What Stores Sell Mid Century Modern Furniture: Your Comprehensive Guide

Last updated on May 9, 2024

Discover where to purchase mid-century modern furniture because knowing the right places can elevate your home decor to new aesthetic heights.

Looking for mid-century modern furniture? You’re in luck! Numerous stores offer this timeless and stylish furniture that blends functionality and aesthetics.

From big-name retailers like West Elm and Crate & Barrel to online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, there’s a wide variety of options to explore.

This article will guide you through the best places to find mid-century modern furniture, whether you’re hunting for an iconic Eames chair or a sleek, minimalist coffee table.

It will also provide tips on how to choose the right pieces for your space, ensuring you get the most out of your purchases.

So, let’s dive into the world of mid-century modern furniture!

Key takeaways:

  • Mid-century modern furniture is characterized by minimalism and functionality, there are many ways to incorporate MCM into your decor.
  • Popular brands include Herman Miller, Knoll, West Elm, and Joybird.
  • Brick and mortar stores like West Elm, Room & Board, and Design Within Reach offer mid-century modern furniture.
  • Online stores such as Wayfair, Etsy, and AllModern provide a wide range of options.
  • Helpful buying tips include researching the piece’s maker and era, examining construction and quality, and not being afraid to mix eras.

Table of Contents

Characteristics of Mid Century Modern Furniture

characteristics of mid century modern furniture

Minimalistic and functional are words synonymous with Mid Century Modern furniture. Known for its organic and simple forms, this style took center stage from the 1930s to the mid-1960s. Peaceful cohabitation of function and design is fundamental to these pieces, a tenet that makes the absence of excess embellishment a staple.

Focused on raw materials, expect wood, glass, vinyl, and metal, to name a few. Designers placed a strong emphasis on structural integrity, resulting in solid, well-built pieces. Count on pieces to breathe life into a room but also last an eternity.

A prime feature that sets it apart is the bold, graphic designs, marked by geometric and asymmetric patterns. It revels in contrasting colors and textures, not afraid to make its presence felt.

Good news for urban dwellers is their compact stature. Furniture of this particular style rarely overpowers a room, which means they fit in harmoniously in tighter, modern living spaces, a design wonder indeed!

popular brands of mid century modern furniture

Some of the leaders in Mid Century Modern designs include Herman Miller, responsible for Charles Eames’ strikingly innovative lounge chairs, and Knoll, which produced the beautifully minimalist works of Florence Knoll.

West Elm and Joybird are contemporary brands channeling the classic Mid Century aesthetic with sustainability and customizable options in mind.

Timber tones, functional comfort, and playful geometry are key elements of their collections.

Danish brand Hay reflects the clean-lined, democratic design approach of the mid-20th century, while Article bridges the gap between classic and contemporary.

Each of these brands offer distinctive, quality pieces that epitomize Mid Century Modern style.

Brick And Mortar Stores Selling Mid Century Modern Furniture

Among the well-known establishments offering this style’s distinct pieces are top retailers like West Elm, Room & Board, and Design Within Reach.

Local boutiques and vintage shops can also be a treasure trove of unique finds. Exploring stores such as these enables direct interaction with the furniture – feeling textures, assessing comfort, and visualizing pieces in a potential space.

Remember that availability might vary greatly from store to store, especially due to the popularity and unique nature of this style.

For customized pieces, consider local artisans who specialize in Mid Century designs.

When in doubt, knowledgeable store representatives are usually available to assist with questions and provide further information.

Always inquire about warranties or return policies when purchasing, as these can differ considerably amongst different retailers.

Online Stores for Mid Century Modern Furniture

Delving into the vast online marketplace, you’ll find a plethora of options for your mid-century modern furniture needs, proving both efficient and practical. Here are four notable platforms to explore:

1. Wayfair: Known for its extensive range of home goods, Wayfair offers a dedicated section for mid-century modern pieces – from sofas to side tables and everything in between.

2. Etsy: This marketplace supports independent artisans and vintage collectors. It’s a goldmine for one-of-a-kind and handcrafted mid-century furniture that carries a unique history.

3. West Elm: Catering to modern and mid-century aesthetics, West Elm offers designer pieces with an emphasis on quality and sustainability, setting it apart from mass-produced furniture.

4. AllModern: As the name suggests, AllModern is dedicated solely to modern furniture, including a well-curated collection of mid-century items with a variety of price options to cater to different budgets.

