Mid Century Modern On A Dime: 24 Target Picks For Your Place That Won’t Break The Bank

Mid Century Modern On A Dime: 24 Target Picks For Your Place That Won’t Break The Bank
Yes, you can get the timeless mid century modern look at the same place you get your underwear.
24 Midcentury Modern Picks from Target

When people think about affordable design, Ikea is often the first thing that comes to mind.  You have other options, though!  Target has been incredibly successful with its “design for all” campaign, rolling out numerous designer collaborations (think Nate Berkus and Missoni Home), while continuing to refine internal brands like Threshold.

One of the big trends that Target has done a great job of making accessible is mid century modern design.  The term is broadly used to describe a certain aesthetic used in architecture, furniture, style, and design between the 1940s through 1960s.  The actual phrase “mid century modern” was not coined until the 1980s, though, when mid century modern design began experiencing a revival, and the fervor has not let down.

You know a mid century modern piece when you see it.  Simply put, it’s the Mad Men set.  Below are some interiors featured from the time in House Beautiful magazine.

House Beautiful 1960 issues

But the mid century modern aesthetic remains popular and easily fits in with our modern look and lifestyles, in large part because it is characterized by uncomplicated, clean, sculptural lines.  The furniture in this style is often stripped to the bare essentials and merges form and function.  While the piece is still beautiful, it is not excessive in detail or decoration.  And although a lot of wood is used in mid century modern furniture, new materials like plastic were also being incorporated, creating a fresh contrast between new and old, organic and man-made.  Here are some beautiful modern spaces from Pinterest.

Because mid century modern is still very relevant today, you’ve probably heard some of the big designer names like Eames, Noguchi, Eichler, Saarinen, George Nelson, and Herman Miller.  The quality of these original, reissue, or reproduction items cannot be beat.  But you don’t need to spend the big bucks to get the look.  I’ve curated 24 mid century modern items under $200 from Target.  Below are my quick tips on how and why to use these pieces.  I’d love to hear from you and talk about styling questions you might have!

And bonus if you buy before April 30:  There are a number of deals online and in-stores right now, including the following:  i) save 10% off regular priced items with the code APRIL10; ii) spend $75 and save 15% with the same code; and iii) spend $25 and get free shipping.  Check the Target website for more details.

midcentury modern dining table

Mid Century Modern Dining Table – Brown, $199.99 ($169.99 with 15% off)

It doesn’t get anymore mid century modern than this:  a wood piece with classic, clean lines and tapered legs.  And it’s the perfect size for a small dining area.

paris chairs

Paris Dining Chair Molded Plastic (Set of 2) – Aeon, $129.99 ($110.49 with 15% off)

These are the iconic chairs that go around that dining table.  Inspired by the Eames Dowel-Leg Side Chair, which will set you back around $450 for ONE genuine reproduction chair, this is a steal!  It comes in a  variety of colors.

aeon chair

Dijon Arm Chair with Wood Legs Plastic (Set of 2) – Aeon, $149.99 ($127.49 with 15% off)

These are the same chairs but with armrests.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match them with the Paris Dining Chair – either by style (armrests, no armrests) or color.  You can use this as a side chair in the living room or bedroom.

midcentury modern cabinet

Mid Century Modern Accent Cabinet, $229.99 ($195.49 with 15% off)

Now that you’ve got that dining area set, let’s talk storage.  This handsome, versatile piece can be used as a server (i.e., where you store your plates, bowls, etc. and then lay out dinner on top) or a bar.  You could also use it as a media console in the living room.

midcentury modern bookcase

Mid Century Modern Horizontal Bookcase, $194.99 ($165.74 with 15% off)

Here’s another great piece that can multi-task.  Just because someone calls it a bookcase doesn’t mean you have to use it as a bookcase.  It could be a media console or a sideboard (same idea as a server, but larger).  Showcasing your dining ware and barware is trendy.

barrel chair

Barrel Chair – Threshold, $179.99 ($152.99 with 15% off)

Get comfy the way Don Draper did.  With a modern twist, this armchair will withstand the test of time.  Available in four colors, my picks are the Navy and Roma Sage (shown here).

midcentury modern tufted armchair

Reese Tufted Fabric Retro Chair – Christopher Knight Home, $169.99 ($144.49 with 15% off)

If you want to fully embrace the Mad Men vibe, this chair does it all with the low armrest, angled back, tapered wooden legs, tufted fabric (the way the buttons create a pattern), and orange color.  Like the look, but thrown off by the color?  Not to worry, it comes in a more muted olive-grey, too.

midcentury modern tufted ottoman

Mid Century Modern Ottoman, $99.99 ($84.99 with 15% off)

Put your feet up on this classic ottoman.  Heck grab two and place them around the living room or near the fireplace and use them as stools that take up less space for bigger gatherings!

control brand lille stool

Control Brand Lille Stacking Stool – Walnut, $130.99 ($111.34 with 15% off)

