Craig's List find: Midcentury Motherload Part II

When we visited the storage unit found on Craig's list, we came home with more than we planned on. Actually, I picked out the chairs and desk I wanted and got back in the car to feed Eva, and Tom continued browsing. He's the one who lured me back in. Trouble.

So here is the rest of our loot:


These white lamps were $5 each. I need to find some drum shades for them, but I think they are a great find. The drafting table lamp was Tom's pick. We hope we can find florescent bulbs that fit it.

Cattails, thrown in for free. (One set on e-bay currently listed for $17.99. I have 3 different sets, not all pictured).

This magazine rack really raised my mom's eyebrows. That's because they had (have?) one just like it for years that held my piano music. (I just realized it is missing one of the wood pieces in this photo, but I have it.) I think it features my Atomic ranch mags and Eames book nicely, don't you?

This Zenith radio actually works! Quite well, in fact! I think it cost me $5.

These candy dishes currently hold pretzels and nuts that are a bit too convenient for our holiday snacking. I lost track of how much he charged me for all these little items. I ended up just making a pile of everything I wanted and he named a price for the whole lot.

I bought these canisters—wait—I believe he said "oh, you can just have those"—inspired by Modern Thrifter. I'm not quite sure if I will paint mine or not. I kind of like the original patina. And this wooden vase, well, I'm sure I'll find a use for it somewhere.

Finally, this oil and vinegar cruet. He said they were a rare find unbroken because they are rather fragile. A quick search of my own didn't reveal anything quite like it. But they are useful if nothing else!

That's about it. I did leave most things there. Really. He had artwork, a million lamps, lots of dishes, furniture, etc. The list goes on and on. Tom has been looking through my Atomic Ranch magazines and on eBay to see if there are any treasures we left behind that should have been snagged. LOL :) The more he looks into it the more he is amazed at what a craze midcentury design is. There was a middle-aged man looking through the storage unit while we were there and Tom asked, "Are you looking for someone else or are you into this for yourself?" His answer, "I have a '61 Atomic Ranch." So apparently these savvy people do exist in Montana, behind the faces of very ordinary people. Not everyone in MT has to own rustic log cabins. Yeah! I'm glad we beat him to the storage unit. Ha!

Actually, there is one more item I forgot to photograph, so I'll have to save it for a later post. So, what do you say? Cuckoo or brilliant?

Craig's List find: Midcentury Motherload

I have a habit of scanning Craig's List every few days (obviously). Around here it is small enough to scan every entry and not have to filter your results by type. I think this is the equivalent of "impulse shopping", or scanning the goodies lining the checkout stands. Because you often find appealing things that you weren't actually looking for.

This time it was an ad for Eames chairs. What???? That doesn't come up on Craig's List every day around here! Unfortunately it had a been 2 days since the ad had been listed, and I was sure they would have been snatched up. And the stuff was in Great Falls so I wasn't sure when I would be able to get away to go see them anyway. Nevertheless, I called on them and they were still available. Even better, the guy had a storage unit full of midcentury goodies.

(I've ceased to complain about the fact that Craig's list is so under utilized up here. Because you know what I've learned? That means there is less competition when something great is listed! That and nobody up here would give a hoot about midcentury modern furniture anyway. What's that?)

The storage unit was in Cascade, another 25 miles past Great Falls. So I made a special trip to go see this jackpot of midcentury furniture. My family rolled their eyes but my husband kindly accompanied me. (After all, meeting some strange guy at a storage unit by myself generally wouldn't be advisable). Turns out, the guy was a designer dude who lived in California and helped manage a midcentury furniture gallery. He started his collection there and then moved back home to Cascade where he stored his entire collection in a storage unit. Recently he up and decided to move to New York City for a new job opportunity and can only take, like, one piece of furniture with him and a suitcase full of clothes. So, he is liquidating the contents of his storage unit in a rush. His loss was my gain, right?

The chairs in the ad were these:

He was asking $40 each for them. They have the original stickers and Herman Miller emblem on them. (Look up Eames shell chairs on e-bay to see what they normally sell for. Typically between $100-$300). I was planning to buy 2, but ended up with all 4 for $120.

Then there was this desk:

This is a Paul McCobb desk. My family isn't impressed. But look up Paul McCobb Planner Group desk on e-bay. (Original condition: $600+, refinished: $900+). Tom needs a desk when we finish our basement and confiscate our current office furniture for my craft room. He can use this for now (until we can buy something he likes better) and I can refinish and sell it for a significant profit. They'll be laughing at me then, I'm sure. All the way to the bank.

By the way, I purchased the desk for $100, and got him to throw in this Danish modern chair for free.

I love this chair. The designer dude said he recently re-upholstered the seat, but I think it deserves some cuter fabric. Like something by Orla Kiely perhaps.

My family thinks I'm a little nuts and some of you do too, I'm sure. :) Abby ran by why I was taking pictures, sat down in the chair, and said "Mom, this is comfortable!"

At least someone is on my side.