Old is new again with midcentury style furnishings

What’s your style? Are you shabby chic? Maybe you’re more industrial or French country? Do you decorate your small space with Moroccan flair or are you more of a minimalist?

Chances are, your taste is a mishmash of all of the above. Some styles are trendy; some are a fad. But when it comes to décor, midcentury modern seems to have withstood the test of time.

So what is midcentury modern?

Think 1950s retro: “Mad Men” meets “The Jetsons.” Sleek furniture, geometric lines, starburst clocks, kidney-shape coffee tables, bright accent pieces. “Everyone is copying this style,” said Sergio Innocenzi. “West Elm, you name it, Hold it ... they’re all selling this style of furniture.” Innocenzi owns Klassik Design, a vintage furniture store specializing in midcentury and Danish modern pieces in the Little Italy design district. He has been on the midcentury modern scene for the past 16 years.

Small space, big impact

You would think some larger pieces from a bygone era aren’t very useful in today’s modern living space. Turntable cabinets and credenzas or buffets are hardly a staple in today’s living room. But Innocenzi said the opposite is true. “People are turning credenzas (once used for storing fancy plates and silverware) into media cabinets. ... And turntables are making a comeback.”

Out-of-this-world color

“People love the bright colors,” Innocenzi said. “Orange, yellows and reds are always popular. We also sell a lot of woods: teak, walnut (and) rosewoods. The color is so rich and beautiful. (People love) the grain. Mahogany is also very popular.”

What’s trending?

Even within the midcentury design world, things go in and out of style. “Blond or lighter-colored woods are not very popular,” Innocenzi said. "(It) was very popular when I started, but now, nobody wants it. Everybody wants the darker wood.” Once upon a time, everyone wanted chrome, he said. “Now, everyone wants brass.”

Furniture or art?

Many of Klassik’s pieces are made by noted manufacturers or designers. A 1950s Dunbar chair designed by Edward Wormley goes for about $650. A lamp designed by Walter Von Nessen sells for about $600. A Danish chair by Arne Vodder is also on display.


Think of it as an investment. Although prices may seem high for someone starting out in their first home, vintage pieces can be well worth buying. “The beauty about it is that it retains its value,” Innocenzi said, adding that he sometimes buys pieces from customers looking to upgrade. “I have purchased items (back) for the same prices that people paid 10 years ago.”

Klassik is located at 2400 Kettner Blvd, Suite 102, in Little Italy. For more information, call (619) 640-6995 or visit

Source: DiscoverSD