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Mid Centery Modern Color

by Lino DiSalvo last modified Feb 02, 2013 01:03 PM
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Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Lino DiSalvo at June 14. 2005

Hi all,

just purchased a home in Adam hills area of in the process of picking out colors to use for the interior walls. any advice or suggestions. most of my furniture is '20's - 50's modern with lots of wood, teak, and polished metal.

any help would be appreciated !!


Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by tim failler at June 14. 2005

my 2 cents....

We are presently building a home and also are looking at different color schemes. For some inspiriation and ideas I turned to my collection of dwell magazines (about 15). I had a very difficult time finding anything other than white on the homes featured. It appears most modernists keep their walls white and add colour with art, furniture, etc..

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Adam Burke at June 14. 2005

I've always been pro-color, but as I get ready to remodel my 50s ranch, I'm leaning toward white. White seems to transcend trends. I think the way to keep it interesting is, as Tango mentioned, to use colorful accessories or furniture. I'd also make sure you can break up the white with lots of natural materials like wood and stone. I think this results in a more peaceful environment, and you won’t be second-guessing your colors forever! Of course this is kind of a personality thing, so trust your instincts. You might do some research of your favorite homes and other homes of that era.

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Matthew O. Daby at June 14. 2005

for the time period mid century modern colors, try the Sherwin Williams website. They have some color palletes that may be a good start for you, that is if you looking to go purist mid century/suburban colors.

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Susan McElroy at June 17. 2005

Here's a link to a site I keep in my Mod Faves:
It reminds me of how totally weird mid-century colors were; note that the sellers (the house sold a long time ago, but fortunately they keep these pictures up) point out that it was the architect (Neutra) who chose the colors. IOW, don't blame us!


I used to hate seeing these colors in MCM homes. I guess to our more sophistocated eyes they look kind of gauche, but used carefully they can be kind of nice.

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Hayden at June 17. 2005


Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Susan McElroy at June 17. 2005

:( and aqua with a touch of canary yellow not classy?

As a side note: the downstairs bathroom in our 1950 house has dark blue tile with a yellow tile shower stall; in upstairs bathroom it's pink tile on walls and floor with kind of brownish burgundy tile borders. All original. We did paint the original bright blue, yellow, and green cabinet work in the family room white some years ago. So I shouldn't go back to the original?;)

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Susan McElroy at June 17. 2005's coming back; the house I grew up in...probably built around 1953 or so.

The dining room and kitchen (knotty pine) were offset with dark green walls, contrasting wallpaper with large ivy-like tendrails and purple--were they morning glories? The kitchen counters were a kind of marble-ized aqua/green (but Dad udated that soon after with tres chichi bright red melamine) and the floor was either green or red rubber tile, can't remember which. And pink was BIG, especially for bathrooms.

Living room had medium dark green carpet--can't remember the original wall color.

Makes one wonder if the wider use of color photography helped turn us away from MCM in the end!

Seriously, though, it's a fact that many old photos are in subdued BW, and a lot of preserved homes of that period have been toned down. Still, I'm fascinated by the odd use of color. (and our house was typical and not just of middle class houses)

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by A.S. Patterson at June 18. 2005

Check out the Wilsonart house in Temple Texas.
[url href=]Wilson House[/url]

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Jon Udoff at June 18. 2005

Gregory Ain chose the interior and exterior colors for his Mar Vista tract. The exterior colors and predominant interior colors are fairly muted, but he added some punch with bold accent color choices.

Check out Mar Vista Colors

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Sara R. Sage at June 18. 2005

Break out the remote and watch some Star Trek... T.O.S., of course.

(closet Trekkie)

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Hayden at June 19. 2005
Also, from the Knoll Textiles site...

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Dace Krasts at June 21. 2005

Love the resources people are suggesting here!

It can be hard to find materials in those old colors but they're definitely worth the search. For example, the kitchen tiles behind our stovetop were a special order from Daltile that took a few weeks to get in. The color splash they provide is great though.

Any art going on the walls? The wall paint color choice has a huge effect on how the art will look. Most of our artwork has very vibrant colors. The pieces looked okay on the off-white walls in our previous house. All the art looks much, much better on the walls in our new place because the basic wall color has more pigment. I never would've thought the Shag piece could look brighter/better but the new color it's up against does wonders.

Accent walls have been the easy way we tossed in colors as well. One color was inspired by some 1950s shoes and sweaters I have. When transformed to paint on a wall though, the color just didn't have the impact we were going for. The new color was across the color wheel and was just the answer we were looking for. Both were custom colors from Benjamin Moore.

Re: Mid Centery Modern Color

Posted by Christy Kilgore-Hadley at June 28. 2005

Neenah Paper has a new [url href=]Eames Collection[/url](we got a bunch of samples at the How Design Conference) that may provide some inspiration.

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