Today we’re continuing with tips to help you update mid-century interior design features while still retaining the character of the home. Just joining us? See Updating Mid-Century Modern Features: Part 1

Brick fireplaces

Many mid-century homes feature floor-to-ceiling brick fireplaces, often in muddy, unappealing colors that just don’t fit with today’s brighter, crisper color palettes. One of the best options is simple- just paint it! Typically, a light, neutral color like white, pale gray, or greige is the best choice as it visually lightens the fireplace and provides a neutral field of color that can stand up to future decor changes, as well as providing a nice background for art if you choose to add a painting, mirror, or wall sculpture.

Mid-century fireplaces often lack a mantel, but don’t be afraid to add one! We can help you find an artisan to create a beautiful custom mantel in metal or wood that matches your style perfectly. The simple, sleek wooden mantel above works beautifully in the space by breaking up the large expanse of white and tying in with the other warm wood tones in the floor and ceiling.

Retro tile

What to do with retro tile in mid-century homes may be one of the most contentious issues of the home remodeling industry! Mid-century time capsule bathrooms often feature unique and yes, dated tile and fixture color combinations, yet the craftsmanship and quality are excellent. Some are firmly in the “Save it!” camp, preferring to preserve the original “Mamie” pink, mint green, baby blue, or butter yellow tile and work around it to update the space- or even embrace it with a full-on retro look. (Save the Pink Bathroom is full off great examples!) It’s amazing what a difference a new paint color, shower curtain, updated accessories, and new light fixtures can make, as seen in the eclectic bathroom below.

Others feel that dated tile, no matter how good the condition, just doesn’t work with their personal style. They would rather gut the bathroom and start again to create a space they really love. So what’s our opinion? We think you should love your home. If that means embracing retro tile, go for it! If you just won’t be happy until you have the sleek, minimalist bathroom of your dreams, do it without guilt. Clean lines, floating vanities, and natural materials like wood, slate, marble, or stone relate to the mid-century aesthetic while providing a more current look. The bathroom below even features a pink micro glass tile backsplash- a fun, cheeky nod to the pink bathrooms of yesteryear with contemporary style!

What we don’t recommend is taking the cheap way out by “refinishing” tile in your bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere else. These tile painting or refinishing options rarely look good and are not going to hold up over time. Your money is better spent on a new paint color and some bathroom accessories to make the space palatable until you are ready for a real bathroom renovation.

Ready to give your home the makeover it deserves? Contact us today to discuss your home remodeling project with Virginia Beach interior designer Michelle Nettles!