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The Find

Warming Up the Kitchen with Midcentury Modern Wares

by Karen Parr-Moody 25 Oct 2021

As the weather glides toward chillier days, our instinct to hibernate draws us into the kitchen, the home’s heart. The season’s food-centric events – football games, Thanksgiving, Christmas – all occur here. So, the kitchen could use some extra pizzazz this time of year.


Right now, GasLamp boasts a profusion of midcentury modern furniture and kitchenware that will warm any kitchen’s style to a sizzle. The earthiness of midcentury modern style blends in effortlessly with fall’s toasty vibe and warm colors. What’s more, midcentury modern’s sleek lines fit in nearly everywhere.


The Thanksgiving season is the time to invest in turkey iconography through dramatic serving pieces, such as this Italian platter from the 1940s ($37; W-405). Measuring 20-by-16 inches, this platter is conveniently large and can function equally as wall art or as a serving piece. The turkey is hand painted in autumnal colors of rust and gold while various fruits trim the platter’s edge, including pears, cherries, bananas, grapes and strawberries.


While not the official birds of Thanksgiving, these slinky roosters will imbue a kitchen with midcentury-modern flair this fall season ($40; W-405). The pair was made in 1959 by the Universal Statuary Corp, a Chicago-based statue company that produced chalkware designs during the trend’s heyday from the 1940s to the 1960s. Each rooster measures 13 inches across and can create a powerful artistic statement on some lucky kitchen wall.


A prominent Nashville physician initially used this enamel-coated medical cabinet in her private practice ($925; Booth B-234). The Shampaine Aseptic Steel Furniture Co. of St. Louis, Missouri, produced this polished metal-and-glass piece during the 1930s or 1940s. The timeless and modern cabinet features adjustable glass shelving, four drawers, and upper and lower storage compartments for silverware, mixing bowls and dishtowels. There’s also a tray top for food prep. With its Hoosier-like design and smaller size (60 inches tall by 17 inches deep and 30 inches wide), this midcentury modern cabinet is perfect for a small kitchen.


A complete set of midcentury wall plaques is hard to find, so this five-piece collection featuring hot air balloons with glittery accents is a discovery ($495; Booth B-234). Such wooden plaques were an ideal vehicle for expressing the characteristic geometric, modernist designs of the 1950s and 1960s, so they were a regular decorating feature during the midcentury era. The warm wood used in these artworks, strongly influenced by Scandinavian furniture, reminds us of the interior warmth we seek during the fall season. The natural color and texture of wood say “cozy.” Additionally, the size of these pieces will become a statement piece in the right kitchen (the centerpiece is 18 inches by 33 inches and the other four pieces are 12 inches by 18 inches).


Appearing as if freshly picked, an arrangement of avocados and flowers tops this Majolica “trompe l’oeil” centerpiece ($54; Booth W-405). Made in Italy, this midcentury modern find is elegant and lifelike, its highly detailed surface ready to breathe life into someone’s kitchen. The vintage centerpiece is five inches tall, eight inches long and six inches wide.

Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only traditions to revive a kitchen each fall. Seasonal flair is easy to find through vintage furniture and kitchenware for the home’s favorite gathering spot. At GasLamp, warm tones and midcentury modern finds make a kitchen refresh handily managed.
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