03 September 2015

Frank Sinatra's Palm Springs Home Tour TV Episode

While researching a few other things on the web, I ran across this California Gold/California Public Television episode that features a tour of Frank Sinatra's Palm Springs Desert compound. This video is from 2012, and shows the house as it was when the current owners purchased the home. If you want to see a glimpse of what Frank Sinatra's life away from the camera was like, then you may very well enjoy this episode.

If though, you are expecting to see tons of Mid-Century Modern interior design, there's not much to be seen here. Most of the interior design is late 70's to mid 80's. There are a number of good scenes that show very mcm style appropriate desert landscape design, a segment on his theator room, a good amount of photos, his train room, and the pool area.

One of the guest host is a long-time friend of Frank Sinatra's, Frank Randall, and he recounts a little of what it was like to be there in the late 70's and 80's. He also give a bit of insight about ole "Blue Eye's" as a friend and host.

A very cool bonus feature of this video, is the home video shot of the Palm Springs Parade as it would have been seen in the early 60's. That was very cool to see too.

So, I hope you all enjoy the show. 

01 September 2015

Amidst Mod with Eric McGrew Ep:001 - Introduction to Eric McGrew and the show.

Hey everybody! I hope that if you're coming back to, you have been happy with the blog post that you have seen, and if this is your first time, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you. Either way, thanks for stopping by.

For many of you, this may seem a bit awkward. I mean, I have been in contact with many of you for some time and you have helped me thru artist block, answered my design questions, and chatted with me about various different topics. Still, since I've been gone (from the Mid-Century Modern community) for some time, I figure there are a number of people who have no clue of who I am. Well, hopefully, the first episode of Amidst Mod with Eric McGrew will give you some indication. I would like to ask forgiveness for the auto quality. I was having a few problems with my mic, and had to use the iphone mic for recording. That's never ideal!

Any who, this first episode sets up a series that I am sure will be a great time to be had by all. My hopes are that it will not only be fun for me, but be entertaining, informative, and inspiring for all of you, and your Mid-century Modern interest.

Are you wondering what we will cover on the show? I bet you are...! Well, honestly, it's gonna be a mixed bag. We'll cover some DIY Mid-Century design style stuff, designers from the Mid-Century period, Contemporary Mid-Century Inspired Designers, my views and thoughts on mcm design, and some general information on objects and products that I find of interest here and there.

With that all said, I hope you watch the episode and get to know me a bit more. Please also check out my other articles here on and feel free to share, comment, and subscribe!

Thanks again!

23 February 2015

Studio ARTEMIDE MILANO, Designed By VICO MAGISTRETTI, Eclisse Model Lamp

It's kind of funny really. I just happened to marry into a family that has retro collectable interest. No kidding, I had never even brought up the topic with my wife before we got married. We of course talked about out interest in vintage stuff, but never really talked about how far it ran in her family. Well, over the years the interest that my wife's had in the Retro/vintage style has grown into a business for them. Me... yeah... not so much. Still, I do get to enjoy their finds. And that's exactly what I'm doing now. I'm enjoying this cool lamp, and sharing the experience with you. So, take a look-see.  There are a number of other detail photos on the ebay page here.

Here's the details:

Studio ARTEMIDE MILANO, Designed By VICO MAGISTRETTI, Eclisse Model Lamp

This lamp is not in working condition. It has a dent at the top of both the inner shade and the red shade. There are scratches on the lamp as well. It can be used as either a wall lamp or table lamp. The lamp's height is 7".

26 September 2014

Something New From Amidst Mod

Without saying what it is, I'd just like to give a heads up to all those blog viewers out there. Even though I've never lost my interest and love for Mid-Century/Retro/Vintage design, due to life, and trying to make a living in Chile S.A., I've not done the best job of keeping up to date with the awesome finds, artist, and galleries, that have made the place it is today. So, with that in mind, I am trying to do my best to push in a new and more interactive direction, while keeping the focus on what is the most important to all of us enthusiast. MCM design, art, and the preservation of it. So, please hang in there, and I promise to have some more info on how the project is going. Also, if you've been featured on before, watch out, you may be getting an email from me some time soon!

