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Purple Picks: Mid-Century Modern Beds

purple picks for mid-century modern beds

After a night of gin martinis and live jazz, a mid-century modern bed is your ideal place to crash.

Let’s take a look at the gorgeous mid-century modern beds and bed frames that designers, makers, and vintage experts are swooning over.

Ty Fine Furniture Modern Platform Bed

modern platform bed

Beautiful wood, clean lines, architectural construction—a mid-century modern classic. [Ty Fine Furniture]

Upholstered Headboard with Mid-Century Modern Pattern

Upholstered Headboard with Mid-Century Modern Pattern

This simple wood bed frame has a headboard with a very mid-century modern pattern, including earth tones and clean lines. [Sarah Rosenhaus Interior Design]

Mid-Century Modern Guest Bed

Mid-Century Modern Guest Bed

Everything comes together in this enticing guest room. The mid-century modern light fixture, nightstands, and art look amazing. The simple frame and the geometric patterns on the bedding complete the look. [Bobby Berk Interiors + Design]

Simple Bed, Incredible Architecture

Mid-century modern was a very architecture-driven movement. Letting your bed serve to highlight the architecture is next-level mid-modding. Note how the clean lines of the bedding match the clean lines of the frame. [Lori Dennis]

Dip-Painted Look

dip-painted mid-century modern bed

The colors on this bed frame match the mid-century art, and the tapered legs mark it with a mid-century stamp as well. But check out how those legs look like they were dipped in paint. That creates a clean line that’s oh so very mid-mod. [Jessica Helgerson Interior Design]

Blue Upholstered Platform Bed

Blue Upholstered Platform Bed

The bright blue upholstery marks this as more of an experimental mid-modern look, possibly closer to late-60s pop art. Still, if it’s not mid-century modern, it’s at least a close cousin. [Omax Decor]

White Upholstered Platform Bed

Another take on the upholstered / sunken bed look. Here the bed is white, letting the other mid-century modern details like the lamps stand out. [Kami Gray Interior Design]

What Makes a Bed Mid-Century Modern Anyway?

From the 1940s-1970s, architects, furniture designers, and graphic artists helped us see the beauty in clean lines, natural materials, and open space.

Most mid-century modern beds are made from wood, rather than man-made materials like steel. They also feature mid-century modern design elements like hairpin or tapered legs.

But these are just guidelines. Overall, mid-century modern beds are simple, not ornate. They’re easy, not fussy. They feel natural in their space, they don’t fight with it.

Here are some ways to make sure your bed matches the mid-century modern vibe.

Simplicity in Bedding and Pillows

Your mid-century modern bed isn’t the place to pile up the flowery pillows or provide a place for your childhood stuffed animal. Mid-century modern design projects sophistication and confidence. Bedding and pillows are usually single colors or with a clear pattern.

Clean and Polished

Mid-century designers were working in the middle of the space race, amid a flurry of incredible inventions like jet travel and color television. They saw themselves as shaping a new society. So a mid-century modern bed won’t have rustic elements like reclaimed barn wood. You could refurbish wood for a mid-century modern bed, but it should be sanded and refinished until it matches the modern vibe.

Natural Colors and Materials

Many of mid-century modern’s star architects and designers promoted a return to natural colors and materials. The idea was to bring nature into our lives—which is why mid-century modern architects built houses with massive windows and large outdoor spaces. So the beds and bedding typically feature earth tones and natural materials.

Clean lines, earth tones, and consistency. Putting together a gorgeous mid-century modern bed look isn’t hard. One common pillow slogan that does fit for mid-century modern? Keep It Simple.

Mid-Century Modern Vintage Headboards

Some of the top mid-century modern designers expressed themselves through massive, natural-wood headboards.

Milo Baughman Burl Wood Headboard

Milo Baughman wood paneled headboard

The gorgeous natural wood grain makes this oh so mid-mod. [1st Dibs]

Paul McCobb Caned Panel Headboard

Paul McCobb caned panel headboard

While mid-century modern design was going strong, so was the tiki bar craze. You can see the inspiration of the tropics in this caned panel headboard. [1st Dibs]

Edward Burley for Dunbar Headboard

Edward Dunbar headboard

The clean lines and gentle curve of this headboard make it a classic representation of mid-century modern style. You could pair this with geometric-patterned bedding to give it more panache. [1st Dibs]

DIY Mid-Century Modern Bed Frames

Happily for DIYers, mid-century modern beds are fairly easy to build. See how to make your own.

California King with Tapered Legs

Effie Row DIY mid-century modern bed

Tapered legs are a very mid-century modern look. You’ll see them on chairs, nightstands, and cabinets too. [Effie Row]

Platform Bed with Hairpin Legs

Hairpin legs are another iconic mid-century modern furniture element—here seen as the support for this DIY platform bed. [Modern Builds]

A simpler DIY project: If you already have a bed frame, adding tapered or hairpin legs would give it mid-century modern flair. Etsy is a good source for buying individual tapered and hairpin legs.