Mid-Week Update: Mid Century Craigslist

Hello dear readers! Today’s surprise mid-week post showcases one our favorite craigslist finds: A Tabla task lamp designed by Mario Barbaglia & Marco Colombo for Italiana Luce. Barbaglia and Colombo are two architects and designers who got their start opening a design firm in Milan in the 1975. They are best known for their table lamps from the 80s and 90s, many of which are now featured in museum collections. Here, we’ve paired the lamp with a perpetual calendar from MOMA (old).

The arm of the lamp moves freely, reminding us of Calder’s mobiles, balancing gracefully in the air. It’s color is a gorgeous matte black. It’s lines are entirely midcentury modern–sleek, geometric, and simple. It is a functional and lovely design addition to any modernist decor.

We’ve embraced the midcentury wave that’s gradually risen the last two decades or so. Midcentury modern lines are clean and simple–perfect as a neutral background–and easy to accessorize against. Think soft gray cashmere blankets and fluffy sheepskin rugs with a Scandinavian bent. Being from an older era (roughly between the years 1933-1965), there is also a careful attention to craftsmanship and material that is sometimes lost in today’s time.


Photo by Lincoln Barbour

Photo by Lincoln Barbour on dwell.com


Finding original midcentury pieces or revival pieces from the 80s and 90s can get quite pricey. Eames lounge chairs and Karl Springer table lamps regularly go for thousands.


Karl Springer Table Lamp in Python, going for $4,500 on 1stdibs.com

Karl Springer Table Lamp in Python, going for $4,500 on 1stdibs.com


So how can one go about curating an authentic midcentury look without breaking the bank? The secret is patience and a willingness to hunt. Secondhand sites like eBay and Craigslist regularly offer incredible finds if you browse them regularly.

We recommend first doing some research into midcentury designers. What kind of pieces are you looking for? Chairs, tables, lamps, or desk objects? Become familiar with the designers who product those kinds of pieces. Look for the lesser-known designers especially, whose pieces may go for more modest amounts. When you’ve gathered up a list of designers and particular pieces, you can set alerts on eBay and Craigslist so that when pieces that match your search terms are listed, you will get a notification in your inbox.

A great place to start is a dealer site like 1stdibs.com. Professional dealers have online “stores” within the site, which you can browse. Pieces are much more curated (and pricier), but it is a good place to find out what appeals to your design aesthetic. Sometimes bargains can be found (I once got a gorgeous chandelier at a discount by arranging my own pickup and transport with the seller). Other times, you may be able to find similar pieces on eBay or Craigslist.

Where do you get your great house finds? Let us know in the comments below!




September 8, 2016
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