Friday, September 28, 2012

Snapshot of the times...A brief walk through A Modern Line

I normally hold off on posting while I'm in the process of working on some new projects, but it hit me that most of the people that peruse this blog have never seen the store that's the recipient of my labor of love, both out of state and out of the country! Today a brief snapshot or what you may come come across if you stop by...
Please...come on in!

A couple of vintage pretzel rattan tables and a little "Lolita" reproduction currently grace the sidewalk. With our always changing weather it's best not to get too carried away putting items outside. On the left as you walk through the door we have a group of nicely framed and matted prints that are currently on consignment. Two Picassos, a Miro, and a Matisse.
A turn to the right will reveal a nice Kent Coffey "Perspecta" pedestal table and 6 chairs. I really need to change the fabric on these chairs. Although period correct, the seats are ugly! I was going to hold off and offer to replace for the new owner but I don't think I can look at them much longer!

To the left is a Broyhill "Sculptra" server with flip out locking extentions. In the background two pieces of danish style Heywood-Wakefield "Contessa" door bases with shelved hutches from 1959, A Marushka screenprint above, and a pair of Harris G. Strong hand painted tiled art from the 50's along with a nice 5 arm brass and smoky globe chandelier.
More or less straight ahead are a couple of more contemporary pieces that just seemed to fit well with what we do here. A black kidney shaped loveseat with curved walnut legs, a loop/ribbon? chair, a chrome and glass oval cocktail table reminiscent of the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona style and an Eileen Grey E-1027 height adjustable round end/bedside table. A MC Escher block print hangs on the wall to the left and a couple of fun little 50's wrought iron dinette chairs that I rehabbed back to a new life.
The store is about 1600 sf but is not the wide open floor plan of a lot of places, rather two spaces side by side broken into 3 areas on each side. This makes it ideal for setting up separate vignettes for displaying like pieces and periods.

Strolling back through the north side of the spaces we have vintage an Alvar Aalto inspired Thonet chair that I refinished and my upholstery pros built the new cushions per specs. Great looking chair! A set of the ever popular Lane Acclaim tables all refinished, a Lane china, pair of Knoll Saarinen side chairs and an original Van Gaard oil to the right. There's also a funky pop art shade floor lamp (we also have the matching table lamp) and some fun laminate top stacking tables with pencil legs.

Glance to your left and you'll see a nice little Scandinavian/Yugo? surfboard arm occasional chair. Two stacked formica cube tables with one of our vintage bullet planters planted on top. The danish style chair in back is a bit of an a-frame design and may be the most comfortable chair in the store. The curio on the left is my latest concoction of a Broyhill Brasilia china top paired with some 14" pencil legs. Makes for a cute curio and has gotten lots of lookers. How about that 50's inlaid tile table. What a beauty! An original Rya rug, an orange spagetti lamp, a nice string art sailbot and a small record cabinet round out the room.

A few more steps to the west and you come upon a few pieces of Heywood-Wakefield modern line pieces featuring my infamous refinishing skills! An Encore dresser, revolving cocktail table and a Riviera vanity with pouffe stool. A 50's flat arm atomic faced occasional chair with original frieze fabric, a Chromecraft swivel chair also with original fabric, and amorphic plum colored lamp w/acetate and parchment shade, a Jere-esque bird scene, and art deco nude print, some fun ceramic 50's nightstand lamps and 4 zebra print barstools I recently rehabbed. Someone out there has a "Jungle" room that needs to take these home!
Across the room you'll find a more contemporary BoConcept sofa/bed and matching ottoman that a consignor had brought by. Certainly not vintage, but works well with the rest of our MCM tradition, very good quality and for way below retail pricing. I don't mind taking on a piece or two of newer contemporary items if they can be worked in. This is matched with another H/W corner table and yet another marbled black and pink laminate top corner table with hairpin legs and another hairpin legged atomic boomerang formica topped center table with a low slung rack. This would be a great TV stand and it was in it's past life. And yet another blonde formica and black corner table. Some fun chaulkware figurines adorn the walls along with some nice framed prints. 
Let's take a look at the south side of the store!