27 May 2014

Mid-Century In Video

Mid Century Modern / The Independent Magazine from Daniel Burdett on Vimeo.

I figured I'd try and give you folks some easy going, mindless Mid-Century Modern today. Now, I'm not so sure about the shoes. They seem just a bit to far out there to be original MCM. It's probable that none of what is featured in this video/commercial is real mid-century modern, but it is pleasant to look at anyway. They used colors well, picked good locations, added extra vintaged effects (not to much though), and selected a wardrobe that is definitely of MCM style. So, take a look, and I hope you enjoy the show.

26 May 2014

Mid-Century Danish Modern, Why So Popular...

Photo by: stiefelkombinat-berlin / TRUE VINTAGE NUSSBAUM SIDEBOARD 60er danish modern 70er

In complete honesty, I'm still learning about the Danish Modern Movement that took an unexpected leap in the early fifties. Yes, I know that Danish modern did exist as early as the 30's (from what I can find), but it really took the design world by storm in the 50's. 

Seemingly, the design professionals had taken note as early as the mid 40's, but with all the war stuff still having it's effect, it wasn't until the late 40's that people really could take it to heart, as to just how different it really was.

As you probably know, Mid-Century Danish Modern furniture is one of the most popular styles of furniture for people to look for and try and get their hands on. In the past 10-15 years, it, along with most other forms of mcm furniture have become highly valued once again. Why so?

Photo by: panda2008amanda /

Danish Modern Solid Teak Dinner Plate - Mid Century - Signed Wiggers - 1960's

High Quality Materials
One reason is materials used at that time are of very high quality. As is the case of most vintage/antique furniture, even the "knock-offs" (copies of the original manufactures) designs were made of better quality materials than most furniture today. Therefore, even with the pieces being quite old now, in terms of furniture age, you can generally get a good and sturdy piece for a decent price and a little repair work. 

Teak is possibly one of the most famous materials that were used in MCMDanish Modern furniture. It's traditionalism of being Danish, not to mention its strength, warmth, and beautiful tone made it a perfect material for ModernDanish furniture. Much of the materials used in American Mid-Century Modern Furniture were also used in MCM Danish Modern design as well. Woods such as Oak, Rosewood, and Walnut are also common to find. Even though many consider teak to be the more authentic or traditional material of Retro Danish Modern design

Other materials were commonly used as well. As is the case, Mid-Century Modern furniture borrowed heavily from the design concepts of it's predecessor, Bauhaus. Even though much of what was designed and developed during the Bauhaus movement was a bit weightier in form (not all, but most), Mid-Century DanishModern definitely borrowed from it in various ways. One such way was the designer’s use of metals, acrylics, leathers, and plastics. Still, almost every one of the materials used were of a better quality than those produced today for the mass market. 

Workmanship/Quality of Craftsmanship
Another reason that many people like the Mid-Century Danish Modern furniture is the quality of craftsmanship. Once again, the originals are of the best quality, but even the knock-offs of the time are generally worth their price. Quality of work in the late 40's- early 60's really meant something at that time. Therefore, it can be fairly easy to find a decently sturdy piece of furniture that can be used upon purchase or with the minimal of investment and work. 

As mentioned above, typically the workmanship and material quality of Mid-century Modern Danish furniture was of a high quality, especially in comparison with that of today. Therefore, reparations of Danish Modern furniture is considerably more feasible and allows one to not only use, but maintain, and even restore these pieces to an almost brand new appearance. This allows for the owner to have a unique piece that lasts for a long period of time, and typically is more affordable in the long run. 

Photo by: lebensweyse / TRI O VINTAGE 



While all of what is mentioned above is true, you may be thinking... Those are not the reasons that I want to buy, or that I got into Mid-Century Danish Modern Furniture. I know that too. However, I think that the aforementioned factors are equally as important to mention as the styling, so people should can be educated. 

