Mid century modern living room decor: Vintage home fashion with bold 60s style

Open-plan midcentury modern living room decor and furniture (1962)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.


Television & the mid century modern living room

The space we think of today as a “living room” is one that has evolved over time. It’s been called by a variety of names over the years — parlor, sitting room and family room, for example — but it’s always generally been considered a gathering place for socializing and relaxation.

As a parlor in prosperous households, this room was primarily used for entertaining guests, and was a dedicated formal space. Other gathering spaces in the home (drawing room, sitting rooms, smoking rooms and the like) were similarly specialized.

In smaller and more modest homes, a cozy living room right inside the front door would simply serve as a combined place for the family to gather and perhaps entertain. But — starting in the 1950s — the mid century modern living room changed the game.

As American households adopted both television sets and more open-concept floor plans en masse during this era, casual comfortable living/family rooms with inviting and comfortable furniture became ubiquitous (and have mostly stayed that way!).

Below we have dozens of examples of mid century modern living room decor from the 1960s — check them out!

The living room is for living (1967)

Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, New York) January 8, 1967

If there is one single trend that persists in the home furnishings picture of the ’60s, it’s the unabated emphasis on having room decor which clearly establishes it as a room for living.

What a welcome about-face from other days when a living room was strait-jacketed into a formal parlor to be kept dark and generally unused until company came!

Nowadays, in even the most formidably formal homes, the living room usually reflects the home’s occupants and their day-to-day activities.

Big vintage 60s living room with high wood ceiling and stone fireplace (1960)

Prime factor in the development of this casualness is the realization that the rules of decorating are not inflexible. Antiques are no longer found only in period settings: in-stead they mix amicably with contemporary furniture and fabrics.

China collections are not necessarily housed only in cabinets: in today’s decor, they can become wall ornaments or can be massed casually on a tabletop; paintings are used in unexpected places, including even the kitchen.

A widely dissimilar collection of art objects — paintings, clocks, choice furniture and sculpture — was even displayed in a one-wall “gallery” created in a model living room here, this wall becoming the traditional “focal point” of the room.

FURNITURE itself is different, with comfort superseding most previous limitations of period purity. Even in furniture arrangement, there is evidence that rooms are for living: static, stiff placements have given way to groupings which permit the relaxed flow of conversation.

Midcentury modern style living room (1960)

Another contributing factor in creating a casual, lived-in look is the fact that pieces of furniture and accessories once regarded as too informal for the living room have happily been accepted — as long as the piece contributes to comfort.

For example, decorator Michael Taylor in a formal Louis XV living room — with Venetian over-mantel and crystal chandelier prominent in the room’s decor — flanked the period fireplace with a pair of 1930-type chaise longues, piled high with pillows for reclining.

Green living room sofas from 1961

MANUFACTURERS, too, have contributed to the development of informality in the living room. Ottomans now appear in many sizes and shapes, from round to mush-room, making living room furnishings that encourage relaxed lounging unheard of in less casual days.

The ottomans, this century’s “footstools,” are the accepted accompaniment for many chairs, some even formal in styling.

The armoire, used in 17th and 18th Century bedrooms as a closet for clothes, now graces living rooms as chests or bookcases.

An adaptation of the early American dry sink, used by colonials for their ablutions, may be converted into a music center, with doors hiding speakers, amplifiers and turn-table.

And there is the manufacturer who has made a combination lamp table and checkerboard to add a real note of informality to the living room. The lamp itself, on a metal arm, is curved to shed light on the table without interfering with the game.

Super over the top retro living room decor from 1966 OTT

1960s living room decor - Pink brick fireplace and plain floors (1962)

Casual decor in a vintage '60s living room

Red retro living room style

Formal vintage 60s living room with deep red carpet and furniture (1969)

Semi-formal 60s living room furniture

Color in your living room

by Lynn Elson – Ada Evening News (Ada, Oklahoma) October 14, 1966

Fashions in color change every year on the home decorating scene, but personal tastes remain constant.

Psychologists tell us color preferences are related to personality traits. Outgoing people are likely to be drawn to bright, warm colors and strong contrasts. Introverted types usually go for cooler, quieter colors in monochromatic schemes.

Individuals respond to color fashions in their own terms. For example, when the trend is to bright colors like tangerine, some people will carpet the floor or paint two walls in the popular color. Others will use it only in small accents.

Yellow mid century modern living room decor from the 1960s

Bright yellow sofas in vintage 1960s living room decor (1966)

Big yellow vintage sofa with matching easy chair (1969)

Blue vintage living room home decor from the ’60s

1960s living room decor with a bright blue sofa (1968)

Blue trellis-clad walls give this living room decor some texture

Blue 1960s living room decor

Super-tall ceilings with exposed natural wood in this showplace 60s living room

Super high vintage living room ceilings with a view - 60s home decor (1962)

Mid century modern living room decor in neutral shades and natural stone

Vintage 60s living room with huge stone fireplace (1960)

Stone fireplace in a vintage 60s living room with a natural setting

Open-plan midcentury modern living room decor and furniture (1962)

Vintage living room decorating in red with black and white

Two kids playing on wall-to-wall carpeted living room (1960)

Vintage 1960s living room decor with striped yellow furnishings and tall ceilings

Classic home style in a sixties living room with red wall-to-wall carpet

Dark blue vintage 1960s living room decor with yellow accents

Bright and cheerful vintage 1960s living room decor

Light and airy retro sixties living room style

Living room with textured blue carpeting and antique furnishings (1960s)

Midcentury modern style living room with yellow and green accents - Vintage 1960s home decor

Old-fashioned living room decorating in a 1960s home

Patterned early American motif carpeting in a 1960s living room

Red and blue vintage 1960s living room decor

Yellow retro sixties living room home decor

Pretty draped archway in an old-fashioned living room - family style from the 1960s

Sunroom-style vintage 60s living room

Traditional living room furnishings in a 1960s home

Unique blue and white wall treatment with lots of artwork and modern furniture (1963)

Vintage living room with mid-century floral soft furnishings (1962)

White and cream calming living room decor from the 1960s

Large-scale traditional furniture combined with modern 1960s furnishings

Midcentury modern furniture and flooring in a living-family room from 1966

Party time in a retro home with bright colors (1966)

Cozy decorator style in a sixties home with a marble-clad fireplace (1966)

Combo living room and dining room with stained wood furniture (1961)

Mod-style furnishings in a retro sixties living room (1969)

Sleek midcentury modern furniture in this early 1960s living room

Simple retro 1960s living room decor with unique patterned ceiling

Wild green and white houndstooth carpeting with mod furniture (1966)

Orange corner sofa-window seat in this retro 60s living room

Vintage 1960s living room decor with high-end furnishings

Red and blue Early-American themed living room in 1966

Bright blue midcentury-modern corner sofa vintage 1960s living room style

Pale blue-green sofa in the middle of a yellow sixties living room

Trendy sixties home decor for a living-family room with paneling, vinyl flooring

Vintage 1960s living room decor in black and white with green accents

Eclectic modern furniture in this reto living romo from 1960

Vintage 1960s living room decor in shades of gray with a velvet sofa (1968)

Sage green wall-to-wall sculpted carpet in a sixties living room (1965)

Brightly-colored plaid wall decor in this living-dining room from 1962

Unique ceiling art in this bright living room (1969)

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest. Thanks for visiting and for supporting a small business! 🤩 


You might also like...

The fun never ends:

Comments on this story

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.