The Ultimate Guide to Mid-Century Modern Exterior and Interior Paint Colors

Choosing the right paint colors for your mid-century modern home is a crucial step in achieving the perfect aesthetic.

Mid-century modern design, characterized by clean lines, organic shapes, and a connection to nature, requires a thoughtful approach to color selection.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the world of exterior and interior paint colors to create a cohesive and stylish mid-century modern home.

Understanding Mid-Century Modern Exterior House Design

A paint roller in the color blue

The mid-century modern design emerged in the mid-20th century and has remained a popular architectural and interior design style ever since. Its key features include:

  • Clean Lines: Simple, uncluttered lines define the architecture and furniture.
  • Organic Shapes: Inspired by nature, the design incorporates organic and fluid shapes.
  • Integration with Nature: Large windows and open floor plans connect the indoors with the outdoors.
  • Functionality: Emphasis on practicality and simplicity in design.

Choosing Mid-Century Modern Exterior Paint Colors

A retro and mid-century decorated home

Your home’s exterior paint color is the first thing people notice and sets the tone for the overall design. Here are some tips and ideas for selecting the perfect mid-century modern exterior paint colors.

Light or Dark Exterior

Deciding whether to go with a light or dark exterior is the first step. Consider the climate and surroundings of your home:

  • Light Exterior: This style is perfect for sunny climates like Palm Springs, CA. Bright white or light colors reflect sunlight, keeping the home cool and creating a vibrant contrast with the lush landscape.
  • Dark Exterior: This style is ideal for cooler climates where darker colors add warmth and depth. Deep browns, grays, and greens blend well with natural surroundings and look stunning year-round.

Consider Fixed Elements

Your home’s fixed elements, such as the roof, brick, stone, wood accents, soffits, and eaves troughs, play a significant role in determining the exterior paint colors. Here’s how to work with these elements:

  • Roof: Brown-toned roofs with red undertones limit your color choices to neutrals. Blue or green undertones offer more flexibility. Black and gray roofs provide the greatest freedom in selecting body colors.
  • Brick and Stone: Complement the undertones of your brick or stone. Red/brown bricks work with taupes and deep browns, while gray bricks allow for blues, greens, and neutrals. Painted brick can either blend with the body color or stand out as a trim.

Selecting Exterior Colors

Choose three exterior paint colors for a balanced and cohesive look:

  1. Body Color: The most dominant color determines the overall appearance. Light, mid-tone, or dark colors all have their unique charm.
  2. Trim Color: Provides contrast or harmony with the body color. High contrast (e.g., white trim on a dark body) creates a striking look, while low contrast offers a more subdued elegance.
  3. Accent Color: Adds personality and is usually reserved for the front door or decorative elements. Bold, vibrant colors are often used to make a statement, especially if you’re looking for garage-paint inspo.

Popular Mid-Century Modern Exterior Paint Combinations

Different buckets of paint

Now that you’re more than familiar with mid-century paint colors, let’s see how you can combine them.

White and Wood Accents

  • Description: Clean, crisp white walls paired with natural wood accents.
  • Examples: White siding with teak or walnut trim and doors.
  • Best For: Sunny climates and minimalist designs.

Deep Gray and Warm Wood

  • Description: Sophisticated gray with warm wood tones creates a cozy and modern feel.
  • Examples: Charcoal gray siding with cedar trim and doors.
  • Best For: Cooler climates and homes with natural surroundings.

Bold Blue and Bright White

  • Description: High-contrast combination that stands out.
  • Examples: Navy blue siding with white trim and a bright front door.
  • Best For: Creating a dramatic and stylish look.

Olive Green and Neutral Trim

  • Description: Earthy green tones with neutral trims for a natural look.
  • Examples: Olive green siding with taupe trim and beige accents.
  • Best For: Homes surrounded by greenery and natural landscapes.

Sounds interesting? Get in touch with us, and let’s discuss the perfect mix.

Testing Exterior Paint Colors

Sampling and testing paint colors is essential to see how they look in different lighting conditions. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sample Boards: Paint sample boards and place them on various exterior walls.
  • Observe Throughout the Day: Check the colors at different times (morning, noon, evening) to see how they change.
  • Consider Distance: Step back and view the colors from a distance to get the full effect.

Mid-Century Modern Interior Paint Colors

The interior paint colors you choose can transform your living spaces, making them stylish and inviting. Mid-century modern interiors often feature a mix of neutrals and bold accents to create a harmonious and dynamic environment.

Creating a Cohesive Interior Palette

A cohesive color palette ensures that all rooms flow together seamlessly.

Here’s how to achieve it:

  • Base Colors: Start with neutral base colors like white, gray, beige, or taupe.
  • Accent Colors: Add bold accent colors through furniture, decor, and feature walls.
  • Natural Elements: Incorporate natural materials like wood, stone, and plants.

