We have been trying to slowly furnish the house with age-appropriate pieces. Obviously we would love to purchase original furniture circa 1952, but it's a lot of work. Looking on Ebay, 1st Dibs, scrounging flea markets and estate sales takes a part-time job. Luckily there are so many reproduction companies out there, we can have the great design, but in great condition and it arrives at your door. Still, nothing beats the thrill of finding an original hidden in the piles of a warehouse in Bridgeport. Here are two examples of recent purchases: one found by scrounging and the other by one-click shopping.
Worth the Hunt:
Last spring we found a place in Bridgeport that carries MCM everything. They actually rent out their cool finds for movie props. It's called Marquis Modern and the owners, Clay & Karen are snow-birds that are passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the designers of the era. They are the ones we bought our credenza from. They offered free delivery in exchange for a house tour. Their own MCM house burned down years ago and since then they live vicariously through their clients. Anyway, we snagged a set of original Hardoy chairs (butterfly chairs) by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy for only $80. each. The difference between the originals and knock-offs is that these are made from one continuous piece of steel and many new ones fold. We ordered custom covers from Circa 50 in off-white canvas for under $200 total. We'll put them outside when the warm weather comes around again. The little black nubs you see half way up the legs are the original protectors that have since traveled up the legs and have been repainted in new positions.
These were worth the hunt especially since we have the architect's original 1952 advertisement for our home and the illustration featured a man relaxing on his deck in a butterfly chair (smoking a pipe and sipping a cocktail, of course).
We had been looking for a fun fixture for our entry. We were tempted to go with a George Nelson bubble, but they are very popular and expected for a house of this vintage, plus we wanted some color. We came across this FL/Y Suspension Lamp at Design Within Reach . It's was designed by Ferruccio Laviani in 2002, so not a piece from the 1950's, but we thought the shape, color and plastic material works well. They custom ordered it for us in orange since they only carry limited colors, I worked out a 15% discount and got it for $265. Super deal! It spans about 22 inches wide. Josh's Dad graciously installed it last weekend and we love it. I just wish the previous owners had installed the electric plate on the ceiling. They installed it directly on the wood beam and it is wider than the wood. None of the rooms have ceiling light fixtures aside from the living room, so they had to improvise. Since I have zero electrical skill, I'm just happy it is up and turns on. Major drawback: the clear acrylic surface is a crazy static source and collects every bit of dust, both inside and out.