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We hear this term a lot and especially lately – but what is mid century modern design?

It is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.

So why are we seeing it more and more these days? Well some may say that popular culture has made an impact.  Popular TV shows like ‘Mad Men’ has really helped bring this era of home design, decor and fashion in the spot light again.

Why is it so appreciated?

Mid century modern’s emphasis on pared-down forms, contemporary patterns, natural materials and a seamless flow between indoors and out create a mix functional comfort and chic style. The look bridges the organic and the man-made, with one foot in the natural world and the other in brave new territory that still has the power to surprise us today. Clients are really like the ‘throwback’ feel and blending it with more current and organic styles. We love how all of these images look current and not like they are trapped in a time warp.

So what mid century modern decor elements are we seeing a lot of now?

And how can I bring some of this ‘mid century modern’ style into my space?

When it comes to style be unique.

We always recommend bringing in pieces you love – if you love it, you will make it work. Never feel like you have to fully commit to one style and one style of decor only.  You can easily bring in mid century modern elements into your space without a total overhaul of what you already have.  Any time you start to mix styles, it’s a good idea have a few elements of that style so that the overall look is cohesive and not random.

Definitely lighting.

Mid century modern lighting is huge right now.  It’s a great way to make a statement.  Mid century modern lighting has a great sculptural element as well. This dining room with mid century modern lighting (and dining furniture) still looks current.  The organic wood beams add character and some texture and offer great contrast with the brass finish light and accents.  But the textured wall paper accent wall with oversized mirror makes this dining room big and bright – giving it a new and fresh look!


How can we keep this vintage light fixture look current?

Think about placement!  Try adding a mid century modern light fixture in an unexpected room like a bedroom for instance. the mid century modern lighting in this room makes a bold statement and paired with a sideboard from the same era keeps a common thread in the room. The comeback of gold is also a nod to the mid century modern trend.  We are seeing gold in lighting but also decorative accents.


Mid century modern furniture classics are also very popular – dining chairs, armchairs, coffee table, bookcases and more are all being mixed into rooms of all styles. This living room corner below has a mid century modern bookcase and chair but the black and white clean contemporary styling and accessories makes this room look cool and current.

Colour was something that was popular during that era – rugs, tile, art, wallpaper and more….add some pops of colour and some great combinations of colour. You will also notice this was an era that wasn’t afraid of mixing patterns and colour and texture!

We are also seeing a resurgence of the shapes from this mid century modern era. shapes play a big role in this design period – take a look at the geometric patterns in fabric and art.  We are definitely seeing this trend in current day.

If none of these suggestions work for you – here’s what we suggest: have fun with your decor and don’t be afraid to take a risk!

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“I keep hearing the word “Sculptural Lighting” lately.What does that mean and how would I execute this trend in my own home?”
One of the things we love most about this job is the constant changing trends and the excitement of something new & beautiful. I love this question because when we were in Toronto this year at the Interior Design Show, sculptural lighting was a huge trend. So many people are seeing the value in having beautiful lighting in your space. It really is an art form.
Sculptural lighting has a wide range of defining characteristics. Lighting fixtures have a functionality aspect
but they can also double as being abstract works of art. Sculptural lighting fixtures are so unique and eye-catching that they naturally become conversation pieces in their settings. The variety of shapes, colours, textures, metals,
materials and sizes are so vast, the options for your home are endless! (and so are the price points!)
Of course, we understand that changing the lighting in every room in your home is a large undertaking. The idea of having beautiful light fixtures in every room is not a reality for all of us, as nice as it would be. Choose the rooms in your home that you spend the most time in. Perhaps the living room or bedroom is a great place to start. These are often some of the most used spaces in a home. As well as the kitchen and dining room.
When we say “sculptural” that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be over the top. In a modern setting, a simple, pendant can be sculptural. Sculptural also means beautiful.
If you’re nervous about being too bold, try adding a chandelier in an open space. Having the crystal and metal mixture will look spectacular without being too much. If you are very adventurous, there are many shapes and styles that will suit your needs.
Here are some of our favourite photos from this year’s
Interior Design Show in Toronto (IDS 2016).




Choose something unique and tailored just to your personal taste!
I’m actually updating the lighting in my dining room – I haven’t chosen anything just yet but I will let you know when I do – it will be fabulous!
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” I’m a girl on a budget.  I’ve moved into a new place and I need some ideas to make my new place look expensive.”


We are all on a budget but there are some home updates that you can do with minimal money that will result in maximum impact.

1 – Lighting.

Swap out that old dining or entry way light fixture for something with visual impact

2 – Neutrals.

