Mid-West Mid-Century

By Sarah – Atomic Magpie 

Several times a year, the Mid-West beckons and I come running. From the prairies, to the corn fields, I love the rural serenity and wide open spaces. Oh, and then there’s the lakes. All 10,000 of them! 

1960’s whisky decanter and the first snow of the season. (Central MN)

What I also love, is the abundance of amazing mid century pieces to be found. At the end of every visit, when I head back to California, my carry on luggage is usually loaded with Pyrex and coffee pots. At some point or another, I’ve had footstools and lamps, fondue pots and Franciscan ware, all carefully stuffed in my suitcase.

1950’s Danish modern lamp & hand knitted throw. (Stearns County, MN)

I have this theory that people in the Mid-West don’t live with the same “disposable” mentality as many of the rest of us. That the kitchen canister set someone got as a wedding gift in 1966, is the same one in their kitchen until the day they die. Now, clearly there is no science behind this theory, but there has to be some explanation for the volume of incredible, well treated pieces I always find there.

Inland Glass Coffee Pot. (Minneapolis, MN)

 A lot of manufacturing in mid century America, was found in the Mid West and surrounding states.  I’m sure this also has something to do with it. Whatever it is, I get excited any time I have a free day to go searching for treasures. And the results have always been fantastic and rewarding!

Hairpin legged footstool, found at “Pioneer Days” (Albany, MN) Restored and updated by us.
1960’s Turner Wall Art print. (South Dakota)

QWERTY Martini

Recently, we had a customer ask us to find them a mid century era piece to use as a bar in a man cave. Something steampunkish and industrial, vintage and clean lined. So when I stumbled across this awesome 1960’s rolling metal typing desk stashed behind some old bookshelves and a discarded desk, I knew I’d found “the one”. 

Hidden away behind a pile of old furniture…bingo!
This style of desk was a staple in many offices during the 60’s & 70’s, and this beauty still had the original government “Property of…” sticker on the underside. The only thing that would have made this desk any cooler would have been the words “CIA” or “FBI” (instead of the County office in which it once resided).
Isn’t she lovely? Vintage Kromex Ice Bucket
Loaded with a cool c. 1952 whiskey decanter, some retro cocktail tumblers and a shiny, vintage Kromex ice bucket (you should really check out our store!) this bar quickly took shape.  
1950’s decanter – sweet bar accessories are a must!
Sturdy & vintage, this bar cart is a cool piece of history – I wonder if the person who once sat typing at this desk daily, ever imagined it would one day serve this very swoon inspiring function? 

This piece really didn’t require much restoration, it was in great shape. Custom wooden wine bottle racks slide on to the bottom shelf and there is room for hanging wine glasses underneath. Perfect!