Speaking of stools, this is one of my favorites.  Control Brand is a company that creates mid century inspired furniture.  This streamlined stool is sold elsewhere, but at this moment, Target has the best price.

midcentury modern tufted bench

Mid Century Modern Bench, $149.99 ($127.49 with 15% off)

Benches add a great touch to any room.  Use them in an entryway, a hallway, in the living room, or at the foot of a bed.  This one comes in two neutral colors, a silver-grey (pictured here) and a blue that matches the ottoman featured above.

storage bench

Mid Century Modern Entryway Bench, $229.99 ($195.49 with 15% off)

This bench has the added bonus of storage.  Perfect for putting shoes, grocery bags, or other things out of sight.

midcentury modern desk

Mid Century Modern Desk/Console Table, $169.99 ($144.49 with 15% off)

Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re inspired by the spaces around you.  This sleek table will help you get in the right mindset.

task table lamp

Gold Plated Elevated Task Lamp, $24.99 ($22.49 with 10% off)

Put this time-honored lamp on top of that work table (or side table or nightstand) and you can’t go wrong.

tripod table lamp

Tripod Accent Table Lamp – $24.99 ($22.99 with 10% off)

Table lamps are one of those things that you always need a couple of.  This one has a three- dimensional appeal and comes in different wood colors to match your existing furniture.

cantilever floor lamp

Ebony Cantilever Floor Lamp – Black, $39.99 ($35.99 with 10% off)

Your tables are set on lighting, but you still need floor lamps.  Here’s a basic version that’s a bang for your buck.

crosby floor lamp

Crosby Schoolhouse Floor Lamp – White, $49.99 ($44.99 with 10% off)

Want to take to the next level?  I love this elegant two-toned floor lamp.  It also comes in black.


brass cantilever floor lamp

Cantilever Floor Lamp (Includes CFL bulb) Brass, $49.99 ($44.99 with 10% off)

If you’re ready for to put the pedal to the metal, then this floor lamp fits the bill.  It even comes with a bulb!

midcentury modern side table

Mid Century Modern Side Table, $97.28 ($82.69 after 15% off)

This piece acts as side table for the living room or a night table for the bedroom.  The drawer allows you to put things away for organized living.

midcentury modern nightstand

Mid Century Modern Nightstand, $199.99 ($169.99 after 15% off)

If you need more storage, then this piece has a drawer plus shelf.

midcentury modern planter

Wooden Planter Stand with Pot 8″ – Black, $22.49

Mid century modern design wasn’t just about furniture.  It was an entire aesthetic that shaped decor, too.  This planter embodies the look of the era.  It’s already on sale, and the 12” pot isn’t bad either at $35.99.  So that $5 houseplant that you picked up at Trader Joe's?  It looks like it costs a whole lot more now.

midcentury modern candleholder

Wood Mid-Century Taper Candle Holder – Small, $6.48

When you need to set the mood, candles are perfect.  This candle holder IS mid century modern, plus it’s on clearance.  Grab it and the larger version, which is just $1 more, and turn on those sexy tunes.

midcentury modern owl statue

Privilege Medium Owl, $21.99 

If you're looking to fill a bit of shelf space, this statue does the trick without going overboard.  The miminal lines, giving just enough to suggest this is an owl, is a hallmark of mid century modern decor.  And yeah, that girl you invited over also thinks it's pretty cute.

horse bookends

Go Home Equestrian Bookend Set, $29.99

Read a lot (or just want to look like you do)?  Grab yourself a pair of these stately bookends and amp up that stack of books.  Make a mint julep while you're at it, too.


Wonderful Metal PVC Globe, $28.99

You cannot go wrong with using globes and maps in your place.  They're the perfect conversation starter to talk about where you've been recently or want to go.   Sit back, pour the bourbon, and let the conversation start flowing.

See something you love?  Have another piece you like?  Share it in the comments!

Michelle is an interior stylist, antiques collector, art and music lover, and wannabe painter living in Los Angeles. She likes bourbon and wine, traveling, and is a recovering masochist (i.e., attorney). Check out her website www.thecuratedhive.com and follow her on Instagram: @thecuratedhive and on Pinterest: @thecuratedhive.

  • Ross

    Love it more like this please. Just ordered the side table and chair

    • Michelle Bussarakum

      So glad to hear this, Ross! Let us know how the table and chair turn out. And I’ll definitely be writing more like this, both for Primer and on my own site, so stay tuned!

  • John Bachner

    This website is sooooooo fricken great. You seem to know exactly what style I like from clothing to even furniture. It’s really quite spot on.

    • Michelle Bussarakum

      Thanks, John! If there are other styles you’d like to see, let us know!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Haha! So glad we’re on the same wavelength. 🙂

  • Yo

    Just wanted to point out that the barrel chair and bookend photos need to be updated.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      They’re loading correctly on my end, what are you seeing?

      • Yo

        Fixed on my end now. Some
        of the photos were either duplicates of one another or just not the relevant one.

        • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

          Oh strange! Thanks for letting me know.

