Timeless Blend - Page 4

How vintage and contemporary modern furnishings come together for an inspirational mix of warmth and style
Timeless Blend
With vintage and contemporary furnishings, Redux Stage Co. enhances this living room of an Eichler listing for East Bay Modern Real Estate.
Timeless Blend
Even the Eichler baby room can get the treatment: a miniature repro of the Eames plastic rocker (from Modway) meets a contemporary bed and night stand (Aerial Circle by Nurseryworks).
Timeless Blend
Sizing up old and new: Nelson Marshmallow Love Seat repro (top - vintage) and the Aspen sofa from Cassina (bottom - contemporary).

For homeowners who are collectors and want to recreate the mid-century vibe in their homes, studying interior photography from the period is a great place to start. Many design magazines have been digitized and can be found online for free; and Pinterest, Instagram, design museum archives, and countless blogs have hundreds, if not thousands, of images at the click of a button.

"I am always interested in assisting people in finding the perfect piece for their home," Bravo says. "Sometimes that piece is in stock, and sometimes I have to be on the lookout for specific pieces for clients."

Collectors who enjoy the 1950s Googie style tend to never have enough atomic lamps, starburst clocks, airbrushed art, kitschy salt and pepper shakers, dog nodders, hula girls, and Tiki mugs. Those collectibles lend themselves to be amassed in large qualities and displayed in layers on bookshelves.

To each their own, Bravo says, but "in my home, I try to keep my environment free of clutter. That means that some things might be on a rotation throughout the year. While I would love to fill my living room with chairs, a room does have its limit. Our walls of windows have a distinct chair rail line. It would not be stylistically appropriate for the furniture in the room to be taller than that."

Goldklang, who lives in a 1967 Leon Meyer-designed round house, imports Danish modern and authentic mid-century furniture on quarterly buying trips to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, England, and Scotland: "Personally, I love homes that are 100 percent vintage, where the owners restored the home; and all the electronics, appliances, and cosmetic touches are vintage. Very few people are doing the complete vintage look and living the '50s lifestyle. I happen to have an insane passion for it to be that into it."

Goldklang fell in love with MCM furnishings because of what the era stood for: "It was about the essential Golden Age of America. When the country was prosperous and fast-forward looking, and there was so much optimism."

When helping clients find a vintage piece, his first question is what size are they looking for. The second question is budget. "If our clients are torn between pieces, and their budget allows it, I will point them in the direction of better quality," he says. "Pieces that are a little more expensive are usually built by a well-known cabinetmaker and have less pressed wood in them for better structural integrity. So it's a better piece of furniture."

One of the great benefits of investing and owning mid-century furniture is that it usually retains its value. "While value is dictated by stylistic demand, mid-century furniture remains a hot commodity on the secondary market," Bravo says. "This means that when you get tired of your vintage furniture, if you purchased wisely, it is still worth what you paid for it. That is definitely not true for much of the furniture and accessories purchased from chain stores."

 "We try to hit that middle range, for people who are looking for a well-built piece, and they don't mind whether or not a name is attached to it," Goldklang says.

"Every time we go over to Europe, which is ever four to six months, we are seeing less and less good stuff. Five years ago there was a wealth of things from the '50s and '60s from high to mid-range. Now, we are seeing more '70s and '80s pieces, and the mid-century is getting very hard to find."

For this reason, and also because of continued demand, quality vintage continues to climb in value.

As in life, there are no short cuts to creating a perfect balance in any living space. ​It is time-consuming to create a home that is functional, uncluttered, and beautiful. The devil is in the details.

"There are no shortcuts in design—only love and passion for good-looking pieces that need to work together," Secret says. "If you think something looks good, or will, it will most likely work. Trust your gut."

Photography: Joe Fletcher Photography, Sabrina Huang Photography, Claudia Desbiens, Camila Baum, Ken Fox of East Bay Modern Real Estate, Andy Lacey & Karen Ronneback, Jay Jeffers, Julian Goldklang, Tyler Mussetter, Nova Lighting