Industrial at The Purple Moon

Utilitarian, historical, functional, hip and chic – industrial decor offers it all!

Visitors to The Purple Moon lately have been a bit surprised to find items with a bit more “patina” than our usual near-pristine mid-century modern fare.  We have blended in more of the “industrial” look with refurbished and often re-purposed items demonstrating how well these historical wood and metal pieces work with modern home decor.

Industrial Factory Cart Coffee Table

Shop Tool Caddy Transformed into Chic Bar Cart

Adding functional industrial items adds a new dimension of fun and interest to home decor. They also are the ultimate in “Green” home furnishings – saving these 20th Century artifacts from the landfill while eliminating the need for a newly manufactured item certainly reduces your carbon footprint.

Often, industrial items are not actually re-purposed but are simply used as they were originally intended while at the same time giving your home an urban chic look.

Vintage Industrial Drafting Table and Toledo Metal Drafting Chair

1930’s Brass Blade Fan by Emerson

Blending some industrial design into your home can also be as easy as using a few well-chosen accent pieces. Vintage wire baskets, metal trays, antique objects and even bed springs turned art offer endless decorating opportunities.

Bed Spring Wall Hanging with Industrial Objects and Warhol Print

Antique Clay Pool Balls in Wire Basket

This is just a hint of the many ways vintage industrial artifacts can be put to use decorating your home or office. Stop by The Purple Moon to see more!


Estate Sale This Weekend – February 6 – 7 – South Charleston, WV

PM Estate Sales, a service of The Purple Moon, will be holding an estate sale at 805 Montrose Drive in South Charleston on Saturday, February 6th from 10am – 4pm and on Sunday, February 7th from 11am to 4pm.

This small, but high-quality, estate has the treasures you are looking for in the great condition you expect from The Purple Moon. This estate includes a very rare Blenko 5929L decanter, sterling silver from Alvin, Jackson and Poole, silverplate items galore, dinnerware from Castleton and Lenox, figurines from Lladro and Hummel, artwork, and a 1974 Sohmer Company console piano with a huge amount of vintage sheet music and music books.
Great living room, dining room and bedroom furniture including a Thomasville dining set, French Provencial bedroom and a fabulous 1950’s bunk bed set! Sofas, chairs, accent table and much more.
Sale begins promptly at 10am on Saturday, February 6. NO ADVANCE SALES!

Here is the preview video of this great sale:


Mama Mia! – Ultra MOD Italian Lamp

Pottery Table Lamp – Made in Italy – circa 1971

One of our latest vintage finds is this super Italian Modern lamp dating from the very early 70’s. This minimalist beauty has a pottery body and is as cool as the come.

I just wish I knew who designed this lamp but nothing has come to light as of yet. Any thoughts?

This lamp is currently residing in the main showroom at The Purple Moon.


Take a Load Off – Mid-Century Seating

Hollywood Regency Sectional Sofa – Flexsteel – circa 1960’s

We’re fortunate to have a plethora of exceptional mid-century modern seating in stock at The Purple Moon these days. Just take a gander at some of these beauties!

The Flexsteel three piece sectional sofa above dates from the 1960’s and is as elegant as they come. This sofa was professionally reupholstered in the early 1970’s and is, in a word, gorgeous.

Next we have this custom designed and handcrafted one-of-a-kind sofa which is quite possibly the nicest we have ever seen. Designed and constructed by Mansfield OH artist Margaret Twitchell Swank. who studied under Viktor Schreckengost at the Cleveland School of Art, this sofa was made in 1960 and measures right at 100 inches in length.

Custom Designed / Handcrafted Sofa – Margaret Twitchell Swank – circa 1959

This classic swivel chair by Plycraft and designed by George Mulhauser is a true gem and rarely seen with an actual woven fabric upholstery (most were vinyl) and dates from 1961. The sculptural lines of this bent plywood chair makes it truly iconic.

