Jennifer Aniston's mid-century living room champions the modernist trend of the moment – and experts approve

Mid-century modern decor is back, but this time it's infused with warm minimalism and a color palette that exudes quiet luxury

Jennifer Aniston
(Image credit: Getty Images / C Flanigan / Contributor)

With its tactile, organic furnishings, sharp lines, and eclectic design, Jennifer Aniston's Bel-Air sanctuary feels like a (very cool) mid-century modern home in the verdant foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. 

When it comes to interior design trends, there is a modernist vibe in the air this season. Mid-20th century influences abound – bold color, raw wood, and bronze details – and black notes are key. With their classic looks and pared-back style, mid-century modern decor ideas are enduringly popular. It is easy to see why this look is revered so highly, even now. 

When Aniston purchased this 1965 home she immediately enlisted the aid of interior designer Stephen Shadley, with whom she had collaborated on her previous L.A. home, to revive the mid-century modern aesthetic in a contemporary context. The final result is a masterclass in biomorphic forms, mixed materials, and creative color.

Spanning the decade between the Thirties and the Seventies, these simple shapes were inspired by earlier design movements, including the Bauhaus school in Germany. Materials such as molded plastics allowed many of the world's best interior designers to explore new materials, colors, and forms. However, the latest version of this aesthetic combines mid-century design with warm minimalism. 

‘A combination of warm minimalist design and mid-century style is pure perfection,’ says Clair Hornby, head of creative at Barker and Stonehouse. This interior design trend centers around the belief that human welfare needs to be connected to nature; these days, a lot of people miss that in their lives. 

This new, warmer minimalism, combined with mid-century decor, is much about using materials that activate the senses. It’s not really minimalist – you can use decorations, similar to the way Shadley has done in Aniston's living room – but it’s always in an essential and meaningful way. No matter how beautiful an object or piece of furniture is, it has to be warm and inviting. 

Mid-century modern décor is predominantly focused on straight lines, wood furniture, geometric shapes and minimal color schemes. Although mid-century modern design was driven by advances in technology, it was also inspired by the natural world, and wood is the most widely used material for furniture. Invest in unfussy, utilitarian-style furniture. Go for functional, fluid designs and abstract prints based on natural shapes – rediscovered and reinterpreted for today’s modern interiors, architecture, and lifestyles. 

For ideas, look to icons like Florence Knoll and Arne Jacobson for inspiration – both of whom were prominent designers during the mid-century modern period. Their work still serves as design inspiration for some of the world’s top creatives.

Shop the mid-century modern look

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.