Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Spy: Midcentury Modern Hunting in Richmond

 I don't think I can pinpoint it to a certain date, but somewhere along the way I fell head over heels in love with midcentury modern furniture, which refers to anything from the 1940s-1970s. It's had a huge resurgence in recent years, so I know a big part of the obsession came from magazines and blogs. But the first time I remember realizing I loved '60s furniture was my sophomore year in college, when I was creating a collage out of Eames chairs trimmed from magazines and I was just in love. My in-laws have a home full of it, and I love all of it!

I know I should be careful not to end up locked into an obsession that frankly, can get a little pricey. Truthfully, I don't ever want to have a home so stuck in one era that it looks like a Smithsonian exhibit. But, I can't resist the pull of tapered legs, warm teak and rosewood, brass and chrome accents and clean lines! So when I stumbled upon Born Again Furnishings, a Richmond-based consignment shop specializing in midcentury furnishings, it beckoned me like a siren and like Odysseus, I just couldn't resist. I hope you realize what a big step it is for me to tell you about my new treasure trove when I haven't even had the chance to clean the place out! Here are some items that caught my attention:

 Ultra-modern and timeless teak-and-chrome lamps. Trust me when I say these would go in ANY living room. They're sleek and could add a little edge to even the most traditional of living rooms.

 This table and chairs were being sold as a set, which is a shame because the table is clearly the winner here. I pictured it in front of a breakfast nook banquette, with a bowl of oranges on top. The legs are so sculptural and cool.

 Lucite will always be popular with those of us who were obsessed with Domino Magazine...I've seen a lot of acrylic and lucite furniture, but a wine rack was new to me! This $100 one would be a great showcase for your collection.

 They had several really great dining tables and buffets, including this little buffet that would work perfectly as a multifunction storage piece. Use it as a bar, use it in an office...heck, fill it with blankets and board games. This workhorse would always be ready to serve.

 I thought this lamp looked like something you'd buy at West Elm right now. Interesting, timeless...even Japanese-looking in its minimalism and imperfect lines (I love the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi).

 A story: My in-laws actually have the lounge version of Ingmar Relling's Siesta chair and it is so beautiful. It has just the right balance of sculptural elegance and smushy, well-worn comfort. It has a striking silhouette...definitely not the kind of chair you stick in a corner. This $440 bad boy looks gorgeous from all sides.

This dresser, despite its discoloration on the bottom drawer, was the best of all eras. It has the warm wood and clean lines of midcentury modern furniture, but the curved bowfront hearkens back to classic styles of the mid-1800s. It truly would work in any room.

I did end up leaving with something...part of me wonders if it was unwise, because I will definitely have to get it reupholstered if I want to keep it. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and in the moment, my heart wanted a 1960s rosewood swivel chair. More on that later!

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