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5 Decorations for a Mid-Century Modern-Inspired Holiday

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

With the holiday season in full swing, it is time to once again break out those stashed-away boxes filled with decorations from "Christmas past." However, if you’re in need of a chic Christmas decoration refresh, consider a Mid-Century Modern theme! Design expert and Brown Harris Stevens Agent Claire Wiggin loves to incorporate the trend in her seasonal décor, emphasizing key pieces that can make any space stand out with holiday cheer.

"The essence of mid-century modern interior design is function over form. It’s about having playful pieces with pops of character." – Claire Wiggin, Brown Harris Stevens Agent

Mid-century Modern, often referred to as “MCM”, is an American design movement popularized during the mid-twentieth century.

Defined by its iconic use of organic shapes, neutral tones with bold accents, and its emphasis on function over form, MCM décor remains as popular as it was at its conception for its distinct retro aesthetic and value in sleek simplicity.

Here are five holiday décor ideas, inspired by this significant design movement, that will add a touch of chic nostalgia to your home this holiday.

Pops of Color

Mid-Century Modern décor is known for its use of bright pops of color against contrasting neutral tones, often rooted in nature.

To decorate your interior a la MCM, utilize lively shades like pink, teal, lime green and orange, alongside natural and earthy tones.

Popular pieces like brightly colored ceramic Christmas trees are another example of mid-century flare.

Aluminum Christmas Trees

One of the most distinguishable centerpieces of mid-century holiday décor is an aluminum Christmas tree, which is typically paired with a rotating color wheel. Despite it being a rather divisive alternative to its traditional counterpart, its unique look is a testament to MCM’s playfulness and can be made to look sleek if balanced with minimalist decorations and earth tones.

“Aluminum Christmas Trees are very divisive. I know New Yorkers love to walk down the block and pick out a Christmas tree, but there is something very iconic about having an aluminum tree.” — Claire Wiggin, Brown Harris Stevens Agent

Tinsel Wreath

Much like aluminum Christmas trees, tinsel wreaths are yet another staple of mid-century holiday décor. Decorated with multi-colored ribbons or glass ornaments, tinsel wreaths encourage personal style and playful creativity.

Vintage Glass Ornaments

Given mid-century modern’s contemporary ubiquity, utilizing a variety of colorful glass ornaments can elevate your Christmas tree and channel a feeling of holiday nostalgia.

"In places like New York City, things can be very grey during the holidays. Use this season as an opportunity to add some color and vibrancy to balance it out," -- Claire Wiggin, BHS Agent

Felt Stockings

Customizable and classic, simple yet functional, felt stockings can be hung on fireplace mantles, bar carts, and credenzas, dressing up any living space for the holidays while recalling the simpler days of yesteryear.

If you’re in-search of the perfect holiday décor inspired by mid-century modern design, Wiggin recommends Luxe Creations on the Upper East Side and More & More Antiques on the Upper West Side.

Claire Wiggin is a licensed real estate salesperson with a passion for mid-century modern design and architecture. For more MCM real estate inspiration, follow Claire on Instagram,@midcentury_manhattan.

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