How to find authentic mid-century modern furniture and décor on Kijiji
First of all, what is mid-century modern?
The design movement, known as mid-century modern, began in the mid-1940s and ran into the late 1960s. This term encompasses all levels of design, from furniture and graphic design to architecture and interior décor.
Common characteristics of mid-century modern furniture and household goods include:
- A focus on functionality
- Interesting lines and geometric forms
- Frequent use of solid wood pieces made from teak, bamboo, beech and rosewood
- Juxtaposition of materials
Now that you know what mid-century modern means, let’s take a look at what to watch out for when shopping for authentic pieces.
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Check out seller history
Real mid-century modern furniture and art is vintage, so it’s safe to say that antique dealers have a history of sales in this market. You can read their reviews and check out their previous sales on Kijiji. That’s not to say that a private seller doesn’t have an authentic piece sitting in their home that they want to sell, but if you’re in doubt, seller history is your friend.
Look for a maker’s mark
Not all authentic mid-century modern pieces will have a maker’s mark simply because the previous owners may have removed them. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Popular furniture designers of that time include:
- George Nelson
- Eileen Gray
- Edward Wormley
- Harry Bertoia
- Isamu Noguchi
If the maker’s mark does not exist, ask the seller if they know anything about the designer. A simple Google image search will tell you if what the seller is saying lines up with your research.
Examine photos for clues
Be wary of stock images or photos that look like they’ve been copy and pasted from an online catalogue. If a seller has only posted these images, ask them to send you detailed photos of the real piece.
One of the easiest ways to tell if a piece of furniture is authentic is to look at the joints. Wooden mid-century modern furniture will be made of solid wood—not pressed board—and expertly joined without the use of screws.
Similarly, if the textiles look too clean or new, there’s a chance that the furniture has been recently upholstered.
Decide if buying authentic matters
So, you’ve found a mid-century modern coffee table that fits perfectly with your aesthetic only to discover that it might not be an authentic piece. Do you keep looking for a similar item, or do you try to renegotiate the price based on your research? The answer is ultimately up to you. Keep in mind that sometimes sellers post items as authentic pieces without knowing the furniture’s history.
If form and function are more important than authenticity, we recommend that you keep the lines of communication open with the seller to try and settle on a price—and, of course, a socially distanced way to complete the transaction.
Buy your mid-century modern furniture on Kijiji
Find everything you need to completely transform your living space with mid-century modern pieces on Kijiji. Our advanced search filters and detailed seller reviews make it easy for you to shop with confidence. Create your mid-century modern living room with Kijiji.
Your well-being is our top priority. Consider whether in-person transactions are necessary and visit our Help Desk for more details and guidance. Follow Kijiji’s community safety tips for more advice about confidently trading during COVID-19.