Popular Mid-Century Modern Interior Color Combinations

So that’s that for exterior paint, but what about mid-century interior paint? No worries, we got you covered!

White and Wood Tones

  • Description: Timeless and neutral base highlighting the beauty of natural wood.
  • Examples: White walls with teak or walnut furniture and white cabinetry with wooden countertops.
  • Best For: Living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.

Gray and Warm Browns

  • Description: Adds depth and sophistication to your interior.
  • Examples: Soft gray walls with brown leather sofas and gray tiles with wooden vanities.
  • Best For: Living rooms, bathrooms, and dining rooms.

Black and White

  • Description: Classic and modern high-contrast palette.
  • Examples: Black accent walls with white furniture, black cabinetry with white countertops.
  • Best For: Living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.

Blue and Orange

  • Description: Vibrant and playful retro feel.
  • Examples: Navy blue walls with orange accent chairs and light blue walls with orange dining chairs.
  • Best For: Living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Looking for the perfect color blend? We have some ideas you’d like. Contact us now, and let’s discuss the perfect match.

Tips for Selecting Interior Paint Colors

Two people painting the house

Selecting the perfect interior paint colors for your mid-century modern home requires a balance of aesthetics, functionality, and personal style. Here are some detailed tips to guide you through this process:

Start with Neutrals

Neutrals form the foundation of mid-century modern interiors, providing a versatile and timeless backdrop. Here’s how to effectively use neutral colors:

Opt for various shades of white to create a bright and airy feel. Pure white can be stark, so consider warmer whites with slight undertones of beige or gray to add warmth and depth. White walls work beautifully with natural wood furniture and bold accent colors.

Gray is a sophisticated choice that adds modernity to any space. Light grays can make a room feel more open and airy, while darker grays can add drama and elegance. Combine gray walls with brightly colored furniture and decor for a balanced look.

Bold Accents

Bold colors add character and personality to your space. Use them strategically to make a statement without overwhelming the room:

Paint one wall in a room a bold color, creating a focal point that draws the eye. This technique works well in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining areas. Popular bold colors for mid-century modern interiors include mustard yellow, teal, and burnt orange.

Introduce bold colors through statement furniture pieces. A brightly colored sofa or a set of vibrant dining chairs can serve as the centerpiece of a room. Ensure that these bold pieces complement the overall color scheme.

Natural Elements

Integrating natural elements into your interior design is a hallmark of mid-century modern style. These elements add texture, warmth, and a connection to the outdoors:

Use wood in furniture, flooring, and decorative accents. Different types of wood, from light oak to dark walnut, can be used to create contrast and interest. Wood paneling on walls can also add a mid-century feel to your home.

Incorporate stone elements like fireplaces, countertops, and accent walls. Natural stone adds a rugged texture and a sense of permanence. Marble, slate, and granite are popular choices that complement mid-century modern aesthetics.

Naturale is the new black, and we’re always keeping up with trends. Reach out now to discuss the perfect interior design for your mid-century modern home.

Embrace Mid-Century Color Schemes

Mid-century modern interiors often feature specific color palettes that evoke the era. Here’s how to embrace these classic schemes:

Colors like olive green, burnt orange, mustard yellow, and brown were popular in mid-century design. Use these hues to create a retro feel in your home. Soft pastels like mint green, baby blue, and pink can add a playful and light-hearted touch. These colors work well in smaller doses, such as in accessories or accent walls.

Harmonize with Existing Elements

Consider the existing elements in your home when choosing interior paint colors:

Take into account the color of fixed finishes like flooring, countertops, and cabinetry. Your wall colors should complement these elements to create a cohesive look.

 Natural and artificial lighting can significantly affect how colors appear. Test paint samples in different lighting conditions to see how they change throughout the day.

Personalize Your Space

Your home should reflect your personal taste and style. Here are some ways to personalize your mid-century modern interior:

Consider the psychological effects of colors. For instance, blue is calming and perfect for bedrooms, while yellow is energizing and works well in kitchens and workspaces. Use your favorite colors in artwork, cushions, rugs, and curtains. These items can be changed seasonally or whenever you want to refresh your space.

If you enjoy DIY, consider painting your own artwork or upcycling furniture with bold colors to add a unique touch to your home.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right paint colors for your mid-century modern home can transform your space and enhance its beauty and functionality.  Only by carefully selecting your color palette and considering fixed elements, lighting, and decor can you create a cohesive and stylish look that celebrates the timeless charm of mid-century modern architecture.

Oh, and remember to sample and test colors before making a final decision, and don’t be afraid to use bold accents to add personality and flair to your space.There’s one more thing, though. Call us now, and let’s discuss your design ideas!

Contact us to schedule your consultation!

Contact Us Today