How To Make The Perfect Mid Century Modern Dining Room

Create a stunning Mid-Century Modern dining room that melds timeless style with everyday functionality, perfect for gathering and dining in style.

Key Takeaways:

  • Select sleek, iconic furniture like tulip tables and molded chairs.
  • Emphasise bold, geometric patterns and earthy tones for a retro feel.
  • Integrate a mix of natural and synthetic materials for visual interest and durability.
  • Illuminate the space with characteristic mid-century lighting fixtures.

Mid-Century Modern style is not a passing trend. Popularised in the 1940s and still popular today, this design style is defined by clean lines, high functionality, organic forms (think rounded and often asymmetrical), and bold primary colours to contrast a neutral palette. With timeless appeal, it’s easy to work this style into your home, particularly into your dining room. 

After learning about what defines this design style, where it comes from and our dining room style guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect  Mid-Century Modern dining room.

Mid-Century Modern Style Explained

Originally influenced by new manufacturing techniques, a post-war lifestyle and new materials, Mid-Century Modern has stood the test of time. Why are these designs so resilient some 70 years later? The furniture was (and still is) designed for a way of living that is still relevant. People still want chairs to curl up in, storage which is accessible and stylish, and everything on a smaller scale making it more mobile. 

In the age of drones, wi-fi and Smartphones, the allure and influence of Mid-Century Modern designs rests in its ability to both transport us back to the past and propel us to dream of the future.

Q: What are the key elements for designing a Mid-Century Modern dining room?

A: A Mid-Century Modern dining room should feature sleek, functional furniture with clean lines, such as tulip tables and molded chairs. It's important to include bold geometric patterns, earthy color palettes, and a blend of natural and synthetic materials. Additionally, characteristic lighting fixtures like Sputnik chandeliers or globe lights enhance the authentic mid-century aesthetic.

What Defines Mid-Century Modern Style

Mid-Century Modern is a style defined by an understated and classic look with clean/sleek lines, limited ornamentation and minimal fuss. The curves are subtle, gentle and organic. 


The furniture is all about functionality - form follows function - and that form is organic and often geometric. Featuring a discovery of traditional and non-traditional, often contrasting materials, this is a style all about being as simple and practical as it is beautiful. 

Other features of Mid-Century Modern design include low streamlined seating, plastic shell chairs, cocooning lounges, hairpin/tapered legs on tables and dressers, matte finishes, and plain surfaces showing personality via design flourishes. 

Mid-Century Modern is fresh, tinged with a retro vibe, dedicated to comfort and functionality, in a design that is beautiful and seamlessly timeless. Streamlines in design, form follows function, highlighting the materials the pieces are made from rather than pretending to be something they aren’t.

Where Does Mid-Century Modern Style Come From

While American modernists were loving the industrial materials and the ability to mass produce, their Scandinavian counterparts were staying with the longstanding traditions of crafting furniture from the natural elements of leather and wood - handmade over mechanical processes. The result was beautifully crafted pieces loved as much for the quality as the simple, modern forms and curves. And, many of the exact pieces designed in the 1950s and 1960s are reproduced today. 


Cara Greenbery who coined the phrase ‘Mid-Century Modern Style’ in 1984 is unsurprised that the style has stood the test of time, “it seems to appeal anew to each rising generation of young people. Mid-Century design hasn’t been bested by any other movement since, so it remains the style of our own time, not of some antique pasts. And it still looks cool!”

Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Style Guide

Overall, the perfect Mid-Century Modern dining room design can be created by: 

  • Foundational furniture - dining table and chairs with tapered legs - provide simple elegance to substantial pieces and yet, in small spaces, create an open flow and the illusion of more space. 
  • Showing off natural wood tones - select furniture where the grain is highlighted (not hidden) and stick to a single wood finish/hue such as Oak to create cohesiveness. 
  • This is design that is as practical as stylish - pieces are function first such as closed storage, dressers and benches. 
  • Organic/geometric forms and retro shapes. The starburst or boomerang are very popular and classic examples however select one, not both to style a room. These forms and shapes can be incorporated in accessories such as mirrors and lamps. 
  • A mix of materials such as wood, leather, fiberglass, molded plywood, bent tubular steel, and metals. The more materials the merrier. 
  • Embracing natural textures such as jute and seagrass - think baskets and rugs. 
  • A minimal approach to styling - less is more. This design is defined by uncluttered surfaces and clean lines to create a sense of more space. 
  • Combines a neutral palette with bold primary colours - yellows, reds, blues to infuse spaces with a sense of fun. Earthy hues also work. 
  • Playful patterns such as bold, geometris, organic, abstract in bright colours to create contrast and interest. Patterns can be introduced through wall art, rugs, table runners. 

Magnus Dining Tables

Create a tranquil space in the heart of your home with our solid American oak or walnut Magnus dining table. With a refined, elegant combination of soft curves and clean lines, the timeless design brings the perfect blend of authenticity and simplicity. Serving as the relaxed hub of a busy home, Magnus’s smooth, rounded corners serve both practicality and style. The durability of solid oak and walnut makes the Magnus dining table one of our best selling pieces - designed for living and built to last for decades to come. Magnus’s effortless and gentle strength is inspired by Mid-Century modern furniture movements. Available in rectangular, square, round, oval and an extension - in solid oak and solid walnut for added space at your table. 


Otto Dining Tables

The Otto Dining Tables channel Mid-Century modern furniture design that inspires calm, elegant spaces. The mid-century modern dining is made of high-quality American oak for durability and functionality. Bring the soft, warm tones and smooth texture of our solid oak furniture into your home and enjoy long-lasting, refined design. 

Available in a range of sizes to ensure everyone has a comfortable place at your table.


Axel Dining Tables

With a unique design feature - the cross legs - an Axel Dining Table is a way to combine form and functionality in your Mid Century Modern dining room. This also provides an opportunity to bring the warm tones of oak or walnut into your home. 

Absolutely no veneered MDF has been used on this product. All the wood is solid timber. This makes the product far stronger, heavier and of a much higher quality. Solid Timber is relatively easy to repair should it get chipped or damaged unlike a veneered surface. Solid Timber is more robust for wearing surfaces such as a table top, and the joints will withstand greater impacts or abuse. This is a statement piece of furniture designed to last for generations of family dinners, celebrations, Sunday morning lazy breakfasts, and everything in between. 

The Axel Dining Table is available in a wide range so you’re bound to find the right fit for your family and your style.

Introduction to Icon By Design

At Icon By Design, we don’t think we should spend our brief time on earth making disposable things. So we build our furniture to last a long time, with a focus on natural, sustainable materials and craftsmanship. And we design our furniture to be minimal, elegant and timeless. Because we believe if you build a piece of furniture that is timeless, the moments that happen around it will be timeless as well. The furniture will hold an emotional value, above and beyond the dollar value. We’re not just making furniture, we’re making conversations and moments. We’re making our relationships richer. We’re making our moments more memorable. It’s not a table, it’s Boxing Day 2021. It’s not a media shelf, it’s “Kind of Blue” on a winter’s night. It’s not a chair, it’s the way your daughter sits when studying. Icon By Design isn’t simply a place where quality furniture is created. It’s where stories are made.


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