Mid-century modern

1 Apr

Oops well there went March, a month of no blogging. I’m placing my blame solely with my employer, The Bookseller. Despite having worked at the mag for four years, the pre-London Book Fair March-madness, which has squeezed nearly 30,000 words out of me, still takes me by surprise and wipes me out for evening/weekend work.

Here’s how I’ll make it up to you. For those of you who are into the heavier stuff, very shortly you’ll find some of the produce of my blood, sweat and Bookseller tears available here, including an interview with legendary picture book duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (of Gruffalo fame, as illustrated below).

Donaldson and Scheffler, my latest victims

(Picture credit: Amazon.co.uk)

And for the rest of you,  herewith an M-themed blog post to pay tribute to MARCH, the neglected month of my birth.

Design, M-style

(Picture credit: Waterstones.com)

I’ve long been a lover of interior design from the 1950s and 60s (think strong Scandi influences, tonnes of teak and of course G-Plan furniture) but thanks in no small part to “Mad Men”, as well as great titles like the above, the rest of the country seems to have gone wild for it too. Unfortunately, aside from now making me far from original, this resurgence in demand for mid-century modern design has pushed prices through the roof. Take this sideboard (much like the one featured in Sterling Cooper’s offices) that I’ve been craving for sometime, as an example. When I confessed my desire to replace the modern sideboard in my flat with one like this, my Dad couldn’t believe it. Back in the day he’d spent many an afternoon helping his mates throw out their old sideboards straight into the skip, and yet this is a costly £595. But that’s trends for you.  So here’s a quick call to any readers who happen to have one of these stashed up in their loft, who would like to give it a new loving new home for rather a lot less that 500 quid?

(Picture credit: johnnymoustache.shop)

Anyway, with the supply/demand/overpricing situation as it is, you’ll understand my glee when I saw there was a Vintage Furniture Flea, happening down the road from me at York Hall in Bethnal Green last weekend. Battling my standard Sunday hangover, with lucky Steve in tow, I set off for York Hall to sniff out a bargain.

Fun at the fair

York Hall, packed with bargain-hunters

Alas a sideboard was not to be had. There was a fine specimen on show, but with a whopping £1000 plus price tag and only a pair of bikes for transport, it had to stay put. Instead, a delightful duo of West German 1960s ceramic jugs produced by Scheurich and sold by a lovely lady from Retropolitan for an undisclosed sum (my Mum might kill me), made their way home with me. They are now looking pretty on my dining room table, aside some lovely artificial roses purchased by Steve for my birthday. What with Sundays spent pot-shopping and boyfriends buying fake flowers, we might have been mistaken for middle-aged, so afterwards we got ourselves down to Broadway market for some BEERS with the lads.

Best in show

If you fancy heading along to a similar fair, take a look here, and here for some forthcoming dates.

Or if woodworm and mothballs aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of modern interpretations to get your hands on. Here’s a few bits and bobs that have been creeping into my cravings list. WARNING, they don’t come cheap!

(Photo credits: retailer's websites as below)

Where to buy

  1. Grey Ella two-seater, Habitat – £1,100
  2. PS Karljohan side table, Ikea – £50.96
  3. Yellow Dinky sofa, Heals – £1,795
  4. Matthew Hilton Sideboard, John Lewis – £1,450

3 Responses to “Mid-century modern”

  1. Barbara Davies April 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Now I really want to know how much those pots were!

  2. Barbara Davies April 3, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    I reckon £25 for the larger one and £20 for the smaller one…

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