When we first purchased our home, we were faced with many decisions: What colors should we paint the walls, what fi xtures should we replace, which of our furnishings and accessories can stay and which should go?

It wasn’t long after we got our keys that I consulted my friend Jenny — a former home photography stylist and visual merchandiser with an eye for design. We talked wall colors and coverings, and when Jenny learned that Vladimir Ossipoff designed our home, she quickly commented on staying within the aesthetic of its time.


Built in 1963, our home exudes midcentury modern. HGTV defines this as an “extensive use of glass and open design concepts (that) help this style forge a connection with nature.” Sunset Magazine defines it as a “clean simplicity and integration with nature … that still feels contemporary.”

While outfitting our home to respect this style, I have come to appreciate it even more, and also began recognizing its extensive use both here and globally. If you want to get the look in your own home, consider some of these ideas:

Do your homework. Simplicity and functionality are hallmarks of midcentury modern furnishings. Think fine craftsmanship. If you want to stick with authentic pieces, look for manufacturing dates and countries. Denmark, Yugoslavia, Japan, Italy and America tend to have made authentic pieces, according to Architectural Digest.


Look for specifics. This style tends to incorporate clean lines and geometric shapes. When it comes to furnishings, look for minimal hardware and the use of tapered legs. Materials are often wood or tweed.

Mix in Mother Nature. Perhaps one of the reasons this style has worked so well in Hawaii is because it has a strong connection with the environment. Incorporate the natural by adding plants, natural light, exposed wood and earthy color schemes to your home.

Keep it simple. Clutter has no place in the midcentur modern aesthetic. Minimal furnishings and accessories will allow your space to breathe and give it the air and light it needs. Knock down walls to open up your space. Incorporate sliding glass doors or even pocket doors to create a more seamless transition between indoors and out.


Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.