I had a recent interview with one of my friends who recently flipped a mid century modern house in Phoenix. He’s a long time friend, I’ve known him for years. And i can tell you he has a much better eye than me when it comes to mid century modern style:
After walking into this lately “flipped” 1952 midcentury farm in central Phoenix, it was very clear that your home needed to be “re-flipped. ” This can be something that I’m discovering is more and more common with flippers that no longer understand the mid imod style. There were many good things that the previous flippers did to this house which i was able to work with, but the biggest issue was that the house was void of style and identity. Styling (or staging) is a major part of flipping for me, which is what a great many other flippers skip. However, I feel that it’s what makes the property feel like a home, and since a stylist, My spouse and i can help communicate the aesthetic and lifestyle of the home to a buyer.
After buying this property, this living room had a few essentials done: fresh paint, new baseboards and the sea of carpet had been replaced with large, ceramic gray tile. For most people, that alone would have been considered a “remodel,” but I knew that this space needed additional attention to give it the “wow” factor it deserved. I turned my focus to the styling of the space.
When I first saw this home, the large floor-to-ceiling windows pulled on my heartstrings, but I didn’t like the awkward “normal” window that had been added next to them. It felt like an afterthought and caused the room to feel unfocused. Large floor-to-ceiling curtains were a great solution that helped accentuate the large windows I loved while also hiding the small window I didn’t. This also created an opportunity to create a focal point in the corner: The iconic ceiling-mounted fireplace has always been a MCM feature that I’ve loved, but it wasn’t an easy item to find or implement. My solution was to have one made that is reminiscent of the original 1950s style. A local metal shop was able to fabricate one for me based off of a photo, and the result is a very authentic look at a much more attainable cost. To avoid the expense of venting, and due to fireplaces not really being essential for warmth in Phoenix, the ceiling-mounted unit has a faux log set that hides cans of gel fuel. These don’t require any venting but create a real flame and burn for up to 4 hours.
Styling a room with authentic Midcentury Modern pieces would be a dream, but it’s often not a reality as a flipper or for many people’s wallets either, therefore it’s important to find a balance that works. Rummage sales and thrift stores still seem to be my go-to for finding MCM pieces that are misunderstood (and mis-priced as a result). The rug was saved from the curb for a bargain of $25 and helped to establish this space. The two black and chrome chairs against the walls were Goodwill finds for $2.50 each! However, my favorite piece in this room is the sewing table behind the sofa. I found it at Goodwill in Phoenix on 50%-off day. Thanks to a brown Sharpie marker, some touch-up stain, and after opening the top extensions on each side, it became the perfect sofa table for this room.
Major retailers like Target are also catching on to trends and now offer many furniture or décor items that have reminiscent features of original MCM designs. The brass desk lamp, gold side table, gold hoof stool and furry stool with tapered legs are all Target finds! However, my favorite is the brass mobile because I scored it for 90% off atTarget’s holiday clearance. It’s by Nate Berkus and, per the packaging, was intended to be “wall décor.” Instead, I saw an opportunity to link two together and hang it from the ceiling. The result is a much more eye catching hanging mobile and the geometric shapes create a classic mid mod vibe!
Finally, if you’re not into sourcing originals, and you don’t want something that’s just reminiscent either, but you still want the look—I suggest you consider replicas. Many may consider this taboo, but I believe that good design should be attainable and affordable. A classic Eames chair with ottoman would typically cost thousands, but it’s sold on Amazon for $400 to $700 depending on the seller. (this is the one I ended up getting after doing some research) There are so many replicas today that look so similar to the real thing that, many times, it’s hard to tell the difference.