Well, technically the solid walnut Bissman tall nightstand are in the front entryway topped with some fun glassware and a little 50's fiberglass shade lamp. The Bissman pieces are not likely to be around long and have caught everyones eye coming in. We have some really nice vintage curtains as a backdrop for a nice 60's chest of drawers, a early 40's Streamline Heywood-Wakefield student desk and a great little solid maple? 50's chair that I recovered. Also a black/gold chrome dinette chair doubling as a desk chair.

A vintage Stiffle 3 globe tension/pole lamp helps light up a H/W server base in original champagne finish. Reputed to have belong to Martha Stewart cousin? Go figure... Above that is a 1967 signed relief oil that begs you to look at from different angles. Across the way is a piece I just finished. Solid oak 60's desk. It came with a matching chair, but I haven't gotten around to refinishing as yet. The desk is the star at any rate! Topped with a nice vintage abstract and hanging lucite swag lamp.

My favorite piece of furniture resides here in the next vignette, a custom made 1950's two piece sectional from Modernage furniture out of Miami. If I owned a ranch house with room, this would not even be for sale! Just got in this 1962 cream colored Barcalounger recliner that I've been threatening to take home as well. A sunburst Mediterranean style clock, a nice vintage abstract, three legged formica cocktail and swagged teak cone lamp compliment the room. Also in this larger room resides a Brohill Premier "Modern Classic" china cabinet full of matte white ceramic pieces from several MCM manufacteres. This all paired with a nice vintage reproduction Eames chair and ottoman and  a newer Muno XL Giant floor lamp and a couple of teak wall mount cream globes. One good looking room!
One more room to go!

This room features some more Florida centric pieces we have to offer. Lots of Heywood-Wakfield, both refinsihed and perhaps in need of a bit of love that are on consignment. Gotta love the 3 globe floor lamp with the fiber shades and the atomic shadowbox. All the pieces on the first shot have been refinished! Second pic is a H/W Ashcraft table that I refinished along with some nice vintage bent birch Thonet dinette chairs. Yup, these also fell into the refinish vortex with some nice barkcloth recovery of the seats. China in the next shot has been refinsihed but the center table and stingray back chairs were brought in on consignment. I would be happy to refinish for someone that falls in love with this particular set. The last pic features a really nice vintage loveseat in teal leather along with a vintage ratten boomerang table, white vinyl vintage Carter Bros. barrel chair, and another vintage buller planter.
Just an aside to anyone who happens upon this paticular post. I would be happy to provide detailed pictures of any particular item and would be happy to work with you in shipping items. I have in the past shipped across the country and even to out of country buyers. Just send me an e-mail or contact me here on the blog.
Hope you had some fun taking a look!
A Modern Line

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Broyhill Brasilia sacrilege...Brasilia fans may want to look away! Status? basketcase, at least for me...

I normally try and keep my posts to more of the positive aspects of MCM collecting and rehabbing and refinishing all manner of fun MCM stuff, but I just had to share with you on what you don't ever want to do to a well built piece of Americana. WTF was someone thinking?? Judging from the less than perfect linguistic skills of this particular seller, there's no telling! This an actual Craigs List posting my wife came across today. I think she was trying to punish me or something. She knows how much I like the Brasilia line.
And here's the link if you think you may have an interest:
It's too late now to look away!

Made me want to put my face in my hands and sob! Sadly this will likely not sell to someone with better skills that myself to save it and will probably turn up at the landfill. If I had a strip tank I might give it a shot, but at the asking price it's a better bet that someone will throw another coat of paint on it and maybe it will enjoy a few more years of abuse.
What a shame!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Broyhill Brasilia curio curiousity, solid walnut Bissman nightstands-stunning! and maybe a bit more...

