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Mid Century Modern Bright Wall Colors

Choosing colors for a mid-century modern home is a balancing act between the historical and the contemporary color palette. Though slavishly adhering to a past aesthetic makes sense for a movie set, I prefer to choose a group of colors that give a nod to the past and live in the present.

Mid-century modern homes typically have an open floor plan that blends the communal rooms of the home: the kitchen, living room and dining area. This arrangement of communal rooms is typically called a great-room. Ceilings in the great-room are often vaulted and intersect at interesting angles with other parts of the architecture.

Bright colors define a Mid-Century Modern open floor plan accented with shapes of bright colors balanced with earthy golds.

These intersecting architectural spaces demand a cohesive color plan that looks great from every angle. Here is how I made the color choices for the home pictured. The home is mine, so the colors are some of my favorites mixed with some of my family member’s favorites. Built in the late 1980′s with a mid-century sensibility I sought to enhance the mid-century aspects through the color choices as I updated and resurfaced the home.

Cork Floor Stairwell with contemporary mid-century modern design and bright wall paint colors
Stairwell with contemporary mid-century modern design and bright wall paint colors

The primary color chosen for the home was the floor color, as the flooring is the same through most of the house. I chose Wicander floating cork flooring in a light golden hue that coordinated well with the existing natural wood baseboard, window and door trim. Cork is also a classic mid-century material that is considered modern, cool and environmentally sustainable, so it was key to setting the conceptual tone of the home.

The interior doors are natural wood (another type of “gold” color). With that earthy gold “anchoring” the home, I chose a gold paint color that I would use in various parts of the house, as a “connecting” color, thereby enhancing the visual flow of movement throughout the home. With that strong foundation of warm golds repeating throughout the home, the remainder of my color choices where predominately the warm colors of red and purple with a subordinate palette of cool green and blue.

The resulting palette of strong bright colors anchored with earthy golds created a happy, contemporary feel to the home.