Eichler? No. Mid Century? Yes.


My mid-Century brick and stone ranch is not an Eichler or a Cliff May.

To my knowledge, we do not own one single piece of designer furniture.  Sculptra?  Eames?  I only read about them.

We have no expensive art glass or paintings.

And we are also worlds away from Palm Springs.

Here in the Midwest, times are tough. Our town has been hit hard.  Homeowners here are fortunate to have steady jobs and health insurance. The local food pantries feed record numbers every month. There is little left after a paycheck for anything other than basic upkeep . My home is now worth less than when purchased it 2 years ago.

Which brings me to the point of this entry:

You CAN decorate your mid century home on the shoestring.

The Mister and I have always been bargain hunters. Early in our marriage many Sundays were spent at the local flea market, picking up vintage finds for our little 3 room tree-top apartment. Not much has changed. We are just older and not much richer.

This piece was a former mid-century bookcase / storage cabinet that had lost its glass doors. A garage sale find for $10, it is now painted black and stands in for a bar cabinet near the entry. I don’t think it looks too bad with that Ikea mirror.

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This sunburst clock was $1 at a garage sale. Herman Miller? No. Cool? Yes.

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This metal shelf was $3. I have metal stuff like this all over the house. Ashtray stands, newspaper / magazine holders, shelves of every shape and size, book cases, benches, plant stands, footed trays; you name it.

I love it above my buffet in the kitchen. I am still searching for more kitschy smalls for it.

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How about these Christmas albums?  All 3 were 67 cents. Won’t they look great framed next Christmas?

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Or this cool one,  from the era when everyone wanted to vacation where it was warm? I have this hanging in the hallway:

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And this one is above the fireplace.  If you look close, this room has its own collection of LP’s hung on the wall! And how about that crazy “galaxy” looking light fixture hanging in the corner?

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These funky towels still had the tags when I found them at a thrift shop for $2. You can peek at my original tile bathroom wall.


This past weekend we were out early to hit an estate sale, which was a total waste of time. Since we were out and about, we decided to cruise 2 indoor flea markets. I spent a total of $12. Here is some of my stash:

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I love these sweet angels:

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The cover art on these EP Christmas 45’s is cool. I may frame them, too.

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Does anyone recognize this little ceramic fireplace or know it’s intended use? The top is removable. I love the deer head hanging above!

new stuff 377 I am not sure why, but my town does not even have a Re Store.  Two thrift stores have closed since Christmas. Another is closing soon and having a clearance sale. It is getting to be slim pickings. I hope you are having better luck in your neck of the woods!

Next time I plan to show you how NOT to update your mid-century home, courtesy of the former owners of Croydon Place. You may want to check back 🙂


13 responses »

  1. You don’t have to spend a million to feel great about your home. I like collecting things along the way far more than a massive spending on one trip to Homesense. I like that mini aqua chair on your shelf…cute!

    • Thanks! I agree; I am on a few mid-century Facebook groups and most on there talk about the vintage “designer” furniture and art pieces they pick up. I am just not into that; I love a bargain 🙂

  2. Great post. If we ever got a chance to go thrifting together, we might just put some places out of business… $0.50 at a time. 😉

  3. No need to spend a ton of money to have a beautiful mid-century home! Couldn’t agree more. I have a heart attack when I read what some people pay for the items in their home. We drag them from ditches and back alleys, old schools and hospitals, yard sales, and the most unlikely of places. As long as you’re having fun your home becomes a reflection of who you are and what you love. Good for you! Love your home and that book shelf for a bar… GENIUS!

    • Thanks for your encouraging words Stacey! With our small budget the house is a (long) work in progress 🙂 One of the shops I frequent is truly a “junk” shop; but it is fun to dig around in and I always find something to drag home 🙂

  4. Oh yeah, I totally agree about all the high-end, high dollar, stuff….it’s just not my cup of tea either. Most all of the stuff I find is from craigslist or Goodwill. I do have Heywood furniture, but I’ve gotten most of it pretty cheap and refinished it all myself.

    I am sorry to hear about your housing market. I wish the market could stabilize a bit more here in Phoenix. Like 10 years ago it was pretty even, then all that crazy investor stuff happened here and prices sky rocketed, then it crashed along with everyone else’s, now prices are rising super fast again and houses are selling FAST. Ugh, I hate it….esp. because we are trying to find a house.

    • I know Sara, I am into the bargains 🙂 No one where I live cares much about mid-century anything so prices are low.
      Our housing market is horrible. There are 2-3 homes for sale on every block (I am not exaggerating) and they take forever to sell. A home down the street from me has been for sale for nearly 3 years. Good jobs are few and far between, no one can get a loan and no one can afford our real estate taxes 😦
      I wish you could find your dream home. If you lived here you could have your pick and it would be cheap!

  5. Pingback: I Want That Wednesday (And I Got It!) | Urban Nesting

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