The Guide To Mid Century Modern Rugs

mid century rug

The mid century modern design for a rug is not only elegant but is made to add different colors and patterns into your space. While it is not specific to a definite design, most designs are made of both symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes including triangles, hexagons, and rhombuses.

Rugs don’t have to be boring and the good thing about the mid-century modern rug style is that they are diversified, with some of them inspired by different art designs including Persian, African, and Asian. Other forms of inspiration include patterns from mass production and technology including spirals and zigzags.

It is a unique style and what’s more, there are a plethora of different design options of the mid century modern rugs. That said, below are some of the key elements that make up these various designs.


The atomic starburst designs may have single or multiple-crossed stars and became popular in the middle 1900s. Apart from rugs, the starburst design was also used on wallpapers, wall clocks, and business signage. While they are popular for their star shape, the patterns also have dandelion shapes. If you choose to have this design in your house, ensure to have a glass coffee or dining table over it as it brings out the design.


Mid century modern rugs are also popular with floral prints. Whether you simply prefer floral patterns or want to bring some vibrance in a dull room, you can never go wrong with this option. The floral designs are great if you fancy bold and big patterns with few details. They also blend well with mid-century inspired spaces because of the minimalistic aspects.

Breeze Block Patterns

The breeze block patterns are part of the geometric designs which come in different variations giving different possibilities depending on the look you desire to achieve for your space. These patterns include lines, circles, petals, rounded pages, and squares.

Swirls, Circles, and Triangles

Your floors don’t have to be boring with bland patterns, you can get a mid century modern rug with these patterns. They are also part of the geometric designs, whether you want to achieve a retro look or simple but stylish appearance. A colorful rug with triangles would complement your mid-modern century furniture.

Modern Art Inspired Rugs

Modern art has also been used to inspire mid century modern rug designs. To make your rug pop more, use items like throw pillows and table runners that have similar patterns with those on the rug. An advantage of modern art inspired rugs is that they allow you to play around with different things to achieve the look you want.

Bottom Line

One of the biggest perks of the mid century modern rugs is that they don’t confine you to little options, the variations are endless. Whether you want a contemporary feel or a modern one, there are many possible ways to create the vibe you want. So, you can achieve any look you want with a mid century modern rug, even in a modernized space.


FAQs about Mid Century Modern

Q: What’s the briefest depiction of the mid-century modern design movement?

A: The mid-century modern design refers to the interiors, product, architectures, and graphic design movement developed throughout several decades. It was the 30s when the campaign began, but it continued throughout the 60s as well.

The mid-century modern movement affects both urban and residential buildings. It also impacted accessories, furnishings, appliances, and accessories. Scholars and museums are praising the movement, as the style influenced the design on a global level.

Q: What generated the mid-century rugs?

A: We have to take a detailed look at the Bauhaus and International movements for understanding the mid-century modern rugs and furniture. Wall to wall carpeting became very popular, so new materials were utilized. Colorful rugs would work like layers, adding more interest to a specific area. At times, the designers from the mid-century modern era think a complete suite, where accessories, furniture, rug, and tapestries would match perfectly.

Sometimes, they would also design rugs for matching spaces. Today, what we find today as mid-century modern rugs used to be elements of a matching set years ago. It all depends on the artist, but many of the items now make valuable collectibles.

Q: Do people still use mid-century modern rugs and style?

A: Like everything else in fashion, people are now again interested in the mid-century modern style. The rugs and furniture are slowly coming back into people’s homes, fitting just fine in retro designs and minimalist styles.

Truth be told, mid-century modern style sounds very fresh and authentic, and rugs of this style give an authentic feel and appearance to any space.

Q: What’s the quality of these rugs?

A: Even if colors and design catch your attention first, you shouldn’t rush into it. Take your time and look for the companies providing very well made and beautifully made rugs. Natural fibers, such as silk or wool, are the common materials. Centuries-old methods, like hand-knotting, are used for making the mid-century modern rugs. It would help if you were a professional designer or an avid collector to make the difference between the mid-century modern rugs and the traditional handmade rugs.

Q: Should you pick an antique design?

A: Mid-century modern style goes back to history, borrowing simple and clean nomadic and tribal motifs. The rugs follow the same graphic and simple designs, with bright colors, matching the modern designs very well. Kilim rugs, for example, have unusual traditional patterns, but their vibrant colors and minimalist motifs have a modern vibe.

Q: How can a transition rug help?

A: For some, switching to mid-century modern rugs may seem like a bit of a stretch. A transition rug will help you introduce the mid-century modern rug more naturally, as it combines both traditional rug patterns and the contemporary style and colors. The area rug and contemporary design don’t need to match perfectly. At times, a complementary appearance will highlight the mixed influences, only to complete the living space for more personality.

Q: Is it possible to choose traditional all the way?

A: If you go over the pictures from the mid-century modern living spaces, you will discover that many of those spaces come with vintage oriental and Persian rugs and classic antique furniture. Versatility is one of the main reasons why the mid-century modern style has remained so popular over the years. Even if you don’t see it, a classically designed rug will always fit in a space, no matter the style you’re using now or in the years to come.

Q: What to consider when picking the mid-century modern rug?

A: Some specific rules have to be considered when selecting your rug, no matter the style, design, or motif. It would help if you started placing the furniture into a floorplan, as floating (all legs of the furniture are placed on the rug) or classic (only the front legs of the furniture are placed on the carpet,   whereas the furniture is put against the wall.

This trick will help you decide on the size of your rug, but you also have to think about your rug’s traffic.

Q: Why are the traffic signs important for selecting the mid-century modern rug?

A: How often people step on the rug will affect the durability of the carpet. Proper color and fiber will keep the carpet beautiful for a long time even if traffic is heavy. For example, you should go with wool flat-woven rugs for the high traffic areas as they are dirt-resistant and long lasting.

Q: Do you match the color with the furniture or not?

A: It’s also essential to match the color of your rug with the furniture. When the furniture is a solid color, a patterned carpet will make a better choice. It goes the other way around, too, with a monochromatic rug matching the primary colors of the space as the ideal option for patterned furniture.

For even better results, you should consider a second color in the rug to coordinate with the main pieces of furniture, like a sofa.

Clean lines are fundamental characteristics for the mid-century modern style, so you would want the mid-century modern rug to be a neutral element, complimenting the rather dramatic furniture. You may also turn your mid-century modern rug into the center of attention, but only if the modern-style furniture is neutral.

Don’t forget to get a rug pad so that your beautiful rug stays in place, no matter where you put it.

Q: Are specific colors to choose/avoid on the mid-century modern rugs?

A: Colors can change the entire appearance in a room, so you should pay attention when deciding the rug’s colors. Mid-century modern rugs typically come with neutral, dark colors with deep/bright accent hues. Just with any other style, make sure that you don’t use too many colors. The 60-30-10 rule is essential. The dominant base color is 60% in the space, 30% is for the secondary color, and 10% will accent color.

Try as much as you can to only have 3-4 colors, especially in the mid-century modern style. A living of this style should be calming and gentle for the eye, and the rug will make the largest item in the room.

It doesn’t matter if you pick the rug first and select the furniture afterward. You need to make sure that you don’t use more than four colors for your space.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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