Archives for category: Mid-century modern furniture

l620b6f44-m2oThe current TV show Mad Men has sparked a renewed interest in all things mid-century modern. The lead character Don Draper and his advertising partners inhabit a 1960s world fueled by mid-day martinis and cigarettes, filled with hidden identities and changing gender roles. But even amidst the sophisticated drama, the viewer can’t help but be dazzled by the gorgeous sets, which capture the high styles of the time beautifully. As a result, young hipsters today are re-discovering the modern clean lines in both the furniture and household items of the era. The “shelter magazines” have gone mad for the MCM (mid century modern) look; one can see both the original and the knock off pieces for sale everywhere now. The unfussy, easy-on-the-eye furnishings have a fresh upbeat feel.l620b6f44-m3o

I was recently asked by William Rochford, realtor at Sotheby’s, to stage for sale a 1970s ranch style home in Rockport. The house was empty and presented a clean slate. The moment I walked in the front door, it hit me immediately what the house needed. A large picture window opens up to the acre plus property and the commodious combination living/dining room complete with built-in shelving and open bookcases flanking the fireplace screamed out for MCM. Staging the house could show the home to its best advantage and give potential buyers an idea as to what life could be like living there. My basement and attic is a bursting treasure trove of all things MCM. A perfect fit.l620b6f44-m7o

The furniture I chose for the house are mostly warm woods and all original pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. For a bit of gloss, a pair of teak and smoked glass topped Danish modern side tables flank the sleek lined sofa. A wire see-through Bertoia chair with sheepskin added was placed next to the fireplace. Selecting a Paul McCobb dining table with stiletto legs and Franco Legler woven wicker basket chairs completed the furnishings. For accent colors I opted for a burnt orange and lime green. When used sparingly, these colors work amazingly together. The bookcases were filled with books of the era, such as The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Art objects, glass ware, and framed art from the period complement the room. No knock offs used here, only the originals please. Rather than look like a frozen in time room, the space oddly enough looks fresh and updated, ready for a modern family to move right in and begin living the MCM way. Makes one mad for a Singapore Sling.

If you have caught the MCM fever, check out all my modern offerings at Cambridge Antique Market, Msgr. O’Brien Highway, Cambridge, MA, space #274/275 on the second floor.l620b6f44-m5o

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What do you do when the attic, basement, and closets are full of “treasures” that you have been collecting over the years? Open a store and begin selling it all! The combination of lots of storage space and a yen to collect things different and unusual is fraught with danger. Spaces quickly fill up and items get forgotten. I live in an 1840 converted barn with a huge hayloft and full basement. When we moved in three years ago, the empty spaces seemed cavernous. Now it is a struggle to pass through the hayloft and basement. The time had come to make some hard decisions about what to keep and what to jettison. The Cambridge Antique Market provided the solution. It is a multi dealer space and had a vacancy. Serendipity!

Mid-Century finds

Mid-Century finds

Susan

Susan

Susan, a close friend, had recently transitioned out of a position at an antique shop on Beacon Hill and was looking for her next business venture. She had previously managed a gallery in Palm Springs, California which held an amazing variety of vintage and antique objects. While working there she became conversant with collectible mid-century modern pieces and developed an unerring design eye. I grew up with a houseful of 1960s Danish modern furniture and all the attendant household goods that fit that design. A perfect marriage of acquired knowledge and past experience.

The 1950s through 1970s were a hopeful and optimistic time in America. The outlook is reflected in the design of the architecture, furniture and household items of the time. A new generation of twenty and thirty year olds is discovering the period’s upbeat mood and style. The TV show Madmen, which captures the era so deliciously with its mid-century modern set design and clothes, has helped fuel the renewed interest in the time and its design. An idea for a market niche for our space at the Cambridge Antique Market was hatched!

Flower power tray

Flower power tray

Since setting up shop there, our space was shown in several shots of a segment of the Boston area TV lifestyle show, Chronicle. The Boston Globe also recently sent a reporter to write an upcoming piece on the Cambridge Antique Market. When the reporter asked Michelle, a knowledgeable long time staff member, what was currently “hot,” Michelle ushered them to our space. Last week, set designers from a movie being shot in Boston came looking for mid-century modern items and found our treasure trove. Our space is hopefully becoming discovered.

Ikebana

Ikebana

017 I wish I could say my hayloft and basement were bare once again, but in fact my collecting has just gone into hyperdrive. While the space is no less crowded, the items are constantly changing. Susan and I have a full press hunt on for mid-century modern and other unusual treasures. We need warehousing space.  It feels a bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Basement to Cambridge

Basement to Cambridge

Attic treasures await new owners

Attic treasures await new owners

Susan and my “finds” can be seen at The Cambridge Antique Market, 201 Msgr. O’Brien Highway, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Space 274/275 is on the second floor.

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