As a midcentury modern enthusiast, I'm kind of like Peggy Lee: I know a little bit about a lot of things. So there's substantial delight to be found in meeting people who know a little more about some things. The folks at Mid2Mod are the kind you can geek out with. Walk into their new digs in Deep Ellum, and your curiosity will yield anecdotes about Jens Risom's "Playboy" chair, the kerfluffle that Edward Wormley caused when he designed a line for Drexel (while he was principal designer at Dunbar), and the genesis of Broyhill's hyperboloid Brasilia line. When something catches your eye -- and if you like modernism at all, something will -- just ask proprietor Joe Eggleston or one of his midmod mavens about it.
But be careful. That information can transform idle curiosity into unanticipated covetousness. Take that aformentioned Brasilia line. I had seen examples of it before, and admired it, but learning from Doni Biggs that it had been inspired by the architecture of Oscar Niemayer for the new capitol of Brazil in the early 1960s, well, it became that much more interesting. Look at this room divider: how can you not just sort of want it? Like in an "I've been eating cauliflower for a week and you're grilling a Texas ribeye RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME" kind of way?
I'd explain that the reason I didn't purchase this room divider, and tackle the shopper wearing a Gilligan hat who dared to look in its direction, was that Paul and I don't really have the need for one, or the money, for that matter.
But then how would I explain to you our visit to the Mid2Mod warehouse sale yesterday? Joe and fellow dealer Doni had a host of goodies in a darkened storefront space on Main Street in Deep Ellum. ("We get electricity next week," explained Joe.) These ranged from the swelligant (a marble-topped McCobb credenza) to the unusual (a bow-tie shaped wall mirror) to the funky (lucite tables and chairs). Unfortunately, they were fresh out of Danish modern sideboards, which is what Paul and I really were after. (We'd like something swankier to put our TV on in the living room.) Lots of items intrigued us, but they were not what we needed. And as far as "just because" purchases go, well... Finding the right midcentury accessory is sort of like pornography. You know it when you see it.
As if on cue, Joe pulled a Danish modern valet chair off his truck and plopped it in the front window. Did I need this? No. Did I know anything about it? No. But I absolutely had to have it. It sang to me. It flirted with me. It asked to be in my life, and I said, "Okay." I'm not sure what it was about the object - the rope seat in perfect condition? The sculpted armrests? The slight "grasshopper" flair of the back legs? Who cares! We're soul mates and I don't care what anyone says. We'll elope if we have to.
Meanwhile, deeper in the warehouse, Paul was embarking on similar relationships with a sculptural Scandinavian lamp and a Milo Baughman recliner. He thought the chair was okay before he tried it out. Then he sat in it and leaned back. It was love at first recline. The best part, in Paul's view, is that it just looks like a normal chair. The foot rest hides up under the seat until you push back. Then, surprise! And it's so much prettier than a Barcalounger. As far as the lamp goes, I loved it too. I immediately thought of how great it would look on our hearth.
So Paul and I dug deep into our tax refunds and spent like sailors. The only buyer's remorse we felt that afternoon was for the ginormous breakfast platters we consumed at the All Good Cafe a few doors down. (I mean, seriously good food, but, whoa.)
Once home, Paul and I "installed" our new acquisitions in temporary locations around the house. We're not sure where the recliner or the valet will end up, but we're happy with the lamp on the hearth. So, too, it would appear, is Murphy: