How To Decorate Your Home Like Don Draper's Apartment In Mad Men

Mid-century modern design fans agree that the sets on "Mad Men" make hearts race. Don Draper's apartment takes the cake with sophisticated, sleek lines and subtle masculinity. The apartment is sexy, just like Don himself. The good news? Anyone can recreate the "Mad Men" apartment in their own home. The bad news? Don won't be stopping by.

According to TIME, "Mad Men" is a time machine full of nostalgia, love, and hate. Some generations watched because they remembered living during those times. Others watched, longing for simpler days. Either way, we couldn't look away. The chic 1960s style and utter coolness of the show's ambiance, especially with sets like Don Draper's apartment, is something many of us want to emulate. Here are some great tips and tricks for how to decorate your home like "Mad Men." Make a list of what you need and start shopping. Your mid-century-style home is just a few furnishings away.

What is mid-century modern?

Mid-century modern design, as seen in "Mad Men," is the style from the 1950s and '60s. It's known for straight, simple lines that give homes and buildings a modern feel. The unique design drew influence from the post-war generation. According to MyMove, the style consists of more than interior design. It describes architecture, textiles, furniture, design, and technology from post-World War II. However, when we hear the words mid-century modern, we typically imagine some fun and funky interiors. Fun pops of color and natural materials are staples of this aesthetic.

Since "Mad Men" is set during the 1960s, mid-century modern style features in the set design and fashion for the show. You'll notice while watching that the designers pay attention to every last detail. From character clothing choices to the ashtrays and clocks on the wall, the show is like a time machine back to the post-war era.

Incorporate plenty of wood

One of the best things about mid-century design is the high-quality craftsmanship. You won't find particle board pieces when searching for an older dresser from the 1960s. The furnishings were heavy and well-made with solid wood. This quality is why they've stood the test of time. According to Furniture Academy, solid wood outlasts furniture made from cheaper materials such as plastic, veneer, and particleboard. It's worth the initial investment.

Today, when seeking a mid-century modern look, check out flea markets, thrift stores, and antique shops for fun pieces. The fact that mid-century furniture is still around tells us it's well-made. Dressers, chests, side tables, and coffee tables are great places to start your collection. They look sophisticated and stylish, plus they're functional as well. If you struggle to find the real deal, stores like IKEA carry minimalist decor, which often fits well with mid-century modern design.

Install built-in bookshelves to your living room

A highlight of Don Draper's apartment was the built-in bookshelf surrounding his television. Be like Don and add built-ins to your place. No, seriously, it's easier to have a built-in than you may think. According to A Beautiful Mess, a quick run to IKEA for the Billy Bookcase is your first step toward a built-in look. IKEA bookshelves can be lined up together, cut down, painted, and even finished with trim. They're also affordable and are of good quality.

Shelving is great for any style, particularly mid-century modern. Wood shelves create a warm feeling throughout the home. Plus, they make excellent places to display decor, collections, televisions, and books. You can use the shelves to display your vintage collections of items from the '50s and '60s for a chic retro touch. An old clock or an old-fashioned globe sitting next to a stack of books sets the tone for the room.

Add a large sectional

Don and Megan's L-shaped, tweed brown sectional was a place for parties, guests, and intense conversations during the show. Your living room may not be as dramatic, but it can look just as inviting. To tie your mid-century modern home together, look for a sectional with slim lines and a low profile. Some sofa sectionals are big and bulky, and they won't help you pull off your desired style. Something designed with minimalism or a retro vibe is more suitable.

Sectionals are perfect for hanging out as a family or filling the room with guests. Homes with a sectional have a welcoming feel, inviting you to put your feet up and stay awhile. For mid-century style, look for a sectional in neutral colors like olive green, navy, or brown. If you're daring, make a bold statement with a 1960s-style orange sectional to show that your home is all about mid-century modern. Cozy up whatever sectional you choose to make it even more comfortable. According to the Sarah Joy Blog, oversized pillows and throws tossed on a sectional are a quick decorating fix, pulling the entire look together.

