Jan 16, 2011

The Cow Town Low Down: Mid Century Dweller

I'm pleased as punch to present the first interview in my new series, The Cow Town Low Down*, profiling mid century modern shops, trades and products in Calgary.

The lovely Dinah owns Mid Century Dweller - freshly opened in the heart of Inglewood (1222 9th Avenue SE). Dinah has a brilliant eye for high quality and well designed pieces from the '50s to 70s for purchase, consignment or rental.

Opened since Fall 2010, Mid Century Dweller is chock a block full of divine pieces of furniture, art and decor from sources she just wouldn't share with me (I tried). Dinah posts regular updates on new stock on her website and her Facebook group Mid Century Dweller.


A few of the many jewels at Mid Century Dweller

LMCMHP: Just when I had given up hope that all of Calgary was about new, new, new, you opened your store, Mid Century Dweller in Ingelwood. What do you love about MCM that inspired you to open a store?

Dinah: Well, what inspired me in particular believe it or not was a 1960's (expo) wood coffee table! I had found it at a person's estate sale. It had wood in two colors and the shape was round and so organic but it had this floating wood section in the middle. The whole structure was so sculptural, so sleek and so clean. So that was it! Mid-Century Modern and I had now begun to date!

LMCMHP: The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Did you have an inkling that there were so many of us MCM nuts in Calgary?

Dinah: In the back of my head I had a feeling, I couldn't personally find anything for myself and I began to notice a trend of MCM popping up in several places. Now that the store has opened, I must admit the MCM collector is a quirky breed, they are eccentric and enthusiastic plus they have a skip in their step when they approach their newly found object.

Sublime little wall unit

LMCMHP: A friend of mine just found a mint condition teak surfboard coffee table in someone's garbage. What is your secret source for these stellar pieces? I'm hoping it's not the garbage.

Dinah: It's a secret... shhhh

I love me some lamp.

LMCMHP: I know you've only been open for a short while. What type of clientele are purchasing items from your store? What style of houses are they furnishing?

Dinah: OMG, I have seen the most extraordinary homes in such a short while, when delivering pieces, whilst staging! The MCM clientele is so warm and so appreciative. They oogle and stare at objects with sultry stars in thier eyes. [LMCMHP note: I swear I don't ever do that]

My clients have ranged from young people in thier 20s to the most respectable collector of 80 years. I have seen condos, eco homes, bungalows and even motorhomes. One thing is for sure, they all have the most ecclectic of tastes.

LMCMHP: Love your angle of displaying newly acquired pieces on Facebook. Has the public been receptive to this type of marketing?

Dinah: Yes, visual images are good, especially the original photos from the era, it's nostalgic and it fills one with the sepia of how people lived and how we can now incorporate these items in our modernness.

I'm a sucka for a teak planter and an art show silkscreen... that actually matches my dark blue bedroom. Can I put this on hold?

LMCMHP: What items would you just have to keep if you sourced one out? How about for your new dear friend Laura?

Dinah: I have kept so many pieces now that havent even reached my showroom, mostly scandinavian pieces that are unique or are signed. The object has to move me, it has to beckon my attention. I have a great collection in just a short period of time.

For my dear Laura I am sourcing some fibreglass plant pots and trying to find her a great new set of dining room chairs. [LMCMHP note: YES PLEASE!]

Hello chrome side table. Would you like to come home with me?

LMCMHP: Finally - our readers are dying to know - we've all noticed a relatively large unused space next door to your store. Any plans to expand in the future?

Dinah: Jajaja, (I laugh in Spanish) yes I do want to expand, but to another location but in the same area, the building I am presently in will be demolished in 2012. Let me put it out there, if anyone knows a place for me to relocate that would be a good dwelling for Mid-Century Dweller let me know.

The idea initially was to keep overhead costs down and see if this crazy idea of mine actually worked. Thankfully it has ... with the support of the Calgary community and the ever-obsession of MCMers... I am having a ball! Come, join me.

Thanks Dinah for being our very first guest interview at LMCMHP!

Mad mad love for Mid Century Dweller.


* Hubby deserves kudos for coming up with this title.


Germaine Rivera said...

This is so sweet! Thanks for the heads up for MCM lovers in Calgary :)
jajaja!! What a fun interview...btw, your friend is so lucky to find a mint teak surfboard coffee table

Jim said...

Love that teak planter, looks like I have a new project to build.

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