With 24/7 accessibility and a wide range of options, online stores offer a convenient way to find and purchase your desired pieces right from the comfort of your home.

Comparison of Shopping Experiences: In-Store Vs Online

When shopping in-store, you have the opportunity to interact directly with the furniture. The feel of the material, assessment of its size, and overall quality are all tangible insights offered in-person. This advantage facilitates instant decision-making, however, it’s subject to the limitation of geographical reach and store timings.

Online shopping, on the other hand, provides broader access to a varied range of furniture from global brands, many of which might not be available locally. It is not confined to business hours, allowing leisurely browsing at your convenience. Accurate product descriptions and customer reviews contribute to an informed purchasing process. The downside is that the true essence of the product – the feel of the fabric, the actual shade, and dimensions might vary from the digital portrayal creating room for misjudgment.

Both shopping experiences have benefits and limitations. Your choice simply depends on the store selection, your location, and personal preferences. Upfront research can certainly help tailor the most rewarding shopping journey.

Buying Tips for Mid Century Modern Furniture

When investing in mid-century modern furniture, consider these helpful tips. First, be sure to research the piece’s maker and era to better understand its value and authenticity. It’s not uncommon for reproductions to exist, so it’s essential to be informed.

Next, pay attention to the furniture’s construction and material quality. Mid-century pieces are known for their durability, so items that seem uncomfortable or poorly made may not be genuine. Check for any damage or wear that could affect usability or value – keep in mind, however, a few minor blemishes could add character to vintage pieces.

Lastly, do not shy away from mixing eras. It’s perfectly fine to mesh mid-century furniture with other styles for a truly personalized space. The key is finding balance. An excellent way to achieve this might be to use mid-century pieces as your room’s focal points and accessorize with items from other periods.

Authentic Vs Reproduction: Identifying Genuine Mid Century Modern Furniture

Genuine mid-century modern pieces, crafted between 1933 and 1965, often carry a unique charm and history. However, distinguishing these from well-made reproductions requires a keen eye and knowledge of specific traits.

Materials used: Authentic furniture from this era frequently deployed teak, rosewood, or walnut and made extensive use of plywood and plastic.

Manufacturer’s mark: A strong indicator can be the presence of a trademark, logo, or stamp from known manufacturers like Knoll, Herman Miller, or Eames.

Design details: The distinct stylistic elements such as organic forms, clean lines, and minimal ornamentation can also be a telltale sign. However, careful scrutiny is needed, as reproductions often mimic these traits.

Quality of craftsmanship: Authentic mid-century furniture often displays superior craftmanship, with focus on details like joinery techniques, finish, and upholstery.

Price: Original pieces are generally more expensive than their reproduced counterparts due to their vintage status and rarity.

It’s worth noting that buying a reproduction isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Many replicas today offer great quality and design accuracy at a comparatively lower price, catering to all those who love the aesthetic without the high-end budget. Contact a professional or engage in further research for meticulous evaluation if in doubt. Always ensure your selected piece aligns with your desired balance of authenticity, quality, and budget.


How to buy mid-century furniture?

To buy mid-century furniture, search for it on credible online platforms, auction websites, or flea markets, familiarize with various styles and designs, and make a price comparison across different sellers.

Is there a difference between mid-century and mid-century modern furniture?

Yes, while mid-century furniture emphasized style and ornamentation, mid-century modern furniture focused on meeting the demands of homeowners for functional and stylish design reflecting contemporary sentiments.

What qualifies as mid-century modern furniture?

Mid-century modern furniture characteristically involves minimalist designs that incorporate soft curves and modern shapes, often made from wood or metal frames, upholstered in bold geometric prints or solid hues.

What key elements should one look for when purchasing mid-century modern furniture?

When purchasing mid-century modern furniture, one should look for key elements such as clean lines, organic forms, minimal ornamentation, high functionality, and the innovative use of materials.

How do big furniture retailers like IKEA and West Elm compare to boutique stores for mid-century modern pieces?

Big furniture retailers like IKEA and West Elm provide mid-century modern pieces at more affordable prices and a greater variety, but the boutique stores often promise higher quality, unique designs, may offer customization, and almost always have a more personal and intimate shopper experience.

Can genuine mid-century modern furniture be found at thrift stores or estate sales?

Yes, genuine mid-century modern furniture can at times be discovered at thrift stores or estate sales.

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