Create a functional and stylish kitchen

The heart of the home is the kitchen, no matter what decade you're living. Mid-century modern is perfect for kitchen designs because of its simplistic, minimal feel. No one wants to feel overwhelmed and crowded while cooking a delicious meal. According to Best Online Cabinets, a benefit of mid-century modern is that it blends well with other styles, including contemporary, traditional, and classic. Make your kitchen as much or as little mid-century as you choose.

Look at the kitchen in Don and Megan's apartment for hints on how you can transform yours. Their kitchen features rich dark woods and soft blue cabinets, a popular combination during the '60s. Other colors include the infamous avocado green, mustard yellow, and 1960s orange. Yes, you now have an excuse to implement avocado green appliances into your home. Don't forget the matching Tupperware sets while you're at it.

Add console tables behind your couches

Console tables are the perfect height to place behind a couch. If you've ever had a sofa that feels like it's floating in the middle of the room, a good solution is a console table. They add a finishing touch to the backside of your couch.

When using a sectional in your mid-century design, you can add multiple side tables around the sofa. Don't leave your consoles empty. Spruce them up with some fun decorating tips and tricks. Consider pieces like lamps, books, plants, framed photos, and small clocks when searching for items. A fresh bouquet or one of your favorite vintage books is a chic touch. According to The Turquoise Home, it's best to be careful when accessorizing your side tables. If items are too tall, you might not be able to see over them. Instead of hiding your sofa, you want to accent it by creating functional and decorative tables.

Design a clutter-free living space

Mid-century modern style is practical and functional, allowing it to pair perfectly with minimalism. It's perfect for homeowners who enjoy a comfortable, fun, and uncluttered design. According to House Beautiful, even if minimalism doesn't come naturally, you can still achieve a clutter-free living space with proper furniture placement and careful decorating choices.

To live clutter-free, first, clean up the mess. If you're one of those lucky people with no clutter, there's no need to worry about clearing things out. The rest of us can clear the clutter by making three piles: donation, trash, and keep. If you desire less clutter to create your dream mid-century modern home, go one room at a time and make three piles for each space. Before you know it, your home will be clutter-free. Add in some mid-century furniture and decor, and suddenly you're living the Don and Megan lifestyle. A bouffant hairdo is optional.

Scatter multiple poufs across the living room

Poufs are a quick and fashionable way to decorate and spice up a drab room in your home. They're soft, little cushions that you can use for plopping up feet, holding trays, and creating extra seating in a pinch. If you're ever at one of Don and Megan's soirées, you can grab a pouf, drink in hand, and take a seat. Poufs are in style today and easy to find. According to Joss & Main, poufs are all the rage and can be found at trade shows, magazines, and fashion blogs.

Have fun with this chic accessory. Choose multiple colors and designs or keep them all the same style. Poufs not only add a splash of color and texture to a room, but they also define a room, especially in open concept floor plans. Adding a couple of poufs at the corner of a rug or behind a couch defines where an area begins and ends.

Hang patterned curtains

According to Dwell, the patterns and colors of mid-century textiles have made a comeback. There's never been a better time to be interested in mid-century design. Unless, of course, you actually lived in the 1950s and '60s. Designers of textiles during that period chose to create things like curtains in wild patterns and bold colors. There was a need for joy and expression, and many homeowners latched on to the concept. Even in Don and Megan's place, you'll see geometric shapes on the heavy curtains hanging in the living room. Curtains serve two purposes, including giving the home privacy and a fashionable look.

Thanks to modern technology, it's easy to search for mid-century and other patterned curtains. It's a great way to make your window coverings unique from your neighbors and a fast way to pull together a mid-century style. If your sofa is a solid color, go for patterns that pop. If your sofa is patterned, pick something more subtle in a color that matches the theme.

Opt for Mad Men-style wall coverings

Wallpaper was hot in the '60s, and there were no limits to the colors and textures people put in their homes. Everyone paints, so why not stand out with some funky mid-century wallpaper in your home? According to Homes & Gardens, wallpaper is a hot commodity in 2022, gaining popularity fast. It almost seems like the decorating world knew "Mad Men" would cause a desire for all things mid-century.

