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Mid-century modern homes aim to create practical spaces with a connection to the surrounding natural environment by removing barriers between the indoors and outdoors – take a look at the key characteristics of this stylish, minimal look.

The exterior look

The mid-century look starts with the exterior, its hallmarks being boxy, angular shapes and clean, linear lines, with either a flat or shallow pitched roof as a defining feature. A juxtaposition of traditional and non-traditional materials creates texture and contrast, with timber often used as an accent to add warmth and a natural element alongside concrete, glass and other materials.

With an emphasis on bright, airy spaces, mid-century modern homes are rarely without large picture windows to maximise light year-round. These stationary, non-opening windows are energy-efficient and are ideal for making the most of a nice view, with their fuss-free design and often metal or aluminium framing creating a streamlined border that doesn’t distract.

The interior look

Mid-century modern design typically features single level open-plan living, often with split level or sunken areas. Floor plans are designed with an organic flow, as multipurpose spaces blend seamlessly into one another. To encourage a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, central courtyards filled with plants are a popular feature.

Much like the exterior, furnishings are all about pared back, organic style with natural accents. Mid-century modern homes combine fuss-free furniture with streamlined cabinetry, adding personalised touches with statement lighting and graphic textiles.

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Getting the look

If you’re planning a renovation for your home, consider mid-century modern as a classic yet contemporary look that will enhance an outdoor lifestyle. It all starts with the exterior – to achieve the long, horizontal lines typical of mid-century modern homes, try using Stria™ Cladding 325mm or opt for a more modernist stance with the long horizontal line of Axon™ Cladding 133mm.

It is worth taking some time to consider how you can maximise the light in your home year-round at the very start of your mid-century modern build or renovation. Large picture windows are a great option, particularly if you have views to a green space or garden.

If you want your home to be laidback and low-maintenance with a seamless indoor/outdoor connection, mid-century modern might be ideal for your lifestyle. Now that you understand the hallmarks of this look, you can work with your builder or architect to create the exact design that's right for you.

Built for Lifestyle

With its clean lines and sunny, light-filled spaces, it is easy to see why the mid-century look has endured. An emphasis on seamless indoor/outdoor living makes mid-century style perfectly suited to the Australian lifestyle. Synonymous with Palm Springs, the look was prevalent throughout California due to the state's temperate climate.

This versatile style suits any environment, whether your home is in the countryside, on the coast or a suburban street, and will stand the test of time when the right materials are chosen.

Did you know? Just as the name implies, the mid-century modern style of architecture rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s, post-World War II. While North America led the world in the mid-century modern movement, some of the best modernist homes were built in Australia by architects including Robin Boyd and Harry Seidler.

Whether you're renovating your home building from scratch, this 'function over fussiness' approach to design is just as stylish and liveable now as it was 60 years ago thanks to its clean lines and relaxed, open-plan spaces.


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