L.A. designers say this is the place to get that midcentury look — at a discount
Stacia Vinar, left, and Sarah Whipple, owners of Modern Resale, sit among some of the modern European furniture, lighting and accessories at their Los Angeles showroom. The pieces are secondhand but inspected for quality.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Interior designers say Modern Resale is a double blessing, as clients may be looking to buy or sell furniture.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Modern Resale works with local restoration specialists when necessary to return items to their former glory.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The Modern Resale showroom in Los Angeles carries secondhand furnishings, lighting and accessories by European brands.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Inside Modern Resale, which sells lightly used modern European furniture, lighting and accessories.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A view of Modern Resale, which sells lightly used modern European furniture, lighting and accessories secondhand.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The Modern Resale showroom in Los Angeles sells lightly used modern European furniture, lighting and accessories.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Items in the Modern Resale store in Los Angeles.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Stacia Vinar, left, and Sarah Whipple, owners Modern Resale, stand among the European furniture, lighting and accessories at their Los Angeles showroom, which is open by appointment.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
If you’ve ever found yourself staring longingly at the showrooms of West Hollywood Design District, wondering when you’ll have the wherewithal to purchase a few pieces of high-quality furniture, then perhaps it’s time to look south — six miles south, in fact, toward Modern Resale.
It’s a destination for interior designers and others who are working with a budget, scouting for modern European furniture, lighting and accessories at accessible prices.
“We’re here for young professionals, families that are just starting out and anyone who appreciates good design,” says Stacia Vinar, who co-owns the shop along with Sarah Whipple. Whipple compares furniture shopping at Modern Resale to purchasing clothing from well-respected vintage shops like Decades, which carries signature brands like Chanel, Moschino and Gucci.
Modern Resale carries second-hand furnishings, lighting and accessories made by well-respected European brands such as B&B Italia, Cappellini and Lignet Roset, starting at 50% or more off the retail price.
“[Modern Resale] had to happen,” says Whipple. Previously a showroom manager for Diva Group, a prominent retailer for European design, Whipple recalls the many phone calls she would receive from owners looking to renovate, wondering where they could sell their hardly used luxury furnishings.
Whipple had no easy answers for them. The calls, combined with a friendship with Stacia Vinar, another Diva Group alum, paved the way for Modern Resale to open in 2014.
Interior designers say Modern Resale is a godsend to both clients looking to buy and those looking to sell their furniture.
“Our clients are literally on the move. Often, carefully curated modern pieces for one home may not be the first selection for their new digs. Knowing the costs of great designer quality pieces, it is a relief and a value to connect clients with Modern Resale as a resource to sell, ” says Don Stewart of Los Angeles-based Desiderata Design, whose celebrity clients include John Legend and Kanye West.
“Most of my regular clients redesign their homes every three or four years. The reselling of their previous pieces makes them feel less apprehensive about acquiring new ones. It’s a barter of sorts,” says Carlos Antonio, a Los Angeles-based interior and jewelry designer.
Though price tags are still not cheap by any means, it is a better alternative than purchasing reproductions.
A B&B Italia “Charles” Sofa by Antonio Citterio can set you back $16,000, but Modern Resale prices the item at $7,200. A $3,370 Gandia Blasco chaise by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola goes for $1,685 at Modern Resale. (According to Vinar, the chaise took up too much space in its previous celebrity owner’s home.)
Unlike estate sales where bargain hunters would have to settle for purchasing items as is, Modern Resale works with local restoration specialists to return the item to its former glory.
Sometimes it takes deep cleaning, which was the case with a Ligne Roset Neo rocking chair and ottoman by Alban-Sebastien Gilles.
Other times, it needs even more special attention. When a B&B Italia lacquer nightstand came in dented and scratched, Modern Resale had specialists fill and refinish it to bring it back to its original state. No matter the item, each one is inspected before Whipple and Vinar agree to take it on, so customers are assured of its quality.
“Their pieces are in great condition and nicely curated,” says Antonio. “It’s perfect for outfitting common areas of a new project or an entire secondary home without sacrificing the sartorial and design integrity, or budget.”
Address: 4413 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles
Hours: Appointment only
Info: (310) 838-3800, modernresale.com