Getting That Mid-Century Modern Style on a Tight Budget

Probably the most exciting part of moving into a new home is getting to decorate its interiors as we please. We can house our record collection in the living room instead of piling them up in crates on the bedroom floor. We can grow vertical succulents in a frame we’ve built ourselves from reclaimed barn wood and display it like a work of art in the house—the design possibilities are endless. Or so it seemed until we made our first mortgage payment, ouch.


It’s a bit of a conundrum just how much of what we work for gets tied up in bills. We’re finally able to own our own home, yet we’re having a hard time getting it to look the way we had always imagined it, with lack of funds our number one foe. Just when it seemed we could finally fill our home with some Mid Century Modern style we learn we can’t. But we can! With these tips and tricks, you’ll have your home looking like the Eames House in no time!

Shop for Sales
You can find anything online these days, all you have to do is a little digging. Peak times of the year to scour the internet for some good Mid Century Modern furniture sales are on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and during Presidents Day Weekend. Of course, a majority of savvy shoppers are already aware of these shopping holidays. But did you know the entire month of February is the crowing jewel of furniture discounts? Real Simple has learned that the best time of year to buy furniture, appliances and other odds and ends is in the second month of the new year. Design firms and furniture retailers slash their prices to get rid of last year’s designs in order to make way for the new Spring collection. Another suggestion is to shop in-store during these sales. The showroom furniture models will then be on sale at this point, and if they’re in good condition, you’ll be able to get them for a steal.

On the Thrifting Store Front
You’d be amazed at how many original Mid Century Modern pieces you can find at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Despite the furniture maybe needing to be reupholstered or painted, you can find Mid Century furniture marked incredibly low at thrift stores. Deemed old-fashioned or out of date to the untrained eye, a lot of thrift stores don’t recognize the furniture as the testaments to the design canon they are. Nor is it known that the furniture is highly valuable in today’s market. There’s a fairly decent chance you’ll get an original Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair or George Nelson Storage Unit for hundreds of dollars less than if you were to buy it in regular furniture store.

The Estate Sale Treasure Trove
If people want to get rid of something, they’re willing to let the prices fall where they may. You’ll often find this to be the case at garage and estate sales. To the people selling the items it’s all just a bunch of junk, but not to you. With your eagle vision you’re able to scout out the priceless designer chair amid the non-consequential debris. To play it safe, (you don’t want the seller knowing what a prize they are letting go) it’s ideal to purchase a couple of other things along with your designer find, maybe a picture frame or book. You’ll want to be sure that you won’t raise any suspicions. It’s also recommended that you don’t haggle on the price of the object because again, you don’t want to draw too much attention to it. There could always be another estate-goer set on finding the same designer furniture, and if they’ve spotted it in your hands, you can bet they’re going to do everything they can to get their own hands on it. When you’re at an estate or garage sale, get in and get out.

Whether you’re looking for brand new Mid Century Modern furniture pieces or are happy with having them broken in, use these tips to get the better deal.

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