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Hi! This Mid-Century Modern gallery wall post is part of the Style Guide series of home decor posts that will help you identify your signature style. Is Mid-Century Modern decor for you? See if you identify with these 8 signs!
Previously: Boho Decor (style guide + gallery wall) & Minimalist Decor (style guide + gallery wall) & Modern Coastal Decor (style guide + gallery wall) & Modern Farmhouse (style guide + gallery wall) & Modern Glam Decor (style guide + gallery wall)
Now that we’ve discussed what Mid-Century Modern decor looks like, and how to achieve that look, let’s get to the heart of the matter: What the heck should you put on your walls?
I got pretty detailed here, with six gallery wall examples, but keep in mind this is a starter kit. You may like some ideas and not others. Mix and match till you find your true style.
Let’s get started!
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall
First, I’ll briefly go over a few key elements that drive a mid-century modern gallery wall, and why. Right away, I look for color. Color should be bright, saturated and jump off the wall. This is not the style for you if you do not like to decorate with color. (If you prefer a neutral space, I would steer you toward a minimalist gallery wall.)
1. Pop art & abstract expressionism
Why this works: These art movements were of the time (abstract expressionism: 1950s; pop art: 1960s) and will definitely be at home in a mid-mod space. Think: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning. The more colorful, the better.
Search for: Pop art: Etsy, Society6, Minted, Amazon, eBay; abstract expressionism: Etsy, Society6, Minted, Amazon, eBay; Andy Warhol: Etsy, Amazon, eBay; Roy Lichtenstein: Etsy, Society6, Amazon, eBay; Jackson Pollock: Etsy, Society6, Amazon, eBay; Willem de Kooning: Etsy, Society6, Amazon, eBay; Mark Rothko: Etsy, Amazon, eBay; David Hockney: Etsy, Society6, Amazon, eBay; Jasper Johns: Etsy, Amazon, eBay
2. Vintage travel posters
Why this works: There’s nothing more fun than a colorful mid-century travel poster. If you either live at the destination, go to the destination often or dream of the destination often, they can be pretty relevant to your life. In the same vein, check out retro futuristic posters. In other words, space sci-fi movie posters from the 1950s and 1960s. NASA recently released some retro futuristic space tourism posters that are rad.
3. Starbursts & Atomic flourishes
Why this works: Mid-century modern and the Cold War go hand-in-hand, and so does all that atomic imagery. Think: Boomerangs, atomic particles, starbursts, etc. One of the most iconic ways to add this element to your wall is with a starburst clock.
4. Geometric shapes
Why this works: You can find geometric shapes of all kinds in mid-mod art. Diamonds, googies and half moons are the most distinctive of the bunch. You’ll also notice a lot of biomorphic shapes. Biomorphic is the kind of organic, asymmetric form you see in boomerangs.
5. Totem & Tiki
Why this works: Anything Polynesian inspired fits into this aesthetic. Imagine a tiki bar vibe, and you’ll find some of those themes play really well with other mid-mod decor.
6. Cats, birds, owls
Why this works: The animals of choice for mid-century decor. Smooth, simple lines of bird prints like this one are what you’re looking for. Also, keep your eyes open for flamingos.
Next, let’s put these into practice, shall we?
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall #1
Please note: These mockups are not to scale. They are just for fun. Check the dimensions of the art to make sure it will fit your space before buying!
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall #2
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall #3
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall #4
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall #5
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall #6
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall Frames
Finish off your Mid-Century Modern gallery wall with frames of any color. The only caveat? I wouldn’t mix and match frame colors. Pick one and stick with it. All black. All wood. All gold. Thin frames look classy.
Mid-Century Modern Decor: Resources
Mid-Century Modern Books
• Eero Saarinen
• Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive
• Mid-Century Modern Complete
• Miller’s Mid-Century Modern
• Design of the 20th Century
• Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors
• Danish Modern
• California Design: 1930-1965
• 100 Midcentury Chairs
• Alexander Girard
• Eames: Beautiful Details
Mid-Century Modern Gallery Wall: Pin Me for Later