This Vacation Rental is a Living Museum of Midcentury Eastern European Design
Yugoslavia is no longer on the map, but a tiny slice of the former nation still exists in a 1960s apartment building in Belgrade's historic Dorćol neighborhood. It's called Yugodom, and this "stay-over museum" is a curated shrine to midcentury design—and the power of everyday objects—created by local designer Mario Milakovic.
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Over the course of a year, Milakovic was able to transform his passion for design into the retro rental space, digging up forgotten treasures at flea markets, antique shops, and online marketplaces, as well as through his network of friends, before painstakingly restoring them with the modern guest in mind.
"Most people from abroad were actually surprised that socialist Yugoslavia even had midcentury modern furniture," says Milakovic, who opened the space in 2014 but is constantly evolving its collection. "There is even some ironically subversive truth in that. First of all, midcentury started later here, in the 1950s, and didn't get mass production until the late '50s, '60s, and even '70s. Secondly, for most ordinary people the style didn't even have a name—it was simply furniture."
The resulting collection of furniture, books, magazines, music, and memorabilia isn't just a celebration of an aesthetic. It's also an art project that tells the story of a period in time and the people who lived through it.