edge
This kitchen makes the most of its stainless steel elements. I love the industrial feel that these add, keeping the vintage wood cabinets and splashback from feeling too retro.
14. Mid-Century Mystery
Dark doesn’t have to mean dreary. The dark grey walls of this kitchen make it feel rich and luxurious, with vintage elements only adding to the look. The white worktops and marble splashback keep it fresh and add a welcome lift.
15. Get in Line
Get in line indeed – in more ways than one. People will be lining up to join you in this linear-style kitchen. The band of colour across the centre of the room is fun and visually exciting, offset by simple wood and white cabinets and a playful blue floor. The room stays grown-up with metal frame elements on the island.
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There you have it! 15 mid-century modern kitchens.
It’s easy to see why midcentury modern kitchens are a popular design choice. Bringing together the best of style, simplicity, and functionality, you’ll love this design for years to come.
I hope this post has given you some insight and inspiration if you’re thinking of going mid-century modern for your new kitchen.
Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.