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Both Mid-Century Modern and Southwestern style furniture and décor possess iconic design aesthetics. Happily, when combined, these dissimilar styles can enable even more striking visual effects.

These two design styles are architectural first cousins. Both embrace nature, utilize open floor plans, and feature large expanses of glass. They reject formality in favor of a relaxed and casual approach to layout and flow. Both make extensive use of natural elements, with Mid-Century Modern homes utilizing wood, stone, and brick. Southwestern homes are generally stucco, with a Spanish influence seen in clay tile flooring and roofs.

Furniture that suits both styles of architecture is simple in design and largely devoid of ornamentation, with an emphasis on functionality. In fact, furniture provides the best opportunity to blend the two styles. For Mid-Mod aficionados, steel or chrome Le Corbusier lounges, Wassily armchairs, and molded plywood Eames chairs and ottomans are all available upholstered in cowhide.

Cowhide rugs suit the interior design of either architectural space, and for those who appreciate the look of the fully natural but have qualms about genuine animal hides, beautiful and completely convincing faux materials are readily available.

Eames, Wassily, Le Corbusier MCM Southwestern Print ChairsWhen Southwestern furniture takes the lead, the look features a simple design, and the support structures are exclusively wood. The most sophisticated looks celebrate sturdy ruggedness – while also making an elegant and utilitarian statement, yet never crossing the line into “rustic.”

A classic Tucson armchair, for example, pairs beautifully with a low, sleek Dunbar sofa. Coffee tables made from a single slab cut diagonally from a tree, with their dramatically irregular and organic shapes, are common in Southwestern interiors. However, they also complement the stark simplicity of Mid-Century upholstered furniture while demonstrating a respect for nature.

Other commonalities, when carefully considered, allow other crucial details to work for both design schemes.

For example, patterns and textiles. Southwestern style includes patterns inspired by Native American, Mexican, or desert motifs. These patterns can be combined into Mid-Century design with Navajo rugs or tribal prints to add warmth and cultural richness.

Mid-Century Modern embraces minimalistic accessories and iconic, era-specific pieces. Southwestern features pottery, ceramics, and traditional crafts, often with cultural significance. Fortunately, these art pieces blend perfectly in a Mid-Century interior with Mid-Mods’ emphasis on simplicity, nature, and functionality.

When combining these iconic design aesthetics, the trick is to find a balance that respects the core elements of each style while creating a cohesive and inviting space. There are rich opportunities to experiment with the integration of colors, materials, and patterns to achieve a uniquely harmonious blend.

The fusion of Mid-Century Modern and Southwestern design creates a captivating aesthetic that seamlessly merges fundamental concepts like open floor plans, a connection to nature, and a rejection of formality. Embrace the art of balance, and let the synergy of Mid-Century Modern and Southwestern design redefine your own contemporary living spaces!

Buying, selling, renovating, or decorating your own mid-century modern gem? Connect with Kansas City’s mid-century modern expert, Ashley Kendrick! Put Ashley’s expertise in real estate and design to work for you! Click here to send her a message online!