Today's wallpaper trends are bold and focus on adding texture to a wall. There are plenty of innovative ways to use wallpaper in any room. In Don and Megan's apartment on the show, they chose a beige and yellow textured wallpaper to accent the white brick in the living room. If you're new to wallpaper and afraid to leap, a simple textured wallpaper is a great start. Just like the curtain styles of the '50s and '60s, there are a lot of geometric shapes and other fun designs on wallpaper. To create your mid-century modern aesthetic, look for wallpaper to cover a room or an accent wall. Remember, the goal is to create spaces that are fun and functional.

It's not Don Draper style if there's no booze

Okay, you don't have to drink alcohol to have a Don Draper-style home. Still, if you enjoy a cocktail now and then, choose a space in your home for a bar. If you've ever watched "Mad Men," you know they'd pour bourbon on their cereal if given the opportunity. You don't need an additional room to have a bar. Find a space where you can squeeze in a chic bar cart or turn an old hutch into a liquor cabinet. A little space on your built-in bookshelves can work as a small bar. Have fun hunting for glassware from the "Mad Men" era to go along with your new decor. Crystal and glass decanters full of bourbon are a great start to your home bar.

As much as you may want your home to feel mid-century, remember that your modern-day friends may desire a modern-day drink. According to VinePair, variety is essential when stocking your home bar. Just because you collect bourbon doesn't mean all your friends will want bourbon. Slowly build your collection with the essentials, such as vodka, gin, bourbon, whiskey, and mixers. Keep some beer and wine on hand as well. Most importantly, keep the door open for friends.

Tie it all together with the right lighting

Sometimes all it takes is the proper lighting fixtures to bring a room together. A mid-century couch with a Victorian lamp is ideal if you're going for an eclectic look. However, if you want all mid-century, all day, look for mid-century lighting styles like a Sputnik chandelier. According to The Spruce, mid-century modern style lighting is more popular than ever and not going anywhere soon. The clean lines and iconic, classic look might make it so enduring. The popularity of "Mad Men" didn't hurt the mid-century modern lighting industry either. The lamps and hanging lights throughout the sets are perfect for inspiring your home.

Installing soft lighting will make your home a warm and welcoming place. The use of lamps for mid-century modern style is essential. Most home goods stores have a selection of lamps that suit the look. Search for wood and simple, clean lines. Remember that sometimes you need a little more light for activities like reading. A tall reading light that hangs over a chair will do the trick and complement that '60s style you're hoping to achieve.

Scatter small area rugs

Today, most people prefer large rugs rather than small ones, especially when pulling a seating area together. According to The Spruce, your rug should comfortably fit all your primary furniture pieces, with the legs resting on top. However, you don't have to do things like everyone else. If you want to do it like Don, throw some colorful, smaller rugs here and there throughout the house as accent pieces.

It might have been the light-colored carpeting in many homes, including Don and Megan's, that caused designers to opt for smaller rugs. Not to mention, with carpet, the furniture didn't need a soft area to set its feet. You can have fun in your mid-century home by adding several smaller rugs in bright pops of color. However, you can still pull off a mid-century style if you have wood floors and need large rugs to fill the space.

Don't forget the details

Once your home has a mid-century modern foundation, it's time to fill in the gaps with details and accessories. Think of items like clocks, funky glass art, and similar fun decor. According to Apartment Therapy, the sixties were a time of change and new ideas. Crazy trends and rebellious ideas were making their way into everyday life, and home decor was no exception.

This period brought us geometric designs, contrast, paisley prints, and tie-dye. The era also ushered in pop art, bright colors, and clean, open concept homes. When it's time to accessorize your fabulous mid-century modern home, add art collections full of color and bold designs. Even plastics play a significant role in the decor. You might find a colorful plastic vase for flowers that wouldn't fit well in most homes, but it will in the mid-century modern home. Analog clocks hanging on the wall remind us of the sixties, especially in classic avocado green or a bright red color. Have fun with your accessories. There are modern-day items that will fit right in, and there are always antique shops where one person's junk is another person's treasure.