Those carefully pared-down interiors in Real Simple have got you hankering for the classically clean lines of Scandinavian furniture from the fifties and sixties -- however, you've sworn off major purchases till the economy figures out where it's going. But that doesn't mean you've got to turn your back on all that blond wood and those artichoke lamps. Sure, thoroughbreds like an Arne Jacobsen "Swan" chair can set you back around $3,000. "If you need to ask the price, well, you know what they say," one SoHo dealer said to us with a sniff. Naturally, we took that as a challenge to scope out stocks of affordable mid-century modern, and found that if you're willing to venture a little off the beaten track, it's still possible to bring some Scandinavian sparkle to your bare living room.
Designers and collectors love ReGeneration, with its excellent-quality pieces in a range of prices. Owners (and ex-flea-market dealers) Christine Miele and Valerie Guariglia have filled two floors of this converted sausage factory with mid-century finds, including plenty of things for budding buyers (bright enamel bowls by Krenit and Catherine Holme sell for around $90). Prices on bigger-ticket items are often reduced; a Hans Wegner leather lounge chair that was $1,500 is now $1,000.
More bargains can be found on the Lower East Side, where works by top designers (like Finn Juhl and Georg Jensen) go for 30 to 60 percent off what you'd pay uptown. At Las Venus and Las Venus II, its sister store a few doors down, a Swedish glass lamp from the sixties (pictured) is $65, and the fifties Danish stacking tables (also pictured) are $250; they've been seen elsewhere for around $495. Prices drop even further on unsigned items, like a sleek rolltop desk from the sixties selling for $750. Plus, the owners welcome haggling on all prices.
At White Trash in the East Village, bargains start at $19 for unsigned Danish trays in plywood. Reproductions are even more affordable: A Scandinavian-style sixties American dresser, in traditional light teak, is only $325. The shop has plenty of the real thing in stock, too -- a ceiling lamp with round curls of chromed plastic was $325. We knew we'd found a gold mine when the owner told us he'd just sold a teak Danish desk for $650. The buyer? The End of History in SoHo, where it's now on sale for almost three times the price.
ReGeneration, 38 Renwick St. (212-741-2102); Las Venus, 163 Ludlow St. (212-982-0608), and Las Venus II, 113 Stanton St. (212-358-8000); White Trash, 304 E. 5th St. (212-598-5956); The End of History, 548 and 1/2 Hudson St. (212-647-7598).
Picks of the Week
Anna Sui fall dresses, tops, and skirts are reduced by up to 70 percent. Silk chiffon separates are marked down to $45 to $95; alpaca sweaters now cost $60 to $180. 113 Greene St. (212-941-8406); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 11:30-7, Sun. 12-6; starts 1/27.
Arts & Crafts furniture dealer Peter-Roberts is celebrating the store's relocation by taking 20 percent off pottery, lamps, and rugs. 39 Bond St. (212-477-9690); cash only. Mon.-Sat. 11-6:30, Sun. noon-5:30; through 2/28.
Joël Name's SoHo designer-spectacles shop has marked down its entire stock by 20 to 70 percent. Armani frames are $175; Revo sunglasses are $175. 65 West Houston St. (212-777-5888); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 11-7, Sat. 11-6, Sun. 12-5; 2/1-2/28.
Clear Metals is taking $20 off its Celtic-, Egyptian-, and American Indian-inspired jewelry over $50, including Barbara Klar's delicate "Winged Heart" line of earrings, bracelets, and pendants. 72 Thompson St. (212-941-1800); A.E., M.C., V.; Tues.-Sat. 12:30-7, Sun. 1-6, Mon. 12:30-6; 2/1-2/28.