Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mod inspired decor: the mezzanine

In a previous post, I described in detail all the work that went into planning and building a mezzanine for my loft. Again, I have to acknowledge the time and skilled craftsmanship my father provided.

That post might have lacked in the Mod department but this will surely make up for it. Now we enter my terrain: the decorating. This is what lights my fire and gets my creative juices flowing. I love this stuff and luckily I have the most accommodating wife that pretty much gives me carte blanche. How wonderful is she?

Most of the apartment is inspired by mid-century modern and Scandinavian design. I will sometimes dwell a bit in the 70s. Sleek teak furniture is preeminent throughout the pad so I was looking for something different for the mezzanine. I was aiming for the Pop / Space Age  / Mod look of the sixties. I started making the rounds of my local flea markets and antique shops looking for anything Atomic, futuristic, mainly made of plastic. White furniture would guide my color pallet with splashes of bold color thrown in.

One of the first new pieces I acquired was this Treco credenza. Made in Canada in the early 70s, it’s something that you can still find second hand relatively easily today. The drawers came in a multitude of colors: white, yellow, lime green with red being one of the more popular choices. I have a certain fondness for that design because my younger sister had a red and white set in her bedroom while I was growing up. In fact, my godfather still has it in his basement.

Next came the dream chair. I always fantasized of having my own Eames lounge chair. If there is ever an iconic piece of modern furniture, this is it! Now since I don’t have a spare 6000 to 7000 dollars lying around for an original, I had to settle for an accurate, well-made, rose wood vintage copy. I have to thank my friend Stephane from Du Design, Du Retro et du Kitsch for seeking it out for me. Be aware of the cheaply made Chinese facsimiles currently invading the market.

I did manage to put my hands on an early example of a real Eames DWC chair. The more common model has the wooden legs, slanted seat and is often seen in a light teak. The late 50s model has chrome legs. It matches perfectly with the existing tubular steel railing of the mezzanine. I was fortunate to come across the chair in black. The dark grain makes it stand out and ties it in with the lounge chair.

The other pieces surrounding the lounge chair include a white, plastic, vintage accent Kartell table and its sister magazine rack. Again, if you are a purist, you’ll go for the original piece even if Kartell still produces them. Like the popular expression states: “They just don’t make them like they use too”. The newer ones are made, you guessed it, in China and are, in my opinion, of lesser quality. I guess it’s the equivalent of buying a Northern Soul record on the original label or buying a perfectly acceptable re-issue. For some reason, if the price is right, I’ll always go for the original. I prefer a piece that has history, character and even a few flaws. 

The Dynamite 8 Panasonic 8-track player is widely recognized as a classic piece of the era. With its plunger like channel selector, it’s a real blast to use. Next to it is a perfect example of timeless modern design with this Braun ventilator.

The lighting was mostly flea market finds and easy on the pocket book. This small chrome lamp was a steal at 25$ and fits the overall look.

This modern Scandinavian wall sconce helps create a soft, groovy atmosphere.

To serve as a reading lamp, I found this 50s atomic chandelier. (Thanks again Stephane!) All the lamps are connected on a circuit that is controlled by a dimmer. I have dimmers on every outlet I possibly can in the loft. With them… voilà!... instant mood. Next to it  is the Christmas present I got from my wife. It’s an oversized artistic oil-on-canvas replica of the classic Mod anthem My Generation by The Who with the painted sleeve. You can find a wide selection of other titles, like the 2-Tone favorite Gangsters by The Specials at the Super Size Art website.

A few accessories complete the lot like this sought-after Panasonic TR 005 Orbitel television reminiscent of a flying saucer. 

I also had the rare opportunity to buy this Weltron 2005 turntable from a fellow Mod who was moving back to his native Helsinki and couldn’t pack it in his suitcase. I’m looking to incorporate it in the decor but haven’t found a suitable table to put it on yet. 

Weltron is a Japanese company that flourished in the 70s and was praised for its innovative design. This table model comes with integrated speakers but it can be hooked up to a separate set of speakers.  It also came in a flashy yellow color.

The bedroom section is meant to be warm and cozy that’s why mid-century modern teak furniture was chosen.  I always loved my bed’s vintage headboard for its practical feature. It has two sliding squares that can glide on the main frame to accommodate a queen or king size bed.

I was looking forward to finishing the mezzanine to finally hang my new wall art. First is this beautiful painting on a recycled record made by Texas native, Patricia Rodriguez. Make sure to have a look at some of her work at Tiger Bee Arts. You will definitely find some Mod friendly themes. Fancy a painting of you on your Lambretta? She will even accept commision work.

Finally, there’s this minimal and modern painting of the female form that I had for a while. The final touch to our little Mod retreat.


  1. Very nice from a welsh mod

    1. Thank you sir! Salutations from across the Atlantic!

  2. Absolutely great Pat. You have some fantastic pieces and the loft space is a great canvas for displaying them

  3. Patrick, your place is absolutely amazing! Great decor and I'm super jealous of all that space. In the Bay Area, space is very limited.

    Really awesome job overall, but I must take issue with one item. Ahem... '90s mullet Superman?

    1. Ha! Ha! Touché! You got me on the Superman figurine. Would you believe me if I said it was my wife's? What can say, I can't be perfect...

  4. I loved your place too much and the above pieces are so gorgeous particularly the red and white piece. I am gonna get some new white furniture and I think the above design red and white combination will be matched very well.

  5. Great collective of so many details!

    I have a question on the chair, sans legs, I think I have a very similar one , also in rose wood. Vintage early 70's but the base of the chair and the shape and dimensions seem identical down to the 4 bolts on either side connecting the base to the back.

    Do you know the manufacture of your chair and ottoman?

    1. I'm afraid I don't. All I know is that it's an Eames Lounge Chair vintage replica.