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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
This bench has the added bonus of storage. Perfect for putting shoes, grocery bags, or other things out of sight.
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.
Put this time-honored lamp on top of that work table (or side table or nightstand) and you can’t go wrong.
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.
Your tables are set on lighting, but you still need floor lamps. Here’s a basic version that’s a bang for your buck.
Want to take to the next level? I love this elegant two-toned floor lamp. It also comes in black.
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!
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.
If you need more storage, then this piece has a drawer plus shelf.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.