"STATE NAMES MAKE NO SENSE. WE SAY VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA. WHY DON'T WE SAY DAKOTA AND NORTH DAKOTA!"
Ebay's Treasure Trove
From the desk of Jeff Atlas
Right now, everything is Mid-Century Modern. Is it just a fad?
Styles of furniture will always go in and out of fashion. Years ago, I had a teak Danish modern desk that I gave away. Recently, I saw the same one at auction for $5,000. Lesson: never throw anything away!
MCM is best when it uses the classics, many of which aren’t even from the 50’s. The famous Barcelona chairs and tables by Mies van der Rohe were, in fact, designed for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona.
Don’t just buy classics; invest in them. When I furnished my place in Napa, I spent two years learning about and collecting the best examples that I could find. Why buy a knock-off Barcelona table, when you can get a genuine one by Knoll on Ebay? It costs a bit more, but will hold its value over time.
Ebay turned into a real treasure trove. A Cedric Hartman lamp for $200, instead of $2,000 on 1st Dibs. (It needed rewiring, so no one bid on it.) A Milo Baughman console that needed a little polish. A pair of Pace “Spring” tables for $400.
I only bought upholstered pieces with the original fabrics. A Knoll Saarinen Executive Chair with the original blue mohair in immaculate condition. Two Florence Knoll Benches in perfect dove-grey suede.
My best find on EBay was a pair of Knoll Barcelona ottomans. They are in blue leather, which was a custom order from Knoll years ago. You see them in black, white, red, and tan. These are the only blue ones I have ever seen.
So, if you want to get a great MCM look, start with great MCM pieces.
I am thinking of moving to Mission Bay. Any thoughts?
For an area dominated by a hospital, ironically, the whole place is dead. I am glad that SF is creating more housing and, clearly, much planning went into the development. But, recently, I drove through at night. No one on the streets. No stores. No cafes. Nothing. The apartments are occupied, but the space feels vacant of life.
Will this change? I hope so. It’s still early. While there is controversy about the Warriors Arena, it’s the shot of adrenalin this area needs. Games, shows, and performances will pump economic vitality into Mission Bay. Toss in a few bars, restaurants, shops and mix. Ideally, we will end up with a neighborhood as lively as Hayes Valley.