Mid-century modern furniture: 11 best buys for a stylish home

Mid-century modern furniture is that cool stuff we all adored on Mad Men. Want to get in on the look? These are the best buys you'll find (without traipsing around antiques' markets)

Mid-century modern furniture
(Image credit: Habitat )

The best Mid-century modern furniture is beautiful for its simplicity. Sleek lines, pared back colours and simple textures are how it all began, but we're now seeing the classic shapes being given a modern, colourful twist. We call it Mid-century modern. 

If you're up for a little bit of history, the style was formed between the 1930s and 1960s (as the name suggests). The end of the war brought changing economies, technological advances and a demand for modern, well-designed furniture for the masses, and so with functionality at its heart and a nod to organic shapes and clean lines, the Mid-century style was born. And we, as a nation, have never looked back. 

From the broad range of Mid-century style furniture out there, we've compiled an edit of the absolute best online, so you can embrace the style with confidence (and ease). From armchairs to beds, dining tables to desks, we've gathered the best of each staple piece of furniture, so if there's just one Mid-century-inspired piece you're going to invest in, it should really be one of these....

John Lewis & Partners Hendricks Accent Chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

1. John Lewis & Partners Hendricks Accent Chair

Best Mid-century modern style armchair

Specifications

Dimensions: H76.5cm x W73cm x D82cm
Upholstery: choice of materials
Filling: foam and fibre
Self assembly: no
Colours: marmalade (shown) plus 134 others

Reasons to buy

+
Hundreds of colour options
+
Classic design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Delivery times can be lengthy 

Perfect for creating a cosy reading nook and turning an empty corner into a focal point, this chair from John Lewis ticks all our Mid-century modern furniture style boxes. The angular solid oak frame is also available is pale wood, for a brighter, more contemporary look. We love how they've given the simple design a modern twist by layering patterned cushions for extra cosiness. 

Best coffee table you can buy: MADE Flippa coffee table, dark wood with sub-surface storage and black legs

2. Made Flippa Functional Coffee Table with Storage

Best Mid-century modern coffee table

Specifications

Best for: Versatility
Size: H39cm x W120cm x D70cm
Material: Walnut veneer, steel
Storage: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
 Extending parts 
+
 Solid and sturdy 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Very big 

If you don’t have a dining table in your home, then you may find the Flippa Functional coffee table (opens in new tab) by Made to be a useful addition to your living space. It is huge, and the two top sections lift to create a taller surface, so whether you're having dinner or tea and cake, it's an ideal choice. Plus it has tonnes of storage, keeping your living area tidy, too. 

Find more Made coffee tables (opens in new tab)

West Elm bar cart

(Image credit: John Lewis)

3. West Elm Mid-century bar cart

Best Mid-century style bar cart

Specifications

Best for: Stylish storage
Dimensions: W101cm x H138cm x D55cm
Material: Eucalyptus wood

Reasons to buy

+
 Suitable for the bedroom or living room
+
 Ample storage

Reasons to avoid

-
 

This staple piece is timeless, and will sit back in your scheme no matter how many times you redecorate.  The walnut finish, rounded legs and brass details definitely make this West Elm bar cart (opens in new tab) a Mid-century inspired party-ready masterpiece. Simply fill it with cut crystal glasses and your favourite drinks' bottles to complete the look. It also have two wheels, meaning it's easy to move around your space and mix up your layout as required.

Find more Mid-century modern bar carts in our buyer's guide.

Habitat sofa bed in orange

(Image credit: Habitat )

4. Habitat Kota sofa

Best Mid-century sofa bed

Specifications

Dimensions: H90 x W189 x D102cm
Upholstery: 65% polyester 35% linen
Filling: : foam and fibre
Self assembly: legs only
Colours: orange (shown), charcoal, black and white (grey), teal

Reasons to buy

+
Eye-catching design
+
Nice price

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for trad homes

This stylish three-seater sofa has a simple click-clack mechanism, so you can lay the back flat to create a comfortable bed for guests in seconds. Just what we need when a friend needs to stay over at the last minute! We're loving the button back design, while the slim pale wood legs and gorgeous orange colour maintain its modern feel. Whether you're looking to maximise space in a small living room, or you want to make your spare bedroom a useful area even when you haven't got guests, this design is our sofa bed winner for both functionality and style. 

wooden extendable dining table from john lewis & partners

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

5. John Lewis & Partners Duhrer Extending Dining Table

Best Mid-Century dining table

Specifications

Best for: Round shape
Material: Solid oak, oak veneers and painted oak
Seats: up to 6
Size: H75cm x W120-160cm x D120cm

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous, round design perfect for smaller spaces
+
Beautiful wood finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most streamlined design

This solid oak dining table from John Lewis seats four and can easily fold out to seat six, making it perfect for entertaining. The unique pattern of the wood grain on the table top gives a simple design an unusual twist and the contrasting colour of the legs adds interest. This table is perfect for a Mid-century inspired open-plan kitchen-diner, allowing you to extend or fold away as necessary. 

