10 Features of Mid-Century Modern Homes in East Bay Real Estate

10 Features of Mid-Century Modern Homes in East Bay Real Estate

  • Chris Clark
  • 04/27/22

Buyers looking for mid-century modern homes in East Bay are drawn to the style's distinct aesthetic of clean lines, curves, and functional simplicity. This post-World War II design movement is characterized by its use of natural materials, liberal use of space, and departure from previous architectural movements' ornate, heavy style. The mid-century modern movement for homes applied to both architecture and interior design, with five easily identifiable features in architecture and five more for interior design.


Connecting the indoors to the outside

Mid-century modern architecture seen in Oakland homes for sale is marked by its use of large windows and sliding glass doors, which allow for ample natural light and easy access to the outdoors. This open and airy style is perfect for those who want to enjoy the outdoors and let in as much natural light as possible. The use of such large windows and full-glass doors made it easy for even young and short family members to enjoy the view of the outdoors. The design also prizes multiple egress points for easy flow from inside to outdoors and back again.

Open space

One of the key features of mid-century modern Oakland real estate is its liberal use of space. This open floor plan approach allows for greater flexibility in the home's layout and makes the space feel larger overall. The open design is an excellent example of the mid-century modern ideal and enjoyment of the living space. The use of natural materials often lends a warm and inviting feel to the home.

Horizontal lines

Horizontal lines and flat roofs are two standard features of mid-century modern Oakland homes. The horizontal lines create a sense of continuity and simplicity across a vast space, while the flat roofs add a unique level of perspective when viewing the home against the surroundings. These lines allow for strong forced-perspective enjoyment of the overall home design.

Elevation changes

Mid-century modern Oakland real estate often uses elevation changes to create visual interest and add unique levels to the structure. Split levels are a popular feature of mid-century modern homes. This design approach uses a split level to create two separate living areas within the home. The split level can create various layouts, such as a central living area on one level and a bedroom or kitchen on the other. This layout is perfect for those who want to have a separate space for entertaining and another for relaxing.

Unique maintenance needs


One of the main features of mid-century modern Oakland homes for sale is natural materials, such as wood. It is essential to take care of these elements to preserve their beauty and keep the house looking its best. Wood can be stained or painted to protect it from wear and tear, but it is also important to clean and seal the wood regularly to prevent long-term damage.

Flat roofs & large windows

Improper upkeep can lead to leaks with the often fully flat or gently sloped roofs. Ensure that your mid-century modern home is regularly inspected for any problems with the roof and that any repairs are made promptly. Regular washing is a must for the large windows to keep them looking their best. 

Industrial materials

As for industrial materials like steel, stucco, and aluminum, the longevity is much shorter than other common materials used for Oakland homes for sale, but they are much easier to upkeep. A good power washing every few years should be all that is needed to keep these materials looking new. It will be easy to find a contractor who can help if repair is necessary since these materials are readily available.

Interior Design

Functional & simple

The ideal of functionality and simplicity is one of the key features of mid-century modern design in Oakland real estate. As a departure from previous design movements that favored aesthetics over comfort and useability, this approach favors a minimalist aesthetic with clean lines and simple shapes. The goal is to create a space that is both functional and easy to use. Furniture and decor are often kept minimal to avoid clutter and emphasize the room itself.


One of the most easily recognizable furniture features in mid-century modern Oakland homes for sale is the use of curves. These soft, organic shapes are best seen in the ever-popular Eames chair and deeply curved couches nearly entirely circular in shape. The curves invite residents and guests to relax.  

Geometric shapes

Mid-century modern design often uses geometric shapes to create designs that draw the eye to patterns and the use of negative space. Geometric shapes are used in furniture, decor, and even architecture. The most popular geometric shapes used in mid-century modern design are circles (full, half, and quarter), squares, rectangles, and triangles. These shapes can be used to create patterns distinct to the style.


One of the most popular materials for furniture in mid-century modern Oakland homes for sale is wood. Various types of wood can be used, but some of the most popular options are teak, rosewood, and oak. Wood furniture was often seen as storage cabinets, desks, and tables. When using wood as part of a mid-century modern design, aim for complementary finishes rather than contrasting ones.

Bold accent colors

One of the most eye-catching features of mid-century modern design in Oakland real estate is the use of bold accent colors. These colors are used on single walls, statement furniture, and decor to add a pop of color and excitement to the space. While it’s common to see primary colors like red, blue, and yellow, other colors can also be used to great effect. Be sure to choose colors that stand out against the room's color palette to really make a statement.

As you can see, several features can help you identify a home as being mid-century modern. While each of these features may not be present in every home designed in this style, it's likely a mid-century modern home if you find several of them together. Keep these features in mind when touring homes in the East Bay and decorating your new home! Reach out today to Chris Clark for assistance with buying and selling East Bay real estate!

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