Best of the New: Mid-century Modern Online
Seeking vintage treasures but don’t have time for the hunt? Get clicking. These five Chicago bloggers are doing the work for you. The best part: They all deliver (or you can pick up).
1. Cercis cercisdesign.blogspot.com
George Nelson Cabinets $1,200 (pair)
After naming his business for his favorite tree—the Eastern redbud—one-time landscape architect Edward Francois turned his attention to authentic mid-century goods by recognized names like Harvey Probber, Paul McCobb, Charles and Ray Eames, and more. “Good original condition is important to me,” Francois says.
2. Hot Coffee! hotcoffeemodern.blogspot.com
Herman Miller Shell Chair $350
Kevin Nortz was a photojournalist with the Washington Post before moving to Chicago, which explains the quality of the pics on his site. “People are always asking, ‘Where’s your store?’” he says. “A brick-and-mortar store leads to higher prices. Why open one if you can make things look good online?”
3. Flatout Design flatoutdesign.blogspot.com
Seating System $595
Michael Stephens is more furniture flipper than restorer; after years as an antiquarian bookseller, he knows how to walk away from pieces that need too much work. His year-old blog has been successful enough to morph into a full-time job. Stephens’s only business problem? “Some followers have complained that everything sells too fast and they never get a chance,” he says. Following the Flatout Facebook page helps; loyal clients sometimes get first dibs.
4. Circa Midcentury circamidcentury.blogspot.com
Hans Wegner Lounge Chair $600
Jared Peterson was a laid-off architect who gave himself a new job: mid-century modern furniture scout. His Ukrainian Village workshop is filled with finds both ready to go and waiting for his restorative touch. All are bound for the blog; some become part of his popular intermittent giveaways, which keep attracting new fans.
5. Reform Objects reformobjects.blogspot.com
1950s Walnut Frame Sofa $550
Humboldt Park mom Cintia Kruschke scours estate sales and auctions for pieces that aren’t “cookie-cutter modern,” as she puts it. “I’m not so much interested in names and designers as I am in a piece with good styling,” she says. A more sophisticated finish, some new cushions, and—voilà!—the items are ready to be posted.
Photograph: Leonard Gertz
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