Why we have an endless fascination with mid-century modern
A Q&A with Circa 70, Queensland
Part 4 in our Buy once, buy well series - we delve into the world of mid-century design and discuss with local upholsterers and retailers who are passionate about the style and their process for restoring these popular pieces of furniture.
Circa 70 are in Mooloolaba QLD and have the flair and boldness for colour that the state is known for. As well as providing a busy retial and social media space from which to sell their found and reinvigorated treasures, many clients also bring in their existing and inherited pieces to be brought back to life through restoration and re-upholstery. Their pieces travel Australia wide and you will often find designs from Don Rex, Fler, Moderntone and TH Brown but the roster changes constantly!
Opulently textured boucles like James Dunlop Entwine Volcanic have (briefly) found their home here, but you will also find bolder colour like Mokum Nirvana Dawn or James Dunlop Vidos Aqua, and pattern choices such as Tropicalia Coral.
Do you enjoy seeing worn pieces come back to life during the restoration process?
Absolutely! It’s definitely the best part of the job. Some of the pieces we restore are in pretty average condition, we take every piece apart, restore, rebuild, upholster and bring back to showroom condition - the transformations can be pretty unbelievable! It’s always amazing to do customers pieces that have sentimental value and see their reactions when we deliver back to them.
Is it quite a process trying to marry the right fabric to the pieces you are upholstering?
Most of the time, when I purchase a piece of furniture, I immediately know what fabric I want to do it in. Other times, I deliberate for weeks and often change my mind! Mokum fabrics are always exceptional and suit the mid century aesthetic perfectly.
Do you end up taking lots of found treasures home? The temptation must be huge!
This is a funny one, because I haven’t kept too much over the years we have had the store. However, we bought a modernist home last year & I definitely kept some special pieces and restored them for the house. The temptation to put them in the showroom is always high - as I love seeing them go to good homes. There are definitely still times when my kids come home and say “oh mum sold the lounge again!”
Thanks for joining us for this four part journey into mid-century design. In summary what all this teaches us, is that quality and good design will stand for as long as we continue to look after and celebrate it. Classic pieces will transcend movements of the moment and will continue to add quirk and personality to your interior.
It also reminds us that new pieces bought now can be considered an investment, a collectible of the future, something to be treasured and enjoyed. As such it’s important to consider with new furniture, buying pieces that evoke something in you – don’t think about fashion or trend, this is something you will be using and looking at daily for years to come so compromise should not be an option! It should be a decision you are EXCITED about making.
Buying from reputable manufacturers, designer/makers and brands who stand by their quality and craftsmanship will ensure longevity – a legacy piece that generations of the future will be able to re-love, refurbish, and be inspired by. How lovely to think that someone like Bec may be lovingly restoring a beautifully, quality made piece in decades to come, or Jodi discovering one of your much loved now iconic pieces for a new generation of design enthusiasts.