Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mid century love

I've been drooling over some mid-century furniture since I visited Diane's cottage a few years ago. And yet I don't have anything even remotely mid-century in our house. What's up with that?

If I had to describe my decorating style I think I'd say it's casual+eclectic.

Casual like Pottery Barn casual (but not so matchy-matchy that it looks like everything comes right out of a Pottery Barn catalog). In great part this is because the majority of my furniture actually does come from Pottery Barn -- I used to work there. Truth be told, I got a job there because we had a house to furnish and they offered a great employee discount (I'm practical like that).

And I'd say my style is a bit eclectic because much of my decorative stuff comes from garage stores and thrift stores so it's stuff that not everyone would have. I also like changing up accessories, area rugs and pillows -- so stuff doesn't always look the same.

So casual+eclectic -- but definitely not mid-century. So why am I searching for a good price the on Bertoia mesh chairs that Diane has? (Especially when I don't have a single space available to put one. But holy moly is it comfortable to sit in. Who'd of thunk? A metal mesh chair is comfortable? Oh, yea, it really is.)
Source. Mfg by Knoll.

And why am I searching in earnest for a Saarinean 60" tulip coffee table and tulip stools that fit around it (because I love, love, love putting together puzzles on it at Diane's). I'd pay through the nose for these. But, that said, I have nowhere to put them

Source. Mfg by Knoll.

You might think that since these products were produced right here in West Michigan there would be some second-hand pieces available around here. Not so much. Even if that were true, and so far I've seen no evidence of it, I've yet to see any anywhere that don't have New York city prices attached to them. And by that I mean way, way, way out of our price range.

And then, as I look at these images I remember that I've lusted for many a moon over the Aluminium Group lounge chairs (Mfg. by Herman Miller) that we had in our common area when I attended college -- talk about comfort!

But, really? Can you picture either of these amidst my Pottery Barn furniture? It would be a stretch, that's for sure.

So, in my quest for these pieces, I've come up with something with mid-century flair that will work with what I have. I came up with this beauty at auction:

Beauty might be a stretch, don't you think? This is how it looked at auction. It's cleaned up a bit now, and is just waiting for me to figure out how to bring it back to life. In this pic they had the drawers in the wrong places (the bottom three are a bit deeper than the rest), and one of the legs was broken off (which, btw, was not listed as a "feature" in the auction listing online -- but they gave me a discount when I mentioned it at pickup, so that helped). But once I cleaned it off it looked much better.

The problem (aside from the fact that Rico doesn't like it, and also doesn't like the fact that I want to remove the antique desk from the room and replace it with this) is that it's a still a bit beat up and it's a bit smelly.

I sent questions out to a couple of bloggers that I've been following asking for their suggestions. I asked Sausha at Show & Tell about how to add some moisture back to the wood, and I asked Marion at Miss Mustard Seed how to get the funky smell out of it.

I can't wait to try their suggestions. Wait for an "after" photo to come as soon as we get some warm weather in Michigan (because I'm sure as shootin' not going to freeze my buns off in the garage to work on it right now).

In the meantime, anyone got a lead on my mesh chair or tulip table and stools?