How to create timeless looks with mid-century furniture and accessories

Take design notes from the 40s, 50s and 60s to create a playful and stylish home

Mid-century telephone seat styled with a vintage phone and mustard yellow cushion

For a playful look, pair classic mid-century furniture with brightly coloured rugs, ceramics and a space-age atomic coat stand

A space-age atomic coat stand alongside a colourful rug and vibrant ceramics
Seth Thomas sunburst clock, £175, Focus on the Past. Rosewood chest by Kai Kristiansen, £725, Orange and Brown. On sideboard: Sandland Zebrette mussel shell vase, £59, Clutterfingers; Hornsea Elegance bowl designed by John Clappison, £20, Clutterfingers; plant, find similar at Wild Leaf; 1950s red desk lamp by Phillips, £145, Cream & Chrome. Atomic coat stand, £395, Cream & Chrome. 1950s scarf, £50, Lark Vintage. Yellow coat, find similar at Boden. 1950s umbrella, £25, Lark Vintage. 20th-century umbrella, £35, Blue Angel Jewellery at Etsy. 1950s satchel, £45.80, Lark Vintage. Lucienne Day Octagon runner, £100, twentytwentyone. 1950s brogue shoes, £35, Lark Vintage. Items on ledge: Hornsea Rainbow planter designed by John Clappison, £49, Clutterfingers; Murano cobalt glass vase, £130, Lorfords; 1950s black pitcher vase with decoration, £39, Clutterfingers. Draught excluder, stylist’s own.

A telephone bench is a great spot to put on your shoes or check your appearance before leaving the house. Add a vintage phone for an authentic touch. 

Mid-century telephone seat
Oval mirror with teak detail top and bottom, £25, tatortreasure on Instagram. Mid-century Chippy Heath teak telephone seat, £475, Mustard Vintage. Ivory 300 series telephone, £385, Antique Telephones. Denby Burlington vase, £44, Focus on the Past. Kaweco Dia green marble celluloid piston filler fountain pen, £275, Vintage and Modern Pens. Cheese plant, find similar at Wild Leaf.

Pile oversized cushions on and beside a classic mid-century chair – they are great for extra emergency seating for guests and are pretty eye-catching, too. 

Vibrant oversized cushions styled beside a classic mid-century chair
Antelope chair, £374, Race Furniture. Cushions (from top): Rio by Helene Wedel for Borås, £22; Solstice by Cliff Holden for David Whitehead, £26; Broadwalk by Peter Hall for Cepea, £27, all Blue Lizard Textiles at Etsy; Lucienne Day Dandelion Clocks, £85 per m; Lucienne Day Calyx Blue cushion fabric, £85 per m, both Loome Fabrics. Abstract painting by Raymond James Coxon, £600, Trilogie Antiques. Rug, find similar at Trouva.

An Ercol chair and matching footstool sing when paired with a sunny yellow cushion in Lucienne Day’s Dandelion Clocks fabric.

An Ercol chair and matching footstool styled with a Lucienne Day cushion
La Tripale table, £750, Lorfords. Books, find similar at Bookbarn International. Teacup and saucer, part of 18-piece Ridgway Homemaker service, £349, Clutterfingers. Ercol chair and footstool, find similar at Pamono. Lucienne Day Dandelion Clocks cushion fabric, £85 per m, Loome Fabrics. Hexagonal tray, £14, John Lewis & Partners. Cylinda Line sugar bowl, £52.95; Cylinda Line creamer, £46.95; Cylinda Line teapot, £239, all Skandium. 1950s steel and wicker magazine rack, £85, Cream & Chrome. 1950s French floor lamp, £425, Cream & Chrome; 1950s magazines, £5, Rachel’s & Michael’s Antiques. On window sill: mid-century West German small ceramic vase, £19, Mustard Vintage; Kilmead ceramic green vase, £45, Focus on the Past; plant in retro tin, find similar at Not on the High Street. Sheepskin rug, £30, Ikea.

Avoid an all-wooden look with a glossy tabletop in a cheerful shade. Team with textural glass and a quirky wall clock to create an uplifting vibe.

