Tucked away in a tiny storefront at 110 Meserole Avenue, Vintage Modern is easy to miss. At a cozy 250 square feet, you may not notice it when you stroll by. Once inside though, you’ll find that the small size makes for a huge advantage. It forces owner and shopkeeper Erin Hall to carefully curate and display only her best finds. The store is brimming with distinctive mid-century American furniture and accessories, all of which Hall hunted down at flea markets and estate sales in the tri-state area.
Having an undergraduate degree in interior design, Hall always had an interest in home furnishings and made a hobby out of collecting vintage furniture. When her Greenpoint apartment became overrun with finds, she got a booth at the Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg. In August, Hall quit her full-time job as a graphic designer to open Vintage Modern and settled on the former home of Old Hollywood, a vintage-inspired jewelry and clothing store, which is now on Franklin Street.
Hall saw Greenpoint as the perfect location for her shop. “People are coming out here that didn’t used to. There is a great demographic,” she says. “You get so many different age groups and income levels. It’s an interesting mix of people.” Staying true to that, the store has a mix of price points with everything from Westall Richardson flatware for $45 a set to a $1,450 signed Paul McCobb Credenza –– which is a steal when you consider that it can easily retail for around $3,000.
Vastly different from some vintage furniture stores, everything in Vintage Modern is in really good shape. Hall believes that just because it’s vintage doesn’t mean it needs to be falling apart. She works hard to find pieces that are high quality and cleans them with light steel wool and refinishing products before displaying them. If it’s pricey, that’s because you’re getting vintage style and close-to-new quality.
In addition to the vintage selection, the store has some accessories that are brand new like the simple necklaces by Alex Keller, who uses reclaimed materials and beads ($25). There are also Bee-Things’ limited edition 10 X 14 screen prints ($25) and a variety of Nest Candles in scents like moss & mint and grapefruit ($32, or $14 for votives). Hall also designs her own pillows, which are made out of vintage scarves ($75).
While Vintage Modern carries some high-end, designer pieces for home décor fanatics, Hall’s main goal is to simply sell things that she likes, even if it’s her friend’s sunburst clock from the 60’s. You can spend a lot of time navigating through the store, asking Hall the story behind each piece. “I want to sell really cool pieces that you aren’t intimidated by,” she says of her goal. With her as the friendly shopkeeper, it is definitely accomplished.
Vintage Modern is open Thursday-Sunday 12 – 7 pm. For more information, visit vintagemodernnyc.com.