Ever notice that those classically chic spaces we all drool over in the magazines are always in neutral tones? So opt for neutral paint on your walls, the depth is up to you but greys, taupes, creams and beige always looks chic.

3 – Tile.

Is your kitchen missing something? A back splash is like jewelry on an outfit – it pulls it altogether and makes a statement! So same with tile.  Update your kitchen with some back splash tiles and maybe give your powder room a boost too.  Looking for something timeless? We love a subway tile, it comes in many colours and it’s always in style.

4 – Built-ins.

Yes, they are expensive but fake them! find some pre-fab or packed shelving and create that custom built-in look with floor to ceiling bookcases.  Aim for shelving that is the colour of your trim to get the built-in look. Be sure to style your bookcase with decor pieces and books to make it look elevated!

5 – Dimension.

Add some depth and elegance with panels and molding. Use this to draw attention to special features of the home like a fireplace.

6 – Hardware.

Make sure your hardware finishes match.  Replace any hardware that doesn’t match or that is broken. Coordinating your hardware pieces will make the whole room shine.

7 – Walk way.

Even the exterior of your home can look expensive.  Update that walkway it will give the whole exterior an instant boost and make your landscaping look even better.

8 – Exterior entryway.

A full exterior make over can get pricey but try a few easy improvements like paint your front door – a fresh coat of paint always looks great!  Update your mailbox and address plate. Try adding some flanking planters to your front exterior, for symmetry and balance they frame the entry and look welcoming.

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to look like you are…

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“I see in magazine so many people are using chandeliers in their bedrooms these days. I love the look, but am worried I won’t know how to choose the right one. What are some of the things I should be looking for when choosing a chandelier for my bedroom?”

Who doesn’t love a chandelier in the bedroom?

The elegant look they give a space is so beautiful. A gorgeous light fixture is such a feature in a room and lighting is something that can really change a space. Both design wise and functionally. Choosing a chandelier for your bedroom doesn’t need to be complicated!

There are tons of options out there, from rustic to modern, but chances are, your home décor is already headed in a certain direction. Be true to your style! Whether the look you desire is traditional or modern, there’s many options that will work with your decor and provide the ambient light you need.


If you love bling, adding a little bit of glitz and glam to your room will give it that sparkle you’re looking for. For a more traditional look, choose a chandelier with more ornamentation or decorative details. If your room’s look is more modern, a fixture with simple lines and fewer details can be a stunning touch.

Chandeliers usually work best in rooms with a ceiling height of more than 9 feet. Though, in a child’s bedroom, you might choose a mini-chandelier, since children’s rooms are typically smaller than master bedrooms.
A mini-chandelier may be designed more like a semi-flush light, which won’t take up as much space. This can also work in small scale dining rooms or living rooms.

The chandelier should complement, not overwhelm, furnishings placed underneath. One of the most noted mistakes when installing a bedroom chandelier is choosing a fixture that is too small for the room.

Chances are this lighting fixture is going to be a focal point of the bedroom (among others), so we want to ensure that is not falling into the background. Choose a chandelier that at first glance may look too large for the room. Obviously, choosing something gargantuan is going to look silly, but choosing an oversize chandelier will really make a statement in the room. It’s better to have a chandelier too large than it is too small.


Once you’ve determined the right size chandelier for your room, choose a fixture based on the room’s main color or material.

What type of statement you want to make?

Is there a certain mood or feeling your looking to invoke?

We want to be true to the décor you currently have/love.



If you are looking to create a romantic space, go for the sparkle and the glam look of a crystal chandelier. (Put that on a dimmer!!) If you are looking for a rustic space, add some organic textures.. adding a wood element is a sure way to bring the natural feel inside. A modern bedroom is best accented with clean lines and minimalist extras.

A traditional bedroom looks great with a candelabra chandelier and a little bit of crystal. Do some research. Think about what you love in your home and carry that into your décor choices!



An incredible light fixture makes a statement in any room, so don’t forget about the bedroom – the lights might be off most of the time but why not have a fabulous fixture to look at in the day light? Who knows you might try and spend more time in there…

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“Summer is almost over but I love the look and laid back feel of my rattan furniture.  Is there a way to bring rattan pieces inside so I can keep that summer style all year?”

It is so sad to see summer on it’s way out – no matter how great the summer is it never seems long enough.  Rattan aka wicker furniture definitely has an outdoor air about it but it can definitely be brought indoors.  You definitely want to avoid bringing certain outdoor pieces inside, many are too bulky and don’t “translate” well inside.  If you love rattan than use it indoors and follow these tips.

1.  Mix.

Don’t have an all rattan set like a dining set indoors.  It just looks like you brought the BBQ inside.  Try this instead. The rattan chairs have an indoor look with clean parson style legs and the slip covered captain chairs in a light airy canvas fabric help to soften all of the wood tones and textures.  This dining space has that breezy and laid back style but it still looks like an indoor space.

2. Moderation.

A little bit can go a long way.  Try a few accents on indoor pieces.  This contemporary kitchen table with a touch of rattan on the seats only gives the space a casual look but doesn’t change the style of the space.  It adds an organic and natural touch to the space adding warmth and texture.

3. Decor.

Rattan has so much texture and warmth but maybe using it in furniture is too much for you or maybe it doesn’t work with your style.  Try using wicker baskets for storage and decor. We love the look of this wicker plate/basket ‘gallery wall’ it really softens up the modern streamlined look in this space and it gives the whole space such a unique style and up against the white washed brick wall it is a great contrast.

4. More than just seating.

Rattan is used in many pieces of furniture not just chairs, look at using a rattan ‘trunk’ as a coffee table or maybe a toy box.

5. Streamline.

Be sure to use items that have clean lines and feel free to add some great pops of colour and pattern but use indoor fabrics so the whole piece looks and feels like it belongs inside. We also love this image because of the wicker basket by the fireplace.

6. Colour.

Don’t love the natural look of rattan but love the texture? Paint it!!  It is so easy to do.  be sure to do it outdoors and choose any spray paint colour you like!  It’s a great way to customize your furniture on a budget.  Go as big and bold as you like

7. Tight on space?

Try stacking low wicker ottomans for coffee tables, end tables and maybe even some spare seating.  These are so versatile and we love them!

8.  Bedroom.

Wicker and rattan have a great way of making the bedroom cozy.  We love it as a textured headboard.  It looks amazing against a bold accent wall and the tone and texture add so much warmth to the space.  It is a great addition to a coastal or beach inspired room.

9. Lighting.

Rattan and wicker  light shades look great either as table lamps, floor lamps or pendants.  The texture is so organic and sculptural.  It works with so many styles of decor.

10. Alternative, sisal.

Sisal and rattan/wicker have similar tones and textures. If you are looking to add this natural texture and tone to your space but not finding furniture pieces you like or don’t want to buy new furniture pieces a sisal rug on the floor.  A classic casual area rug gives any space a casual look and works with most styles of decor.

We love what texture can do for a room, any room…

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The open concept plan is still very popular.  Buyers love it because it is so open and fluid.  You have many options for furniture placement and layout – open concept allows you to do so much in a smaller space.  But open concept can be intimidating and tough to visualize.

As home stagers, we understand how buyers get ‘stumped’ when they see a big and empty open concept space.  Where do I put my sofa? TV? dining space?  Will my furniture fit? It’s very intimidating and over whelming.

This is why staging is so important.  when we stage a home we not only make it pretty for pictures but we think about living and entertaining in the space.  We think about the common questions that buyers have.

Here’s a great example of an open concept living/dining room in a townhouse.

Photo from

It’s a great space for living and entertaining.  Seeing this property vacant you would never guess that you could have dining for six, a sectional and an armchair plus plenty of room to walk around.  So how did this work? Well, the size and scale of furniture is important but so is the placement.  Planning really is key.

A sectional adds so much seating and a clean line which is one of the reasons we love them.  We used the light cream tone because it is neutral and it brightens up the space.  By using a mix of bold and pattern pillows this brings some life into the room.  We love area rugs for a few reasons: they add some soft texture, colour and pattern to a room but they also help define the space.  This rug helps buyers visually understand this space is the living room and over there is the dining area.  It’s like building a wall.


You can apply the same ideas to a condo space.

Photo from

What you will notice these images have in common:

sofas: choose the largest possible sofas to maximize on seating and the other furniture is a bit smaller
lighting: you do not have matching table lamps on matching end tables.  Instead have floor and table lamps around the room to help spread the light around the room
area rug: to add some colour, pattern and/or texture; they also define the rooms and pull the space together

Remember the following when it comes to decorating an open concept space:

– size and scale matter but look for the largest dining table and sofa that will work in the space.  Lots of little items will make it look and feel cramped.
– glass is a great way to get surface space without the bulk
– area rugs help define spaces without building walls
– a consistent colour concept with make the space look fluid and make it feel larger
– layer your light so add table lamps, floor lamps, under valance light in the kitchen
– get creative with nooks and corners – think storage, organizing or work spaces.
– think lifestyle.

Make the space work with your life,

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