Whether you’re looking for an introductory Saarinen tulip chair or a $16,000 Mario Bellini modular sofa, there’s no better place to shop for Midcentury Modern furniture than Los Angeles.
The golden age of furniture design (which spans the late 1940s through the early 1970s) is more popular today than ever thanks to its simplicity and adaptability, says Christian Boehr, owner of the vintage showroom Atomic Threshold in Monrovia.
“The nicely proportioned scale, along with classic lines and great build quality, allows these pieces to be well integrated in current design schemes without being overpowering or too homogenized,” says Boehr.
In other words, Midcentury Modern furnishings — many of which are still in production today because of their timelessness — are suitable for any type of decor.
Although you can shop for Modernist furnishings online, via Facebook Marketplace, at local flea markets and on Instagram, there is nothing like being able to test out furniture in real life to see how it looks and feels.
“People like to come in, see the items and try them out in person,” says Tricia Benitez Beanum, founder and creative director of Pop Up Home in East Hollywood.
Here we offer a list of 18 stores in L.A. where you can bring your tape measure, inspect the goods and sample the seating. Before you head out, here are a few things to note:
Don’t be put off by showrooms that are open by appointment only. Many of them are run by limited staff or one person. I found it easy to email businesses and arrange a showroom visit.
Also, double-check store hours before you head out for the same reason. And finally, keep in mind that vintage furnishings aren’t cheap. Therefore, connecting with dealers in person may allow you to strike a deal.