How to Start Collecting Mid-Century Modern Furniture

How to Start Collecting Mid-Century Modern Furniture thumbnail
Modern furniture is often strange in appearance.

Mid-century modern furniture is known for its retro-futuristic elements and its minimalist design. Collecting this furniture is a time-consuming and challenging hobby, as you never know where the next great find could be located. If you want to get started with mid-century modern furniture and are not sure where to begin, there are a few things to learn before you bring home your first piece of furniture. Authentic mid-century furniture is often expensive, so know what you are doing before investing.

Things You'll Need

  • time
  • enthusiasm
  • the internet
  • walking shoes!
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Instructions

    • 1

      Familiarize yourself with the basic aesthetics of mid-century modern design. This furniture usually has weird shapes, clean lines and bright colors, and is often made out of odd building materials. You will need to teach yourself to spot these qualities before you can start seriously shopping.

    • 2

      Learn about famous mid-century modern designers. Arne Jacobsen, Harry Bertoia, and Eero Saarinen are just a few of the most celebrated designers during this time period, and you will want to be able to spot their work or work with their influence.

    • 3

      Visit antique stores that focus on furniture and look for pieces that convey the stylistic elements of mid-century modern design. Vintage but authentic furniture will cost more, but will likely accrue in value.

    • 4

      Keep an eye on classified listings for furniture, both online and in print. You can often find an excellent piece of mid-century design being thrown out by someone who either does not know or does not care what it's actually worth.

    • 5

      Check out estate sales and furniture auctions. These types of events usually have much higher-quality pieces of furniture, and you can occasionally score a deal on an excellent addition to your collection.

    • 6

      Teach yourself to spot the differences between an authentic piece and a reproduction. Upholstery, frame materials and construction quality can all clue you in to the real origin of a particular piece of furniture.

Tips & Warnings

  • If in doubt, don't spend money on a piece right away. Instead take some photos of it, check for manufacturer marks, go home and do some research. Likelihood is it will still be there the next day.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

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