As usual, I'm behind in posting once more. It's all these projects that seem to jump out of the woodwork! First up, we have the saga of the Bissman solid walnut tall nightstands. As I'd never worked on solid walnut pieces before, I kinda knew that I might see some challenges I'd not encountered before. These didn't disappoint!

Here's where we started our adventure. Worn but still in great shape structurally. Just need some new clothes! Little easier said than done...

Initial sanding went pretty well with just a bit of whiteish residue. No problem, I was thinking about a little stain and that should cure that, right? Wrong! This residue promptly stuck it's ugly head through ever test area I threw at it. I think this was a wax build up from over the years that had embedded itself into the grain. Back to the sanding and start from scratch...

After quite a few more hours and uncounted sanding disks, I finally removed 95% of the wax. In the long run it was well worth the effort as you can see below. I did a test run shooting with a clear satin lacquer and it looked so pretty I didn't have the heart to touch this with any stain. I even considered just putting down some teak oil sans any lacquer. I may try this next time though...

Believe me when I say these pics do not come close to showing how great these turned out! If someone wanted an absolutely drop dead gorgeous desk, these would be beautiful separated with a custom cut glass top! No large file drawer, but can you see it?? 
Now about that Brasilia curio curiousity thing...
My wife stumbled across a small Broyhill Brasilia china base and deck that was not labeled as such on CL a few weeks ago. The seller had simply listed as vintage and the pics weren't too bad and the price was reasonable. The listing was quite a few days old and about 45-60 minutes away. Set up an appointment and expressed I was very interested. Please hold and there's a very good chance I'll take off your hands. Upon arrival, there were more than a couple of issues with the pieces. Two of the drawers would not open and close properly and there was some pretty major tattering of the veneer on the right side of the china top bottom edge. And the whole thing was kind of sticky to the touch. Yup, this thing needed some work and the seller wouldn't budge on the price despite the problems.
Well, I'd driven the distance so I went ahead and took this on. Sometimes I'm a glutton for punishment. As it turned out the seller had simply taken it upon himself to just wipe over the piece with some stain to "enhance" it's beauty and cover some of the damage. After we had removed the deck from the base in loading, he offered to throw some stain down on the balance of the base top that he hadn't already fuc**d up. I politely declined his very generous offer and now know why the pieces were so sticky to the touch!

As the base was the fastest fix, I set the top aside and refinsihed the top of the very scarred up base and marketed in house as it stood.
  I really planned on getting the top done and in place for the complete china but the day I took this in it sold as a base piece for a TV stand. OK, now what do you do with a china top and no base? Here's my solution to the problem. Whether or not you love this or hate it, I like this particular turn of events and it can always be undone!
One of a kind, and will fit with the rest of your Brasilia motif, I offer up a Broyhill Brasilia curio cabinet! The china deck deck on this particular setup really doesn't have any particularly Brasilia inspired lines except the hardware. Here's the end product with some 14" pencil legs that were  freebies from a friend. They were blonde but easily refinished to match.

With the 14" pencil legs in place, this piece stands at just over 5 feet tall and about 46" wide. Plenty of room to decorate with some smalls above or some nice art to compliment over it. Complete with some cheap crap Chinese Wadell hardware from Lowes (had to return one of the mounting brackets that didn't make the threader, gotta love the quality control from oversees!) and some new studs in the legs to match, this baby is really sturdy.
Let me know what you think of this particular redo for a china deck. Everyone coming through the store is always looking for credenzas w/o the tops and I think this idea may fly for those looking for a small curio cabinet. Now I just need to find more of the 14" legs as anything shorter may be a bit awkward and look a bit too stubby for a curio...Look forward to any input either way!
I'll save some of the other stuff for a later post. Please feel free to comment and follow along. I seriously enjoy the input and although I do monitor posts, as long as they are not spam I will let them go, for better or worse! I can take the constructive criticism in stride and appreciate your input! Also, if you feel so inclined you are welcome to repin any of the above to your Pinterest Pages for others to critique!