You can also complete the look with matching dining chairs (opens in new tab), also from the Duhrer range. 

West Elm Penelope Bedside Table

6. West Elm Penelope Bedside Table

Best bedside table for Mid-century style

Specifications

Best for: Vintage-inspired
Dimensions: H60cm x W46cm x D46cm
Material: Eucalyptus wood, acacia, marble
Number of drawers: One

Reasons to buy

+
 Amazing retro style 
+
 Unusual circular shape 

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be more storage 

There's a ton of Mid-century modern inspired bedside tables out there, but what makes this one special is the solid marble table top. The sleek and angular Mid-century inspired lines, combined with the elegance of marble, is a sure winner. The varying nature of real marble will ensure each piece has a unique vein pattern and its reflective nature will bounce light around your bedroom, making it feel bigger. 

7. Celine Desk by Nazanin Kamali

Best Mid-century style desk

Specifications

Best for: Unique style
Size: H75cm x W110cm x D55cm
Material: Solid walnut, veneered carcass
Colour: Walnut or oak

Reasons to buy

+
 Made from solid wood 
+
 Fairly compact in size  

Reasons to avoid

-
 Lacks significant storage space 

With more and more of us working from home, it's all the more important that we have a practical desk space where we can escape and concentrate. But, of course, there's no need to compromise on style. This Mid-century modern design is minimal and sleek, the paler wood offering a more contemporary twist to classic Mid-century style as we know it. We love the secret storage – the white front is actually a drawer, and the open shelf is the perfect hideaway for stowing away your laptop. 

Best yellow sofa: Kant sofa by maison du monde

(Image credit: Maison Du Monde)

8. Maisons du Monde Kant sofa

Best Mid-century sofa

Specifications

Best for: Clean lines yet cosy
Dimensions: H86 x W165 x D95cm
Upholstery: velvet
Filling: foam (structure and armrest padding), foam, fibre and feathers (seat cushions)
Self assembly: yes
Colours: mustard yellow (shown), burgundy, grey, midnight blue

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous yellow shade
+
Retro-inspired shape

Reasons to avoid

-
The opposite of understated

Tapping into that Mid-century modern vibe, this colourful statement sofa is the perfect blend of simple, functional lines and a contemporary pop of colour. We love this bright sunshine shade that's sure to brighten even the darkest and coldest of nights. With the added benefit of luxurious velvet upholstery that's super soft and brings a touch of elegance too, it's easy to see why this design comes out on top. 

Mid century Ercol sofa and in pale wood with blue cushions


(Image credit: Ercol)

9. Ercol Marino large sofa

Best classic Ercol design

Specifications

Best for: Ergonomic design
Dimensions: H86cm x W215cm x D55cm

Reasons to buy

+
Maximising a small space
+
Classic shape

Reasons to avoid

-
Arm rests may not be the most comfortable

Can you get more of an iconic shape than this one? The pale wood and the teal upholstery create an instant calming space, and the simple open-armed design will make a small space seem bigger. While it may seem like an expensive purchase, an Ercol piece really is an investment, so if you're looking to move away from that 'fast fashion' mindset, a classic and timeless sofa like this is a great way to go. 

Solid oak bed frame with spindled headboard

10. Ercol Teramo Bed Frame

Best Mid-century style bed

Specifications

Best for: Quality
Dimensions: H110cm x W150cm x D204cm
Material: Solid pale oak
Built in headboard: Yes
Colour: Oak

Reasons to buy

+
 Shaped spindle detailing 
+
 Matched grain and colour 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Spindle headboard rather than slats may not be as comfortable 

While it’s easy for a wooden bed frame to adopt a straight laced, regimented appearance, this number from Ercol has been given plenty of character and charm to make it a great addition to any bedroom. Made from quality light oak with matching grains and textures, this bed emanates quality and superior design. Part of the charm is its shapely spindle headboard, creating that angular, Mid-century feel. 

Best single bed for contemporary spaces: MADE Essentials Kano

(Image credit: MADE)

11. MADE Essentials Kano

Best Mid-century style single bed

Specifications

Best for: Small contemporary spaces
Dimensions: W110cm x H24.4cm x D210cm
Material: Wood
Colour: Pine

Reasons to buy

+
 Sleek, sturdy and durable wooden frame 
+
 Under-bed storage potential

Reasons to avoid

-
 No headboard

Keeping things simple and sweet is always a good way to go, especially in the room in the home that's most susceptible to chaos – the kids' bedrooms. This pared back, headboard free design is an ideal base for a fuss-free sleep set-up. We don't think this stunning design should be reserved for the kids however, so if you've got a smaller room or solo sleepers, this minimal bedframe will maximise space while looking stylish. 

Browse more single beds at Made.com (opens in new tab)

Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith

After joining Real Homes as content producer in 2016, Amelia has taken on several different roles and is now content editor. She specializes in style and decorating features and loves nothing more than finding the most beautiful new furniture, fabrics and accessories and sharing them with our readers. As a newbie London renter, Amelia’s loving exploring the big city and mooching around vintage markets to kit out her new home. 

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