Mid-Century Modern (MCM) is an American design style from 1945-1969 characterized by a modernistic feel with simple lines, natural materials and minimal decorative details. Mid-Century Modern designs are seen in architecture, furniture, household goods, jewelry and art.
Mid-Century Modern homes were built 1945-1969 although most were constructed between 1950-1970. Typically situated to enjoy access to the outdoors and views of nature, MCM homes showcase long straight lines, variety of levels, expansive windows and natural materials like stone, cement and wood.
Colors from the period are generally neutral and natural tones including browns, grays, greens, golds, and oranges as well as bold prints with black and white.
Mid century homes were generally built between 1950 and 1970, but mid century modern (MCM) homes were contemporary or modernist homes that looked quite different from traditional homes of that period. The geometric architecture style had flat surfaces and levels, large windows facing nature, natural materials like stone, metals and wood, and neutral colors.
Today the demand for well maintained MCM homes is very strong. Wooden siding exteriors that were popular on mid-century modern homes require regular upkeep and sadly, many have not been well maintained. Each year, many MCM homes are scraped and replaced with today’s larger homes so while demand is high, the supply is dwindling.
Many original MCM homes were smaller in scale than the massive homes that many homebuyers seek to purchase today, but the love of the MCM design esthetic has remained strong and many homeowners incorporate MCM furniture into non-MCM designed homes.
The DC Area has many neighborhoods originally constructed with MCM homes. Within DC’s boundaries, the SW Waterfront showcases townhomes and condos in the MCM design and Forest Hills, Crestwood, and Hawthorne. have a variety of MCM designs.
In Virginia, McLean showcases some original beauties. You’ll also find original MCM homes in Hollin Hills in Alexandria and Holmes Run Acres in Falls Church, or head to Reston for whole neighborhoods that are preserved.
Maryland has several MCM neighborhoods as well: West Bethesda’s Charred Oak Estate and Carderock Springs, Silver Spring’s Hammond Wood and Rock Spring Woods and some areas of Takoma Park.
In addition, West Bethesda features a Frank Lloyd Wright designed hemicyclical house built in 1953-58 called the Robert Llewellyn Wright House.
Curious about Mid-Century Modern Homes that are currently on the market? Dana at the Hollish Hill Group pays close attention to all of the properties that are listed as mid-century modern homes by their owners. Check out the list here: Dana’s List of MC Homes
Whether you own a home that is designed as MCM or not, there are several ways you can decorate your home to incorporate MCM features and design elements. If you can’t find what you want from the period, many store both online and in person, offer new versions of MCM designs. Landscaping is also a way to add an MCM feel to you home.
If you’d like more information about the neighborhoods that tend to feature MCM homes, or you’d like help searching for an MCM home, feel free to contact Dana for more information.