Why Do So Many People Love Midcentury Modern Architecture?


You’ve been hearing the term everywhere for the past few years: midcentury modern.

It’s trendy for everything from furniture to home décor and accents. But, did you know this style is rooted in the mid-20th-century (hence the name “midcentury”) and is an offshoot of both prairie style homes and European homes?

Not to mention, while this style is mostly associated with the late 1950s and 1960s, it actually had its heyday from around 1940 to the mid-70s. And no, it did not start with Frank Lloyd Wright (though he helped popularize the design style in America).

Let’s explore the defining features of this now-classic style that’s still popular for home architecture right this minute. This even might be your dream architectural look.

What Does Midcentury Modern Architecture Look Like? X Defining Features

If you’re interested in the midcentury look, these are the main features to know. Pretty soon, you’ll find that this design style is unmistakable for any other.

1. Clean Lines

More than any other feature, midcentury modern is known for its clean lines and sleek details. These are homes that have none of the frills or fussy nature of Victorian-style homes, nor any of the arches or intricate woodwork that are customary to Craftsman-style abodes.

2. Flat Roofs

Another defining feature of midcentury home: flat roofs. There might be a very slight pitch or angle to help with rainwater runoff, but otherwise, the roofs are flattened and unobtrusive.

3. Asymmetry

Asymmetrical design just means that the home isn’t symmetrical. One side doesn’t mirror the other for most midcentury homes – instead, the construction is often meandering or looks like a collection of different-sized boxes put together strategically. The look is typically modern.

4. Open Floor Plans

On the inside, midcentury designs have open floor plans, which are incredibly popular with homeowners today.

In homes with traditional architecture, walls separate the kitchen from the dining room, the dining room from the living room, the living room from the den, and so on. Meanwhile, in midcentury homes, almost the entire first floor will be one large space with minimal separation between areas.

5. Glass Walls

One of the underlying principles of midcentury design is tying the home more directly to its surrounding landscape. To achieve this, architects created homes with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and soaring windows, so the divide between inside and outside became blurred.

Midcentury Modern Architecture Is Still Popular

There’s still a huge following for all things midcentury modern today. People pay extravagant prices for original furniture and designs from the period, and plenty of new builds are following its design principles.

Plus, this is a style that swept America and was incredibly popular for decades. If you’re in the market for a modern home with classic character, there are plenty of old homes out there that fit the bill.