If you assume boutique furniture stores procure their treasures from secret stashes or faraway places, you might be surprised to learn that, oftentimes, the best pieces were uncovered from the most obvious locales. Like someone’s front porch.
Joe Eggleston is one such collector. Eggleston and his wife, Jennifer, are the owners of Mid2Mod, a boutique furniture store specializing in midcentury and new modern furniture and accessories. Eggleston tells the story of driving around town and spying a patio set on a stranger’s front porch. He knocked on the door, struck a deal with the owner and scored another gem for his eclectic showroom. He says great furniture is everywhere, from auctions and antique malls to bargain bins. Even tossed willy-nilly on the side of the road.
“Over the course of the day, you learn to look,” he says. Follow-up is crucial as well. He has e-mailed real estate agents about furniture he saw in a listing, checked out Craig’s List and strolled through estate sales. His tenacity and talent pay off. At one estate sale, a certain chair caught his eye. He bought it, restored it to perfection and sold it for 60 times his original investment.
In other words, Eggleston has an eye for those diamonds in the rough.
At one estate sale, a certain chair caught his eye. He bought it, restored it to perfection and sold it for 60 times his original investment.
Eggleston credits his wife for cultivating his affinity for midcentury and new modern furniture. She has long loved the aesthetics and pragmatic sensibilities of the design. Jennifer focuses on staging and merchandising, and she helps her husband as a buyer as well.
The majority of the pieces at Mid2Mod are from the 1950s and ’60s, but there are exceptions. Eggleston is also interested in showcasing what he calls “good new modern,” which he defines as the modern furniture of the last couple of years that has “great organic form” and also offers functionality. He isn’t impressed with “overdone modernism,” which he describes as “weirdness without function.”
Mid2Mod opened in 2009 in an antique mall, then moved to Fair Park and finally settled in Deep Ellum about six months ago at 2928 Main St. A cruise through the 1,800-square-foot store might reveal a Percival Lafer Brazilian modern lounge chair ($1,500), George Nelson credenza ($2,250) or Grundig stereo ($950). Mid2Mod has something for every room in the house, including floor, tabletop and pendant lighting; seating from designers such as Eames and Wormley; credenzas, desks and other case goods; dining and occasional tables; stereos; and accessories such as vases, bowls, decanters and glass figurines. The store also features Gus* Modern furniture and Bend seating.
Many pieces in the showroom are featured online, and while you’re on the website, you can get a great cursory education on modern furniture and designers via the blog, written by Eggleston’s mother-in-law, Dana.
In the near future, Eggleston says he plans to offer kid-sized replicas of pieces from iconic designers, such as Eames. He also envisions that the Mid2Mod showroom will feature boutique modern furniture designers. “My business strategy is to show people that great design can be affordable,” he says. “It always has been and always will be.”