Plycraft Swivel Chair – George Mulhauser – 1961

Danish Modern Round Chair – Denmark – circa 1950’s

The Danish Modern Round chair, possibly by Selig and certainly in the style of Hans Wegner, is marked “Made in Denmark” and is a the perfect accent chair.

Also from Denmark is this wonderful Teak loveseat with its reversible cushions. Sleek and timeless this piece is at home in a living room today as it was 50 years ago.

Teak Danish Modern Loveseat – Denmark – circa 1950’s

Finally, the Hollywood sofa / daybed below is just the thing for that room which might also double as a spare bedroom – just pull off the backrest and, viola, you have a nice single bed for a house guest. It’s also stylish enough to be used in a more formal way. In fact, the Modern Lady and I have one just like this, in creamy white, in our living room.

Hollywood Sofa / Daybed – USA – circa 1950’s

All of this pieces, and more, are currently on display in The Purple Moon’s main showroom. Stop by and take a load off by giving them a try.


All That Jazz – Wall Decor from the 1950’s

Jazz Musician Plaster Wall Plaques – circa 1955

You can almost hear the sax and the bass coming from these fabulous mid-1950’s decorative wall plaques. Plaster (or chalk) wall decor was prevalent in the 1950’s but often leaned more to the traditional in their theme. These modern beauties have a sculptural feel reminiscent of the figures by Alberto Giacometti.

What is also unique about this quartet is simply the fact they have survived intact and without a chip. These mid-century marvels are currently on display at The Purple Moon.


A Visit to Tamarack – The Best of West Virginia

Tamarack – The Best of West Virginia – Beckley, WV

The modern lady and I, along with a couple of friends, ventured to Beckley last weekend for a visit to Tamarack. This Mountain State treasure has half a million visitors annually and serves as a one-stop shop and showcase for West Virginia culture, heritage, handcrafts, fine art, regional cuisine and music.

After enjoying a wonderful meal at A Taste of West Virginia food court, managed by The Greenbrier, we casually browsed the fabulous selection of goods by West Virginia crafts people. The depth and range of our artistic community in the state is mind boggling. As always, I was impressed and surprised by the number of modernist designs executed utilizing traditional, folk arts and crafts techniques. 

If you haven’t visited Tamarack you should make a trip this Autumn. The scenery on the way is breathtaking, the food delicious and the art beyond compare. If you have been there before, as I have been many times, there are always new things to see. From furniture to Blenko Glass to some of the best pottery you will ever see Tamarack does indeed feature The Best of West Virginia.


Daystrom Dinette 1954

Dinette Set – Daystrom Corporation – 1954

First of all, I want this kitchen.

The Daystrom Corporation produced some of the coolest dinette sets to come out of the 1950’s. The one shown is from an advertisement for the company from 1954 when this dinette set could be yours for $155. To put this in perspective, adjusted to 2008 dollars this set cost $1242.30 according to the online consumer price index calculator of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. And this isn’t even one of their higher end models.

Daystrom produced their furnishings on both coasts with a factory in Olean, NY and a Pacific Division in Pasadena, CA. We’ve had a number of these dinette sets over the years, from a number of makers, and have found Daystrom’s design and quality to be superior. Pieces are generally marked with labels under the table and on the seat bottom of the chairs. Daystrom produced furniture into the early 1970’s.

Did I mention that I want this kitchen?


Heywood-Wakefield 1953

Heywood-Wakefield Advertisement – The American Home Magazine – August 1953

As I had written earlier this week, the pile of The American Home magazines I recently ran across has been a treasure trove of fabulous information, images and style. It is always so nice to see how the vintage items I cherish now were originally presented, utilized, marketed and displayed.

The Heywood-Wakefield ad shown here includes pieces which are part of our collection. The china cabinet, buffet and dining chairs (with the drop leaf whalebone table not shown) all sit in my dining room. This exceptionally styled and crafted furniture is as stylish today as it was 55 years ago.