  • Drew

    I’m so upset right now that Target pulled out of Canada! Do you have any Canadian-friendly stores that carry similar pieces?

  • TJ

    I’ve been eyeing that nightstand for a while, I’ll probably pull the trigger on it soon. I’ve also been eyeing the dining table but now that I’ve moved into a tiny studio (380 sq ft) I just don’t have the room for it.

  • Jeff

    A little inspiration for a nightstand. This is the Tarva nightstand from Ikea and it runs about $40. Sand it, stain it, grab a solid metal drawer pull and pick up some pipe flanges, nipples, and caps and you’ve got a killer looking addition to the bedroom. This same concept can be applied to the dresser in the Tarva series as well.

    • Michelle Bussarakum

      Nice! Thanks for sharing! I’m actually working on an Ikea hack that I hope to post soon, too. 🙂

  • Christian Naylor

    I graduate and move in 2 weeks.

    I needed this.

    • TJ

      Congratulations! There’s a whole series on this site called “Intentional Apartment”. You should check it out if you haven’t. It certainly helped me design my place.

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      Congrats! TJ’s right that Primer’s series is super helpful. It can be overwhelming to set up a new place, so if you come across any stumbling blocks let us know. I’m going to be starting a section on my blog where you can submit questions, so feel free to do that, too!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew


  • Mike K

    Really like Michelle’s style. I checked out her site (www.thecuratedhive.com) and it’s loaded with more ideas.

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      Mike – Thank you, I really appreciate that! I’m working on a new projects and collaborations, and articles will be posted soon. I love interacting with you all, so if there’s something in particular you’d like to read or know more about, let me know!

  • Michael

    Highly recommend the horizontal bookcase- I use it in my bedroom for books/speakers

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      Thanks for that input!

  • E. Federspiel

    Update: the Paris Dining Chairs are sold out online and not available in stores (well, except for pink, of which as of the time of posting there are two left online). Huge bummer.

  • E. Federspiel

    Also, I ordered two of the tripod table lamps. Love ’em.

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      That’s too bad about the Paris chairs, but maybe you can still grab the Dijon armchairs. Glad you were able to get the tripod lamps!

  • Peter Rivera-Pierola

    Really informative and helpful article—thank you! Would love to see this updated and maintained over time. And thanks for all the deals!

  • Gino

    Hey Michelle! Love the article.

    So I got to clicking and landed at 1stdibs.com as suggested after surfing your site. I found this and want this in my next home, but just a few years out from making enough to purchase…..


    Do you have any knockoff suggestions?

  • Jordan

    This (and pretty much everything else on here) has been incredibly helpful! I get out of the army soon to go back to school and this is a great home décor guide for getting back into civilian life.

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      So glad to hear that! If there’s anything else that’d be helpful to you, please let us know.

  • RorysNYC

    This is a great article! I didn’t know I wanted it, but I do. There goes my faith in democracy… (jokes, folks). Thanks!

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      Haha it’s all brainwashing! 🙂 Glad you like it.

  • bradblackman

    Great post! West Elm is another good place but their prices aren’t as competitive as Target’s. I’d love to see your take on midcentury modern decor. I’m a huge fan of midcentury modern architecture and graphic design. Anything with a Swiss aesthetic does it for me. I’d love to get an “atomic ranch” and restore it.

  • Ken Morley

    Just wanted to give a big thanks to you , Michelle and the staff at Primer. What a Great article, that has given me lots of ideas and direction! Love the modern mid-century and I plan on decorating in that direction.

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      So happy to hear that! If you have any questions, feel free to ask or shoot me an email at [email protected]. 🙂

  • Michael

    Great article and collection. I knew Target had some great stuff, but getting everything together really helps. I ordered the Modern Bench, with a coupon code and my Target Debit card (extra 5% off!) I got it for $123 with free shipping. Definitely going to furnish the new house with this collection for sure!

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      Love a great deal. We’d love to see a picture!

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    been eyeing those side tables for a bit now – the material (mdf w/ veneer) at that price makes me a bit leery, though.

    If anyone has purchased these items, and can attest to their quality, it would be much appreciated (solidness, if they look fake, etc.)

    • Bill Wilson

      You should be able to Google ‘complaints about whatever brand’ you’re considering to get an idea if those are a waste of money.

  • Miguel A. Fonseca

    A little late to the post, but thanks Michelle. Just subscribed to your website’s RSS feed. Loving the content 🙂

  • Jeff

    Here’s the dresser to go along with the nightstand.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Jeff, that turned out awesome! Love how the handles look on that stain.

    • http://www.thecuratedhive.com Michelle Bussarakum

      That looks great! Love your plant and the valet box, too.

  • Adam Menchaca

    I know its been a while since you posted this and I do love it but I would appreciate a followup focused on bedrooms. I am looking for some bedroom inspiration mostly focused on beds, dressers lamps, rugs art and nightstands. Thank you!

  • Zovesta

    I think we have different definitions of “affordable”. 😉