It's not junk; it's 'mid-century modern'

by Leslie Turk

TV series like Mad Men have made the '60s - and mid-century modern furniture - cool again.

As a teacher, an estate sale coordinator, and now a "junking" blogger, my job is to inform, entertain and boss. I was thinking this week of profitable things you can easily find on a weekend hunt to enjoy in your home, give as gifts, or sell in the marketplace. What came first to my mind is 1950s and '60s  furniture, clothes and home accessories. Let's face it: TV shows like Mad Men have made this time period cool again. In fact the correct term for this old stuff isn't old stuff but "mid-century modern." What a difference a name makes.

As people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s are moving from their homes, the items they bought when they were setting up housekeeping are now on the market. Boomerang tables are hot right now; you know the little end tables in the shape of boomerangs.

I had a set in an estate sale that was missing some veneer, and I sold it to a dealer for $200. I am certain he fixed the veneer problem and sold the tables in his shop or on eBay for much more. The most desirable '50s and '60s clothing items would be designer scarves and hats, costume jewelry, and unusual clothing items that are in wearable sizes. With today's super-sized fast food meals, we are wearing larger sizes than our 1950s parents and grandparents, so the smaller sizes just don't sell like the larger ones. When you go out searching this weekend, remember my hint to think of this time period, because those antiques from the 19th century and the turn of the 20th century are getting harder to find.

Finally, to the hundreds and hundreds of people who came to my big north Lafayette living estate sale, it was so wonderful to see you all. I feel honored to have met you and your family and to have sold to you, and I hope to see you at the next sale.

[Editor's Note: Cheryl Cockrell, aka The Junk Lady, specializes in estate sales. Check back regularly for her blog, "The Weekend Hunt." Read more about her and get info on upcoming sales here.]