The Mid-century Room Upgrade Recipe (Use it Anywhere)

4 min read Get the recipe for an easy mid-century room upgrade for ANY space in your house.

Remodeling a house isn’t your day job. So how do you muster the energy to take on a huge project like a remodel in on top of all your other commitments? Set yourself up for SUCCESS by giving yourself the satisfaction of an early, easy win with the Mid-Century Room Upgrade recipe.

Today, I give you the recipe for an easy mid-century room upgrade for any space in your house.

I’m going to focus on updating a living room as a handy example, but stick with me to the end and we’ll see how this recipe can be applied anywhere with a little creativity. After we talk about the living room specifically, I’ll extend the idea so you can find out how to go wild with it in your own home.

If you want an easy PDF to walk you through this recipe as it applies to the Living room, PLUS two additional rooms, get it now with the link below!

In today’s Episode, you’ll hear …

  • Remodeling is a long haul endeavor. Here’s why you need to give yourself a couple of satisfying and easy “wins” at the start of the process. [0:45]
  • The basic mid-century room upgrade recipe [3:38]
  • Why I like to start with the coffee table. (Hint: its the focal point of the living room which is the focal point of your home) [3:51]
  • A little digression into mid-century modern color history. Basically it means you get to cherry pick your favorite micro era! [5:15]
  • How to pick a great conversation piece to round out your room [7:06]
  • Apply this recipe to any space in your house with just a little tweaking. Once you have the basics in place, start to elaborate and grow it! [7:57]
  • Takeaway: you don’t have to make a vocation out of remodeling to find it fun and satisfying. Use the mid-century room upgrade recipe to break the ice on any project! [9:44]

Listen Now on:

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Resources mentioned in this Episode:

Why start with little Quick Win projects?

I’ve talked before about taking a remodel in phases.

Level One projects that are quick, easy and DIY-able. Typical Level Two projects update your house, working WITH what you have and can be taken in little chunks and phases. Level Three remodels are big overhauls – they typically involve General Contractors and moving out for the duration.

I always recommend that you start out with a couple of Level One projects. It lets you have early satisfaction in the process, and feed your energy.

(Long haul projects are inevitable in most remodels.)

The best Level One projects are the sort of things you can do now and get the quick hit of endorphins today, AND still make use of and enjoy at the end of your whole remodeling journey.

The Mid-Century Room Upgrade Recipe

Keep your life easy by starting any mid-century room upgrade with three easy steps: 1. pick out a coffee table, 2. add a color, and 3. find a conversation piece.

Pretty sweet! Let’s look a tad closer.

Pick a charming “coffee table”

OK, you don’t need a “coffee table” in every room but that makes my three components all start with  a “C.”  I like alliteration. (Sue me).  

Find a small-but-notable piece of furniture. Small, because it’s more accessible, lightweight and less costly. Even if you choose to invest in a really high end, pricey piece, – a designer original – a coffee table will be less expensive than a sofa, chair sideboard, or an entire room set.  Notable, because you want it to make a difference to the room.  It needs to pull the eye.  Make a focal point.

Add some MCM color to the room

Color is so easy to adapt to any room. The cheapest color pop you can come up with is likely to be paint, but fabric items are going to be the most portable and easy to adapt to a new look over time or put away and get back out after your bigger level two or level three remodel takes place.  

Grab a conversation piece

Finally for the conversation starter.  The sky’s the limit. Anything from an interesting junk sale find to a family heirloom will do here.  This piece will create a third spot for your eye to rest and make the update about more than just one new piece of furniture and a throw pillow.

So let’s try out the recipe on a living room …

sketch of noguchi coffee table, area rug, and nelson clock

COFFEE TABLE: Why start with the coffee table? Well, it’s the center of the room – a real focal point. Work out from the center.

RUG: A conversation group “anchoring” rug is such a classic MCM design move. 

WALL CLOCK: You have so much leeway here. You want to find any sort of interesting vintage curio – a piece of wall art, like a mod-style boomerang-shaped plywood something, or a classic vintage trio of flying geese. This Nelson ball clock is a personal favorite! 

After those three are in place, there are a million more things you can do to fancy this up. But start with the basics.

What are you waiting for?

Want to keep on visualizing the three part recipe into every room in your house? Get started with the quick start Room Recipe. Just sign up below to get yours!!

Already did it? Pop over to the Mid Mod Remodel facebook community to share your success. We love to cheer for Mid-century room upgrades there!