12 Best Mid Century Modern Kitchen Design Picks

by planetofinterior


Often referred to as the heart of the home, the kitchen is usually the most beloved room. It is where families gather to find nourishment, share their life experiences, and create new memories by learning essential life skills, such as cooking and cleaning. The kitchen is the gathering place when friends visit or homework needs to be completed. The kitchen has a tremendous amount of power and influence over the household. Keep reading this blog to find out more about the mid century modern kitchen design. 

Many realtors can testify that the condition of the kitchen is one of the most significant dealbreakers in terms of homeownership. The house could meet almost all of the buyers’ preferences; however, if the kitchen does not meet their expectations, the house will probably not sell. One of the most common kitchen trends at the moment is the mid century modern kitchen design. 

What is the mid century modern kitchen design? 

What is the mid century modern kitchen design? 

Redesign architect Risa Boyer, Photo by Josh Partee, at the home of Portland-based pastry chef Andrea Nicholas. Via dwell.com

It is a style of interior design that started the open floor plan concept in homes. It focuses on functionality and is generally a gallery-style kitchen with long countertops on either side of the kitchen. This design style began after WWII in 1945 and has made a comeback in recent years due to the popularity of minimalism and natural wooden elements. It is important to note that the cabinets are flat-fronted. Instead of ornately carved wooden cabinets, the design focuses on crisp, clean lines. 

So, how can you bring these nature-inspired tones and elements into your kitchen? Here are the top 12 mid century modern kitchen designs picks.  

1. Long, Open Kitchen Floor Plan 

Long, Open Kitchen Floor Plan 

Via fridaywereinlove.com

The mid century modern kitchen design started the open floor plan concept that combines the kitchen and living areas. It is characterized by long countertops and an island that separates the kitchen from the rest of the house. This floorplan is great for any sized kitchen, and all the countertop space is great for functionality.  

2. Wood Grain Cabinets 

Wood Grain Cabinets 

1959 custom-built home located in Pasadena, California,  design by Annette Vartanian and her husband Alan.

It is one of the most iconic mid century modern kitchen design features. The clean lines and natural feel of the wood connect people to nature. Medium and lighter wood shades with warmer tones are preferred, also black is also sometimes utilized. The cabinets are flat-faced, and the doorknobs are subtle. 

3. White Backsplash

White Backsplash

Via michellelordinteriors.com

Focusing on the simplicity prioritized in the mid century modern kitchen designs, the white backsplash contrasts with the wood grain cabinets for a cleaner finish. It makes the space feel less cluttered and draws attention back to the wooden elements of the room. This look is achieved by painting a brick wall white or applying white marble tiles to the backsplash. 

4. Golden Accents 

Golden Accents 

By @houseofchais on Instagram

Golden accents, such as pendant lights or cabinet doorknobs, complement the natural wood tones and add elegance to an otherwise rustic ambiance. While similar to rustic designs, mid century modern lacks the abundance of décor associated with the rustic vibe. The golden elements also add a subtle shine to the natural feel of the kitchen. 

5. Open Shelving

Open Shelving

Via biggerthanthethreeofus.com

Inspired by the functionality and minimalism of mid century modern kitchen design, open shelving encourages simplicity and organization. Instead of hiding everything behind cabinets, it discourages clutter and excess by placing contents on display. While this does not eliminate all the cabinets in the kitchen, it does add some texture to particular walls. 

6. Oriental Rugs 

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs and runners are a great way to add subtle color and texture to your living spaces without adding décor or other clutter to the walls or countertops for the perfect mid century modern kitchen design. 

7.  Bold Colors 

Bold Colors 

Photo by @sarahh7007, via Atomic Ranch

Add a splash of bright, bold colors to balance the natural elements. Though wood grain cabinets are favored, it is often substituted with a bold color, such as teal, and paired with white marble countertops and a wooden floor. It is possible to achieve the mid century modern kitchen design without forgoing the wood grain cabinets by featuring bright-colored accent furniture, such as yellow island stools. 

8. Brightly Patterned Wallpaper 

Brightly Patterned Wallpaper 

By @melodrama

Brightly colored and patterned wallpaper is another way to add a splash of color to your mid century modern kitchen design. Patterns, such as fruit or geometric shapes, are favored, adding texture to your kitchen’s accent wall. 

9. Pendant Lights 

Pendant Lights 

By gardnerfox.com

Pendant lights are a common trend for mid century modern kitchen designs. These lights are generally spherical or golden to accent and provide focal points to the kitchen. Another popular trend is glass geometric-shaped pendant stain glass lights. The colors in the stained glass are usually muted or earth tones, not the bright colors, which are often associated with stained glass windows. 

10. Greenery  


Tiffany Mueller for Hello Refuge

In addition to the wooded elements, greenery is another way to add texture and color to your mid century modern kitchen design. Jungle-like patterns and plants create a relaxing ambiance and bring the earthy elements to life. House plants are also known to provide peaceful energy to any space they inhabit. So, balancing the busy pace of life in the kitchen with a few delicate plants is a great fit.  

10. Mix and Match

mid century modern redo by kristin petro


It is common to mix and match patterns and colors to create a smooth, more modern feel to the mid century modern kitchen design. Rugs, chairs, cabinets, and lighting add different textures, so mixing a few patterns and colors can create a cohesive presentation. 

12. Streamline the Space 

606A2892 1

Remodel by Buchanan Opalach Architects

As the priority of mid century modern is minimalism, ensure a streamlined effect by keeping the countertops clear by storing appliances in the cabinets. Minimal décor is recommended. The goal is for the room to stand out on its merit, not the stuff inside the room. Another subtle way to streamline the kitchen is to match the color of the appliances. 

Final Thoughts

While the mid century modern kitchen design has been around for many years, there is a new modern element of design to it. Constantly adding new elements to this classic design and the growing popularity of simplicity and functionality in the home ensure that the mid century modern kitchen design will remain trendy and stick around for many more years to come.

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