13 Design Ideas for a Midcentury Modern Home

Boost your home's architectural appeal with clean lines, wood finishes, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

mid century style home with dark wood exterior
Photo: Ed Gohlich

Midcentury modern design refers to an architectural style characterized by clean lines, large open interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and gently curved walls. It emerged in the late 1940s and saw great popularity for the next two decades, becoming one of the most influential architectural movements to date. The modern simplicity and uncluttered aesthetic made famous by names such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe continue to appeal to homeowners today. Draw inspiration from these midcentury modern homes and incorporate elements of this minimalist style to boost your own home’s design and curb appeal.

01 of 13

Warm Wood Finishes and Clean Lines

painted brick exterior of midcentury-modern home with wood front doors
Anthony Masterson

A set of wooden doors adds warmth to this brick and glass exterior. The clean horizontal lines on the door mimic the painted white brick and are characteristic of midcentury modern home design. Large glass panels around the doors connect the interior with the outdoors, letting in plenty of natural light and breaking up the brick. Two minimalist cylindrical wall sconces flank the doors and modern planters add a pop of greenery to the concrete entry. Curved landscaping adds an organic shape and stark contrast to the clean-lined front doors. 

02 of 13

Bring the Outdoors In

mid century home with backyard pool and white lounge chairs
Philip Harvey

One characteristic of midcentury modern architecture is connecting the indoors with the outdoors, and a good way to achieve that is through large window panels. This ranch-style home has panoramic views of the backyard and pool, bringing elements of water and greenery inside. Rocks and desert plants outline the rectangular pool, and minimalist white pool loungers pop against the beige exterior that incorporates wood, glass, and concrete.

03 of 13

Midcentury A-Frame

mid century home exterior with all glass side
Laura Moss

An A-frame is a triangular-shaped structure with steeply sloped sides; these structures have been a popular cabin choice for decades. Large window panels form a linear pattern on this brown-and-red A-frame cabin. A wall of windows lightens up the dark stain, connects the cabin with its surroundings, provides stunning views, and floods the home with natural light. An A-frame lets you feel like you’re in the great outdoors but from the comfort and coziness of your home.

04 of 13

Midcentury Modern Architecture

mid century home exterior with curved glass front
John Bessler

Curved glass-paneled walls and a flat roof make this stunning home the epitome of midcentury modern design. Sleek black pillars juxtapose the clear glass and white roof. The glass walls bring the tranquility of the backyard inside, while white paneling on the glass doors adds linear detail to balance out the curved structure. Concrete patio stones ground the light and airy home.

05 of 13

Dark Midcentury Exterior

dark mid century home exterior in the fall
Victoria Pearson

Vertical paneling and tall, narrow windows give this home a quintessential midcentury look. A fresh coat of black paint instantly updates the facade, while dormers add height, linear detail, and natural light inside this ranch-style home. A concrete slab in the entry alcove adds an unexpected angle to the front of the home and balances out the dark paint color.

06 of 13

Midcentury Split-Level Home

mid century home curb appeal with walk up entrance
Marta Xochilt Perez

Warm wood accents and horizontal lines add midcentury flair to this split-level home. A slatted wood garage door and front door pop against a bright white exterior. Wooden window boxes add a decorative accent without disrupting the minimalist look and tie in the greenery that surrounds the house. A simple handrail lines the steps to the front door, providing an unobstructed view of the door.

07 of 13

Wood Finishes

mid century style home with dark wood exterior
Ed Gohlich

Wood in various tones and forms mixes with glass paneling and gray concrete to create this modern exterior. Wood paneling and slats add texture and dimension and highlight a flat roof. These straight lines contrast the organic shapes and colors in the front yard, including rustic pavers, round grass patches, and wispy bushes. A large front porch has an open view of the yard and a white slatted sliding door on the second level echoes the exterior.

08 of 13

Midcentury Pool House

mid century style home with pool and covered patio seating
Laura Hull

A flat roof, mixed materials, and floor-to-ceiling window panels make for a stunning midcentury-style pool house. Glass walls allow for views of the in-ground pool and green landscape. Low pool loungers, a stylish umbrella, and an oversized planter add understated decorative touches that complement the streamlined structure.

09 of 13

Midcentury Color Palette

mid century home with fire pit in wooded area
Greg Scheidemann

A brown and rusty orange color palette contrast the tall green trees around this midcentury modern home. The exterior features horizontal brick, concrete, tall window panels, and a slatted angled roof. The large open patio connects to an open-air entryway covered by the roof's overhang.

10 of 13

Modern Color Palette

White house green door dogs
Brie Williams

A bright white midcentury modern exterior is the perfect backdrop for a lime green door. The neutral color palette also stands out against the surrounding greenery. Geometric lines and a sloped roof add height and a warm wood front porch ties in with a low-profile wire fence. The fence creates an open, airy feel and incorporates clean lines that stay true to this architectural style.

11 of 13

Mixed Materials

mid century style home with decorative rock wall accent
Michael Garland

Add interest to your home’s exterior by mixing multiple materials. This front porch features a warm stone accent wall, wood steps and pillars, and a concrete facade. The stone wall adds an organic, nature-inspired feel and the stones’ horizontal arrangement maintains the clean lines emphasized by the flat roof. Wood and stone echo the natural elements in the front yard and provide a neutral backdrop for all the greenery surrounding the house.

12 of 13

Clean Lines

white mid century style home back exterior with pool
John Bessler

Create a seamless flow between the interior and exterior of your home with floor-to-ceiling windows and a minimal color palette. This rectangular in-ground pool feels like an extension of the outdoor seating area. Large gray pavers keep the midcentury-inspired outdoor space clean and bright and straight-cut hedges frame the space while providing privacy.

13 of 13

Exterior Paint Ideas

mid century ranch style home with grey exterior
Edmund Barr

One of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to update your home’s exterior is to paint it. Gray vertical siding gives this ranch-style home a modern feel. A chartreuse front door and window frames nod to the luscious plants in front of the house. A curved red brick path adds warmth and a non-linear element to the midcentury modern home, boosting curb appeal and framing the plants.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles