Mid-Century Modern Rug Guide

BU-01 from Beacon by Loloi

Mid-Century Modern design truly defined the style during the middle of the 1900s. Called Mid-mod, mid-century, vintage, space era, this design style of our parents and grandparents is back. So, what is it?

Generally spanning the years from the 1940s to 1960s, mid-century modern comes from a modernist art movement involving furniture for the office and home. With roots in the Industrial Revolution, this style incorporates a lot of wood and metal. It involves sleek lines and stiff cushions mostly made of colorful Naugahyde, a patented woven-nylon backing with a rubber coating on one side to look like leather.  Vintage mid-century items are hard to find and mostly unaffordable to the masses.

Rug patterns that mimic contemporary art fit the mid-century modern design style. Some pull from 1950s counter-top and table patterns. Others represent flashy, vintage business sign designs. Many mid-century homes incorporated breeze-block on the exteriors and surrounding back patios. Breeze block, a decorative, concrete block screen incorporates lines, angles, and curves.

Some patterns use futuristic, space-era designs. Remember the Jetsons? Visualize their furniture styles with angles and curves. There were circles and ovals indicating ceiling lights. Swirls, stars, lines and soft angles were used for background images. Vivid colors brought the decor to life.

Key elements of mid-century rug patterns include large florals, bold and bright colors, starbursts, geometric shapes, and breeze-block patterns.  Plush Rugs has a large selection of rugs to fit your mid-century style.


CAP2 from Capri by Nourison

Big, bold floral designs with simple lines and minimal details work well with a mid-century room.  So, a detailed design of a rose does not fit the mid-mod style, but a large leaf or flower with curvy lines and minimal detail is what you want.  Try Surya’s COS-9208 in green or Amer’s PAZ-7 in navy.

Bold and Bright Solid Colors

DS-01 from Dion Shag by Loloi

Solid, bold color rugs make a statement in a room where you want to show off your furniture. Low-pile to shag rugs are perfect for this.  Try a Polar Shag rug in pink or turquoise. Or try any of the colors available in Oriental Weaver’s Cosmo Shag collection. Momeni’s Comfort Shag collection offers a wide range of colors, too, like CS10 in yellow.  Use this to bring out other bold colors in your decor.


ORG03 from Origami by Kaleen

The middle of the 1900s saw a race to space. With it, design trends included atomic starbursts.  These were incorporated on wall clocks, outdoor business signs, wallpaper and rugs. They varied in design from multiple crossing lines to simple cross-looking stars. These atomic starbursts can be found on many rugs at Plush Rugs.  Starbursts look great with any style furniture but keep them exposed by placing a starburst rug under a glass coffee or dining table so the design shines through.  Mid-century atomic starburst rugs to consider include Safavieh’s SOH747C with traditional mid-mod colors. For more texture there’s SOH712T.  This viscose rug is textured and available in several colors including grey, purple, and teal.  Another pattern is Surya’s TXT3007 in sunflower and grey but available in other colors, too.

Starbursts can also be considered florals. While not always star inspired, these designs mimic dandelions. This retro pattern is popular as framed wall art but PlushRugs.com has several rug choices in this pattern.  Surya’s SND4512 has just the look. This plush-pile rug is hand-tufted 100% wool.

Geometric designs: Circles, Swirls, and Triangles

BU-01 from Beacon by Loloi

Don’t you just love the circles and swirls in mid-mod design? You can have these, too, on your floor. Noble House Décor Rugs incorporates circles and swirls in the DECO7406 pattern.  Meva Rug’s MO-02 incorporates ovals, curves, and wavy lines.  Artist Weaver’s Clermont uses soft corners and repetition of shapes in a straight line to convey that retro look.  Momeni’s EL-20 uses circles inside of circles for a simple yet beautiful look.

Other geometric shapes well-known to mid-century style are triangles. Wide or narrow and colorful, triangles can accent your mid-mod furniture collection.  Try Artistic Weaver’s Fulton in blue and green.

Geometric designs: Breeze-block patterns

Eva from Hilda by Artistic Weavers

Possibly the most iconic design pattern of mid-century modern, the breeze block consists of circles, squares, petals, rounded edges and lines. Surya’s BNT-7696 in orange is a perfect example of a breeze block pattern.  Chandra’s ALL-236 incorporates circles and squares. Safavieh’s hand-hooked Four Seasons FRS245B in grey and ivory is very reminiscent of breeze block and would great on your mid-century decorated room. Momeni’s LG-05 in orange is another perfect pattern. Also, see Chandra’s Row-111-6 in red and Dalyn’s IF-4 in yellow.

Modern Art inspired patterns

EGK-1017 from Kismet by Surya

Mid-century rug patterns are also based on modern art. These rugs would look great on your floor and your wall. Plush Rugs has several rugs to consider for your wall. If you put them on your floor, try using the design as a runner or use a glass table over it so you and your house guests can enjoy the whole picture.  An example of modern art inspired rug designs mirror Danish Modernism art styles. Look at FM-7202 in camel and khaki.

Contemporary art on a rug can also be found with Surya’s EEL-1000.  For clean lines try EGK-1018.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

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