How To Update Your Midcentury Home With Advice From The Stars Of HGTV's Married To Real Estate

Seen as enduring an iconic era, mid-century modern is one of the most popular interior styles. The style rose to popularity between the 1940s and 1960s and was born from modernism. Marked by clean lines, organic shapes, and materials like wood, glass, and metal, mid-century modern is distinctive, elegant, and enduring. Many mid-century modern homes are kept as time capsules from the original era. However, others look to update the classic style to be more contemporary. That was the case for Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson on HGTV's "Married to Real Estate." In one episode, Sherrod and Jackson's clients wanted to preserve the character of a mid-century home as much as possible.

Among the features they loved was the stone throughout the house. The entryway featured a river rock floor and stone planter that the clients instantly fell in love with, mentioning in a clip, "It just says ... mid-century to me." However, when it came to the color of the fireplace stone, it didn't resonate. Sherrod and Jackson kept the stone on the fireplace but limewashed it white to help brighten up the room and did the same to the planter in the entryway to match. The renovated design looks more contemporary while maintaining much of the original mid-century character — like the river rock flooring the clients loved so much.

Original character and modern upgrades

Renovating an older home can be a balancing act of figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of. You want to maintain some of the original details but not too many so the space doesn't look dated. The family room in Jessica and Jeff's home, the clients in this episode, is the perfect example of this. The room featured wood paneling, wall-to-wall carpets, heavy wooden built-ins, and a bulky bar. Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson didn't want to eliminate these features completely. Instead, they revamped them to fit the more modern style.

Of these features, the carpeting was the only one completely removed. Carpeting can hold onto dust, pollen, dander, and dirt for years, potentially affecting allergies and contributing to a dirty household. Wall-to-wall carpet is also simply not part of contemporary design, so it makes sense that Sherrod and Jackson replaced the carpet with a simple neutral tile.

As for the built-ins and the wood paneling, Sherrod and Jackson updated the details but kept them as features. They kept the wood paneling in most of the room but removed it on some walls to open the family room up to the dining room and kitchen. The upper built-in cabinets were replaced with open shelving, while the lower cabinets received a cosmetic facelift. The bulky bar was taken out in favor of an open doorway.

Contemporary color palette and furniture

Updating the original color palette also helped the home to be more contemporary without losing the original features. The beams on the family room ceiling were a dated brown, which would have clashed with the new bright palette. Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson stained the beams a darker brown, creating more contrast with the white ceiling and white limewashed fireplace and giving it a more modern look.

New furniture with the vibe of original mid-century pieces was added throughout the home. The pieces in the family room have obvious roots in the mid-century style. The armchairs have a sleek look with thin legs and arms paired with thick upholstery. The 1962 Arco Floor Lamp by Flos is an iconic fixture from the era, and the arched floor lamp Sherrof and Jackson choose is a stylish homage to the original. The centerpiece is an ochre sofa, a shade popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

Since mid-century modern is a popular and timeless design style, many furniture retailers have current pieces inspired by the era. And those are a great way to infuse some details into the room. However, you can also find some original pieces at thrift stores and antique shops to add an authentic element to a mid-century home's interior design.