eBay is still one of the best ways to find affordable, original mid-century modern pieces online.
But scoundrels and mislabeled items abound, making it difficult to seperate treasures from trash.
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If good design is a balance of aesthetics and utility, the craft peaked in the years between 1945–1970.
This era of modernism hit the design sweet spot: functional beauty. Finding harmony between the natural and the manmade, designers made objects that serve their purpose with organic grace.
This site is a tribute to the mid-century modern movement as both a historical milestone and a living ideal, reflected in today’s best furniture, architecture, and design. Learn more »
This Jens Risom piece from Lookmodern is the kind of thing that would never be made today. Why have seat/table combinations disappeared? The angled magazine holder is a nice touch.
Excellent for a waiting room. (The chair is similar to the Risom pieces Ralph Pucci is presently making.)
great piece!! you’re right…sadly they don’t make them like this anymore.
We went and saw this piece in person at Lookmodern right before it was shipped off to a buyer in Seattle. We actually drove down there from Seattle to buy it and got there too late. The owners of lookmodern (wonderful couple) told us that there we so many made for libraries in the mid century and people have just thrown them away. They picked that one up and left so many behind at a sale for a library that was being shut down in eastern Washington. Ever since, I have been scouring the internet and antique stores and library sales for another. They said if I found one, they would refinish it for me for a price. Sigh. I might be looking for a while.
I just bought a second-hand waiting room sofa ($18!) with two armchairs on a chrome frame, with a walnut table between them. Not nearly as nice lines as this one, but very similar. The chrome polished up quite beautifully, and the wood is in surprisingly fantastic condition. It’s currently a blue canvas that’s not in bad shape, but it’s an unfortunate color. I love the green with the wood in this piece, but I’m wondering what would be a good fabric choice to play off the chrome frame. I’m leaning toward a bright orange, but patterns are also tempting. As far as similar sets not being made today, it’s frankly not very practical for the home. You can’t stretch out and relax on it, and it’s particularly disruptive to, let’s say, romantic potential. The only way this could work in a modern home is with a coordinating standard-style sofa.
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This site is a tribute to the mid-century modern movement as both a historical milestone and a living ideal, reflected in today’s best furniture, architecture, and design. Read more »
Edited and designed by Stephen Coles, Chris Hamamoto, and Laura Serra.