Gee, That’s Swell! Mid-Century Furniture: The 1950s

Sunburst clocks, elliptical coffee tables, red vinyl and chrome chairs…what’s old is new again! Retro furniture from the mid-century era is back in style. The 1950s marked an era at the cusp of a modern and hopeful time in the United States – rock-n-roll music, poodle skirts, color television, and Easy Bake ovens. And furniture design was no different. The “kitsch” we adore today served a purpose. Sleek and elegant, yet functional, mid-century furniture took cues from the architecture at the time. With designers like Charles Eames, George Nelson, and others, furniture was built to be sturdy, streamlined, and comfortable.

Mid-century modern furniture and accessories are abundant these days and can be found in antique stores, thrift shops, and new furniture warehouses across the country. Furniture manufacturers are copying the look, making is easier (and sometimes more affordable) to get “the look.” Folks who want the look, but don’t have the time or resources to scour every vintage shop in the city can look online. Like 1stdibs.com and Pacific Galleries in Seattle, you can bid online for retro furniture and accessories. Do you like the mid-century modern look, but don’t want a used piece? Stores like West Elm (just opened in Seattle!) and Design Within Reach (on 1st Avenue in Seattle) offer pieces with a mid-century flair. Even Target carries furniture and accessories – $90 will get you the Mitchell Armless Chair with a retro bubbles print! But diehards like me will tell you there is nothing like a stunning 1950s masterpiece found at an estate sale or vintage store! Golly gee…it is swell!

Looking for mid-century modern furniture in Seattle. A quick search on Yelp yielded these results and more…

Want more info. Check out these online resources…

Do you have a favorite mid-century resource or furniture store? Let me know because I’m always looking!

Photo credit: http://www.midcenturyhomestyle.com/inside/living-room/1950s/gallery/page17.htm

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