In recent years there has been a massive revival in popularity of mid century furniture in design circles, and not just because of Madmen (the TV series) – the classic, timeless designs have lots of modern appeal. Mid-Century Modern, who recently moved from the Biscuit Mill, specialize in pieces from this era. Their new spot is just off Salt River circle in Durham Avenue, in a former 1960’s sports car showroom where the light filled premises showcases their furniture perfectly. ILW chats to owners Ernst and Gawaine about the unique pieces in their store.
The term Mid-Century modern generally describes mid-20th century developments in furniture design, product design and architecture. It began just after WW2 and continued into the 1960’s. The aesthetic movement flourished in Europe, especially Scandinavia, where designers such Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobson reached iconic status. Interestingly enough even here in SA the style was quite popular among Afrikaners, and according to the owners they still source some amazing pieces in small dorpies across South Africa.
This Arne Jacobson Egg chair is the most expensive piece in the store, and it’s worth a visit to the store just for the pleasure if sitting in it. Since it’s so hard to find originals from this era many companies are producing reproductions, but there is no denying the appeal of an original. The owners don’t sell any fakes or knock-offs, only the real thing in the original condition. If a client wants a piece restored they work with the best restorers to get the job done. Personally I find the patina and history in the unrestored pieces, not to mention the design credentials, irresistible.
Most people want to know where they source their furniture. Many of their items were imported from Denmark, but they do still source locally as well, and occasionally buy something off the internet.
Visit their store at 10 Durham Avenue, they have a coffee shop to hang out in and apparently they serve the best cappuchinos in town. They also do rentals to the film industry.