Mid-Century Homes Still on Trend for 2020

Are mid-century modern homes still on trend for 2020? The short answer is YES! Mid-century architecture isn’t a trend; it is here to stay.

What to Know About Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Also known as Mid Mod or MCM, this architecture is one that evokes a feeling of openness, simple lines, and one with nature. Built from the 1940s to 1960s, mid-century modern homes are just as popular now as they were then. Standing the test of time, if you’re lucky enough to own a mid-century home, it’s time to do it up and really capture the feeling of the architecture!

Don’t assume that all modern homes fit into one box. Mid-century modern architecture focuses on form and function. With lots of glass and natural elements, it’s truly bringing nature inside, encouraging indoor-outdoor spaces. These homes offer a larger sprawling floor plan with the open concept rooms and living areas. Coming off the Colonial Revival Movement, where homes were more compartmentalized, open concept was a nice change. 

How Are Mid-Century Modern Homes Different From Contemporary Homes?

Contemporary also has clean lines and large windows; however contemporary means here and now or in the future. Contemporary designs are evolving from one time period to another. Usually a contemporary home has a neutral color palette and also focuses on minimalism in design. You may see materials like chrome, nickel, and steel combined with natural materials.

contemporary design

Mid-century modern, on the other hand, refers to a specific time period from the 1940s to 1960s and even edging into the ’70s. The architecture uses earthy paint colors and natural materials like wood, leather, and stone to bring the home to life. The streamlined silhouette and windows add to the simplistic look.

mid-century modern
before and after of a mid-century modern home given an new color palette and updated exterior design

What Architectural Elements are Popular on Mid-Century Homes?

#1 // Nature. Nature. Nature.

Open concept rooms have multiple views of your outdoor space. Mid-century homes use rocks and trees as a beautiful backdrop. Some have a more simplistic landscape and are built into a hill, making the roofline appear even lower. 

Mid-century modern home with beautiful landscaping

#2 // Low Slung Roofline

In a mid-century modern home, the roof is key. The geometric lines of the house and roof appear flat or low slung. There may be a slight angle sometimes held up with slim columns but generally the roof is fairly flat. 


Virtual exterior design of a midcentury modern ranch

#3 // Open Large Windows

Open expansive windows are a staple in a mid-century home. Wanting to bring the outside- in, large windows, sliding doors, and minimal trim pieces to hold them in place is a great way to make this happen.

large fire pit and stone patio with charcoal house and large wood deck

#4 // Boxy Appearance

Many mid-century homes have a boxy appearance to allow for more usable living space. You don’t see bay windows on a mid-century home. From what I’ve learned, after WWII ended, soldiers came home and needed a place to live. These homes were relatively easy and quick to build. 

#5 // Overhanging Eaves with Exposed Rafter Tails

Rafters are the heavy wood pieces that frame your roof. The roof is designed to hide the rafters; however, on mid-century homes many times the bottom of the rafter is made to extend past the walls, like a “tail.” This leaves them exposed as a unique decorative piece.

rafter tails and eaves

4 Other Design Elements to Take Note of in a Mid-Century Home
  • Many times you won’t see a straight concrete walkway to your home’s entrance. Look above at the rock and staggered concrete to greet guests.
  • Landscape is fairly simple and many times pebbles and green are used in place of mulch and large flowers.
  • Columns on mid-century and contemporary homes don’t follow the rule! They are smaller and don’t appear to hold up the large overhang.
  • Lighting can be tricky because of all the windows. We often recommend opting for a hanging globe or simple cylinder light.
One Complaint of a Mid-Century Modern Homeowner

The biggest enemy of a modern house is maintenance. Wood expands and contracts, which needs to be maintained, stained, and oiled. The flat rooflines may cause leaking inside (below) because the drainage isn’t as good as a steep pitched roof. Importantly, roofs need to be free of leaves and debris before they find a permanent home on your structure. 

rot under midcentury roofline eave

Overall, at brick&batten we absolutely love mid-century modern homes…. Is the style a trend? No way! Mid-century is what is. Forget the trend, that’s always in style. 

There are mid-century gems all over. If you’re lucky enough to find one, hold on to it and create a place to call home! Whether you’re in a glass boxy design or a post and beam stunner, the mid-century style isn’t going anywhere. 

Do you own a mid-century modern home that’s in need of a refresh? We’d love to partner with you on a virtual exterior design to help you see your home’s full potential. Get started today.