Adam Hoover of Main St. Modern lets us in on the popular trends in his business, what clients seek most and a little advice on furniture buying.
Being open one day a week allows you time to find the right pieces for your shop. Where do you look, and how do you know if a piece will do well at the shop?
Everywhere! We always are traveling to try to find new inventory. I go out to the East coast every other week and almost always bring a truckload of furniture back. Also, the good thing about being well-known for midcentury furniture is a lot of people now contact us to sell their midcentury furniture. We will buy just a single piece or an entire estate. We always are buying, and that, to me, is the fun part.
We try to buy specifically designer name pieces from the time period. So a lot of the time, we know a piece is good just by recognizing who the designer is. Occasionally, I just have a gut feeling that something is special, and I just hope someone who comes in the store will love it too.
What are most of your customers looking for?
We have been noticing a lot of people who have just bought their first homes coming in, and they need to fill a house for the first time and they need a little bit of everything.
Another large group of our customers are other buyers. There are several stores spread out across the country that I supply a large percentage of their inventory. Since our prices are so much lower than retail, they are able to buy from us and take those pieces back to major cities, such as Los Angeles or New York City and ask 10 times the amount for it.
We also have been dealing with a lot of buyers from clothing companies who need furniture for their ever-changing store displays, and movies that need furniture authentic to the time period.
My advice to anyone buying furniture is to buy the best you can afford. Most of the furniture you can buy new at the store today is disposable. It will last a max of 10 years, and if you don’t treat it well, it will wear down and break in the first year of use. Quality never goes out of style. When you buy vintage furniture, the value and quality is real and doesn’t go away. If you were to splurge on something designer and rare, it only will go up in value if you take care of it.—Adam Hoover
What are 3 of the hottest trends in midcentury modern style?
1. The biggest trend that has been going on since they started making flat screen TVs is the credenza. The credenza is a staple piece to any midcentury design. Almost everyone is looking for one. So much so that the number of available vintage ones is slim and many people have resorted to using dressers which also work and look great. You need somewhere to hide things away and you want it to not be too bulky.
2. Small desks are popular right now. They said the home office was dead five to six years ago, but with so many young people working from home, they need somewhere to set up and get some work done besides the kitchen table. They don’t need to feel like a CEO with a huge desk that takes up an entire room but they may need a small desk that can be blended into a family room or the spare bedroom.
3. A hot trend right now in design in general is house plants. So you obviously need some great vintage pottery to hold those plants, and we have a large selection of pottery.
Midcentury style saw a big resurgence in the last decade. Tell me how that has impacted your business and if you see the trend continuing.
A few years ago, no one in Ohio was interested in mid-century furniture, so I was able to buy it here for a good price, list it online and ship almost all of my inventory to the East coast where it always has been extremely popular.
Now, the trend has finally caught on in this area and we are very excited that people are starting to appreciate it around here. Midcentury is still popular out East, but they really want the high-end pieces.
Now, the demand has skyrocketed here, and the supply is small, so we do a lot of buying out East and bring it back to Ohio to help satisfy that demand.
As far as the store changing, we have been open to the public for five years now, and every year, we see an increase in customers coming to the store. We made the decision to stop selling online, cut our prices in half and focus on the store alone and turning it into a destination.
I have read so many articles asking if midcentury has reached its height and the discussion of what trend will be next. I am here to tell you, don’t expect it to go away any time soon! It is most popular with the younger generations, and many of them have not purchased homes yet. As they start buying homes and starting families, we are going to see prices continue to climb since the supply is limited and the number of buyers is growing every day. Sure everything goes around full circle, but quality and timeless design will live on forever.