9 Midcentury Modern Storage Solutions on eBay

9 Midcentury Modern Storage Solutions on eBay

By Kate Reggev
From bookshelves to room dividers, these vintage furnishings perfectly balance function with flair.

In this week's midcentury modern eBay roundup, we're taking a look at shelves, bookcases, room dividers, and other open storage solutions. We love the way these pieces mix style and storage with bold and bright colors, unique forms, and unexpected materials. 

1950s Indoor Plant Stand & Table

It's hard to get more atomic era than this little side table with black, red, and sky blue floating shelves that would be perfect for plants. The frame of the asymmetrical table is wood, but the top is a Formica laminate edged in metal for a bit of shine.

As one of the most influential American midcentury designers, Paul McCobb worked with a variety of furniture companies, but he always brought his notions of proportion, simplicity, and clean lines. This tall wood wall unit from McCobb’s Planner Group line is grounded by a low, solid set of cabinets and a drawer. Above lies a light and airy set of shelves that we could see housing a carefully curated selection of books, vessels, and other objects.

Designed and produced in the Netherlands in 1953, this teak standing shelf could function as either a bookcase or a sideboard in a dining room or living room. The four teak posts are tapered at both the top and the bottom, and the ends of each shelf are turned upwards, exhibiting the bendable properties of plywood. We could see this simple but elegant piece in just about any room!

This chrome and glass etagere, or standing open shelving unit, was designed in the 1970s by famous furniture designer Milo Baughman. The etagere features four intermediate floating shelves and a central full-length shelf for bracing. The clear glass and reflective chrome make for a fun play on light.

One of the hallmarks of midcentury design is the use of newly developed materials such as plywood, which is more malleable and bendable than solid wood. This bent plywood standing shelf, with its rounded frame and tiers of arched shelves, would make a great backdrop for books or accessories with a pop of color.

This tripartite walnut unit provides a great mix of open shelving, pull-out drawers, and sliding doors for everything from books and nicknacks to messier items that you want to keep out of sight. The vertically-oriented walnut panels on the bottom drawers keep the piece from feeling too heavy, and the carved walnut handles are particularly lovely.

Made out of four vertical panels and four horizontal shelves of blond wood, this midcentury shelving unit would function great as a room divider or as a freestanding shelf. The alternating zigzag shape of the vertical and horizontal members makes for a complex form that is both graphic and exciting. We'd let this piece be the star of the room, and we’d be careful not to overload it with items.

Originally founded as a kitchenware company in the Netherlands in the 1920s, Tomado began making metal items (including cookware, small appliances, and storage solutions) in the 1940s and 1950s. This set of metal shelves is a great example of the types of pieces they made—it’s highly functional, easy to assemble, and brightly colored, reminiscent of the Dutch De Stijl movement.

Heywood Wakefield is known for producing maple and birch furniture in a range of light blond shades from wheat to honey from the 1940s to the 1960s. Designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky for the middle class, the pieces are durable and marked by rounded edges. Sakhnoffsky used similar curved lines in his automotive designs for Chrysler.


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