Facts are... MCM Danish Modern Furniture is cool. It's sculpted, it's airy, and it's art that is truly functional. Due to its form and stance, DanishModern furniture tends to exude a more futuristic styling in the space that it's placed, but without it being harsh or creating a cold air in the ambient space. There are few notable design aspects to a "typically" Mid-Century Modern Danish piece, and we will investigate these in more detail in the following post.

*Please note that all links in this post, as well as the adds below the post are affiliate links that help earn a meager sum so that we can continue to keep the site running. 


06 March 2014

Knowing Your Mid-Century Danish Modern.

Photo source: ebay/simply mod auctions
Have you every looked at a piece and thought, "I really like this, but I'm just not sure what, or who's it is?" I'm sure you have.

Even though I've been semi studying MCM design for many years now, I still find that I lack a lot of knowledge when it comes to what piece belongs to what designer, or who a designer is. Another lesser thought of question is, what copy of said designers piece is the one that I'm looking at? Is it an authentically approved piece from one of the original manufactures? Or is it a cheap knockoff from the vast number of cheaper quality companies that where riding on the skirt tails of the popular designers. These questions do really deserve to be answered before you buy. 

There are typically two reasons for wanting to know the designer/originality of any specific piece. One is: I want to know if the asking price is reasonable for the product I'm looking at. Unfortunately, the hay days of picking up unappreciated mcm treasures are close to gone. Even more unlikely, is that you will find any kind of stylized Danish mid-century furniture for a steal. In fact, you really need to watch out for your wallet. Many people today are sharks when it comes to Stylized Mid-Century Modern Furniture, and will try to over charge you for a decent, but not particularly special piece.

Second is: Quality. Ok, so as it goes for me personally, I'm not a big name dropper when it comes to furniture. I'm fairly shallow in the terms of furniture preferences (this only applies to my personality with furniture though). What I'm looking for in furniture are good looks and a quality build. Clearly the price matters, but only if the first two items are ticked off my list first. So, when I find a piece of furniture (Danish or not) I want to know that my money is going toward something of value. I need to know it's going to stand the test of time, and stand up to some use.

Really though, the only way to know if the piece that you are looking at is worth the price is by knowing who the designer was, but even more importantly, who the manufacturer is. Let me give you an example:
My wife's aunt, who is a big participant in an antiques mall in Georgia called Cobb Antique Mall, recently found a set of dining chairs. They're Breuer Cesca Chairs* and she wanted to know how to tell the originals from the knockoffs. So, I did a bit of research and found this link here. Thing being, depending on which manufacture made the chairs, you may be getting a well built quality seat, or you may be getting a cheaply made knockoff that's not going to last very long. Or, in fact, you may find on closer inspection that the piece has already started to come apart. Being quality or not has a direct effect on whether or not these chairs are going to be a good investment and TRULY BE VALUABLE. 

You can say the same about Danish/Danish styled Mid-century furniture*. Some are authentic and some are knockoffs. So before you start whipping out that lettuce and throwing it at the sales person to make sure no one else gets that... "Got To Have Piece", pull out the smart phone a do a little research. 

Photo source: ebay/arts-factory
Here's a couple of sites to help you with that research. One is and the other is At, you will find a listing of designers and manufactures, years promoted/sold, and companies that sold these pieces. 

At you will find the same thing as, but for mid-century modern danish lighting*. Here the idea is that anyone can have a fairly quick reference guide to data on Danish modern furniture* and mid-century modern danish lighting* from the atomic era*, and still not loose that piece that just came in to the store, or was put up on the web for sale. Better yet though, is that you'll be able to make an educated decision as to whether or not the piece merits the price and if it will last for you and your family. 

Personally, I'm not starting a museum. However, I do want to know that if I need to sell my furniture and accessories, I'll be able to recoup some of what I've invested, and I'm sure you are the same. More important than resale though, is just knowing that the piece that I've just shelled out hard earned cash for will be able to endure my families use for many years to come.

While the reference sites listed in this post are not an all encompassing, they will help you to identify many of the most common Danish Modern pieces, and some of the lesser know pieces as well.

Please note that all links that have an asterisk (*) beside them are affiliate links. By purchasing thru these links, you are helping me to keep up and running. Thanks for your help and support.