1950s dining table and 1960s dining chairs
Le Soleil Rouge print by Joan Miró, £120, King & McGaw. Vintage 1950s Flash Transistor wall clock, £125, Cream & Chrome. Teak and oak cabinet by Børge Mogensen for Soborg, £1,150, Orange and Brown. On cabinet: vase 1462 by Tamara Aladin, £37; grey Pala vase by Helena Tynell, £48; Stella Polaris bottle by Nanny Still, £79; green Pala vase by Helena Tynell, £32; turquoise Pala vase by Helena Tynell, £48; Pontil vase designed in 1954 by Ronald Stennett Willson, £65, all Scandinavian:Modern; Bohemian glass vase, £75, Focus on the Past. 1950s dining table, £1,850; 1960s Italian dining chairs, £3,250 for a set, all Lorfords. Mid-century Dansk tray, £130, Studio 31 Vintage at Etsy. Caithness Stroma water set, £69, Coco Collectables at Etsy. Riihimaki Pala glass vase by Helena Tynell Design, £28, Scandinavian:Modern. Plates from Ridgway Homemaker 18-piece combination service, £349, Clutterfingers. Cheese plant, find similar at Wild Leaf. Cow hide, £180, Ikea.

A splash of zesty green inside the cupboard sets off this striking collection of silver and ceramic tea and coffee pots, while the plants in West German planters ground the look. 

Zesty green cupboard displaying a striking collection of tea and coffee pots
1950s sunburst clock, £125, Cream & Chrome. On ledge: ‘Flower’ ceramic planter, £27; ‘Swirl’ ceramic planter, £29, both Mustard Vintage; SylvaC Raphique green planter, £29, Clutterfingers; green ceramic planter, £29, Mustard Vintage; Bush radio, £30, Focus on the Past. On glass shelves: (Top shelf): Robert Welch Old Hall tea and coffee set, £95, Studio 31 Vintage at Etsy; Picquot tea set, £70, VosVintageUK at Etsy. (Second shelf): Cinque Ports Pottery 1960 Rye coffee set, £45; Dansk wood tray, £130, both Studio 31 Vintage at Etsy. (Third shelf): 1950s glass carrier and glasses, £25; Poole biscuit barrel with wicker handle, £40, both Focus on the Past; Hornsea rainbow planter by John Clappison, £49, Clutterfingers. (Bottom shelf): Ridgway Homemaker 18-piece service, £349, Clutterfingers. Slatted Danish bar stool designed by Arthur Umanoff, £1,980 for four, Lorfords

Create a restful space in your bedroom with a comfy bed and spacious bedside cabinet in matching woods for a simple yet stylish scheme.

Matching wooden bedside cabinet and headboard
Vases #4 Aloe Vera by Kavel Rafferty art print, £30, Homeplace. Picture frame, £6, Ikea. Rosewood and brass double bed, £2,155, Orange and Brown. Scion Akira double duvet cover, £65; Scion Akira Oxford pillowcase, £12 each, both John Lewis & Partners; pink throw, £19, Ikea. Vintage PH4/3 hanging lamp by Poul Henningsen, £355, Orange and Brown. 1950s Nathan bedside cabinet, £195, Cream & Chrome. Books, find similar at Bookbarn International. Clock, £45, Cream & Chrome. ‘Flower’ ceramic planter, £27, Mustard Vintage.

If your bathroom is large enough and your cabinet has seen better days, consider converting it into a sink unit – the perfect storage-with-style combination. 

Mid-century cabinet in a bathroom
Sideboard made into sink unit, find similar at Orange and Brown. Round wall mirror, find similar at Amber glass decanter with ball stopper, £45, Clutterfingers. 20th-century Italian cobalt ‘Genie’ decanter, £75, Trilogie Antiques; blue glass mini genie bottle decanter, £49, Clutterfingers. Scion Lintu hand towel, £16, John Lewis & Partners. Mid-century Burlington by Denby small planter, £45, Studio 31 Vintage at Etsy. On window sill: yellow glass decanter, £39; turquoise glass decanter, £75; Sandland Zebrette asymmetric vase, £49, all Clutterfingers. Bohemia floor tiles, £41.25 per sq m, Collinson Tiles.


Cream & Chrome 07963 142435;


Focus on the Past 0117 973 8080;


John Lewis & Partners

Lark Vintage 07988 615686;

Lorfords 01666 505111;

Mustard Vintage 07713 457297;


Orange and Brown 0117 914 7973;