Mid-Century antiques are all the rage.
Like many East End dwellers, I enjoy perusing flea markets and specialty shops for antiques and collectibles. Sometimes I like the hunt more than the actual purchase, it certainly can be exhilarating to nab something for a perceived bargain. Although I truly love antiques, it can be boring to decorate with furniture from all one time and style. The most interesting homes are ones where there is a creative mix of items from different time periods. The combination of styles allows your eye to settle in and notice everything separately, and yet they magically blend together.
A popular style that seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days is Mid-Century. To me, Mid-Century collectibles inject a modern feel into a home. I like to mingle these pieces with contemporary furniture and accessories to create a well-curated space. Because antiques are considered anything over 100 years old, Mid-Century items hailing from around the 1950s are considered collectibles. After watching reruns from a season of “Mad Men” on television, I can now visualize the unique way people lived in their homes during this time frame. Always with an interesting cocktail in hand, and often donning shift dresses and kitten heels, many women of the era seemed to perch on their furniture. Graphic patterns came into style, new and unusual color combinations were used, and the furniture has simple accouterments and clean lines. I love the bar carts on casters, faux bamboo living room sets, tall sculptural lamps and the edginess that is not usually associated with antiques. The look can feel timeless and blends well with other styles of modern furnishings as well as older American and European wares. I like to say that Mid-Century pieces are the chameleons of the collectible world because they often take on the style of what you put them alongside.
For an inspiring day of shopping, I often head to my favorite shop in Greenport called Beall & Bell. Husband and wife team Ginger and Ken work well together, successfully combining various periods and creatively stylizing vignettes throughout the expansive store. It is not your grandmother’s antique shop because there are unique items and surprises around each corner. The last time I stopped in they had mounted a pair of orange painted wooden deer heads and horns over the entrance counter, which added the unexpected to something usually perceived as an “Old World” look. A favorite stop for interior designers, stylists, magazine editors and others with a creative eye, Beall & Bell offers something for everyone in the way of furnishings and accessories. The prices are fair and reasonable to boot.
The space is in a house, a former Masonic Temple on Main Street, which has exposed beams and soaring ceilings. The spacious store suits their style well, creating a perfect frame to showcase the wares. I have been frequenting the shop for years, and it is certainly worth two quick ferry rides from Sag Harbor to see what Ken and Ginger have cooking up.
Stop in on a Thursday and you may catch Ken unloading the truck with his latest auction and estate sale finds. [/expand]