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Monday, September 12, 2011

Mid-century living rooms

In the 1950s the term “living room” was expanded to include any room in which the American family visited, listened to music, watched TV or otherwise lived and played together.

The concept of a family room or den was growing in popularity then, sometimes replacing a formal living room altogether, while sometimes simply providing a place for children to play, since they usually weren’t allowed in a formal living room except on special occasions.

Initially, these multi-purpose rooms were rather modest, but by the end of the decade, they had grown in importance and in size.
There are more great living room photos to be found on the Mid-Century Home Style site, so check it out.

Text and images from

Armstrong in coral and green, 1950
Coral and gray living room, 1951
Modern bungalow, 1953
Armstrong cork floor, 1953
Stone fireplace, 1953
Sun porch, 1953
Modern Wormley, 1953
Heywood-Wakefield, 1954
Armstrong atomic, 1954
Clerestory windows, 1954
Armstrong Excelon flooring, 1957
Scandinavian, 1958


  1. Pouring over every pic to see if there are any things I actually own! It happens. Not today though. LOVE the pics - what style!

  2. Wow - great photos. I love seeing mid-century furniture in its original setting. So neat.

  3. @DearHelenHartman: I love doing that too. And isn't it fun when you find something that's in your house too? I also like finding out things I didn't the fact that Armstrong was selling cork flooring in 1953. I thought it came on the market decades later than that.

  4. @Tanya: I like looking at the small what was considered a fashionable height to hang pictures back then or what kinds of plants were popular or what kinds of area rugs they used.

  5. lovely hues and color palette..loved the room showcased in armstrong cork flooring ad :0)

  6. i came back to the post a million times today, to check if i had something featured in those pics, and then wanted tospot trends like you said...the more i look at the pics..i know i could have easily lived in the scandinavian room wihtout a doubt!!!

  7. @Sudha: I want the 1953 stone fireplace room!

  8. I like to see how they used color. I have tons of color in my mid-mod/Scandinavian home. Many pictures I see have neutral colored walls. I'm definitely not neutral!

  9. @Kathleen: I love the use of something other than white or pale gray on the walls too. I especially like the orange ceiling in one room and the deep charcoal walls in another.