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C O N T E N T S SPRING 2021 Exploring the people behind the goods, architecture, design philosophies and spaces of gorgeous homes on the West Coast of Florida.

The Main Mid-century modern style is back in full swing. The classic 1950s style is reveling in its revival in all forms of design, preservation and decoration. Martie Lieberman, mid-century real estate agent extraordinaire, sees architecture as Sarasota’s art form. Ryan Perrone, president of Nautilus Homes and board member for the Center for Architecture Sarasota, constructs dream houses that span every waterfront and coastal style. As an interior designer, Jill Geisdorf pushes mid-century decoration to simplify and soothe people’s chaotic lives. John Collins, a vintage vendor, says mid-century pieces are the perfect accentuating gems. For Jeff Schwartz, dean of undergraduate studies and associate vice president of academic affairs at Ringling College of Art + Design, uninhabited spaces and empty furniture pose an inspiring simplicity.

Artisan Kelly Design Mobiles adds an emotive 3-D layer of hanging art and amusement to pique your inner childlike wonder.

Goods Carpet the diem with area rugs that bring class, sass and conversation to the ground level of your hideaway.

COVER Jill Geisdorf shares her passion for mid-century modern, photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

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WRITER Brittany Mattie PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of Kelly Design Mobiles

His free-floating forms tear a page out of a mid-century modern design book, reminiscent of the great mobile sculptor Alexander Calder revered throughout the Abstract Art and Expressionism art periods of the ‘50s and ‘60s. The design-focused sensibility from the time period evokes strong shapes such as cascading circles and triangular trapezes, as well as pops of primary hues.

Kinetic Energy

NATE KELLY OF KELLY DESIGN MOBILES utilizes conceptual

style, but with his own take on hanging mobile art. “Mobiles have always been a part of my life. My dad actually started creating them in the late 1970s. I grew up with him in Minneapolis making hanging mobiles for a living and enjoyed learning from him over the years, then helping him sell them in art shows and galleries around the country,” he says. “Eventually, I started to sell my own mobiles in 1995 in art shows, galleries, homes and businesses around the country as a side business.” The kinetic energy of mobiles rely on careful weighting, balance and suspension in the air. They add a mesmerizing sense of whimsy, character, movement and interest to a space. Kelly’s handmade neck-craning designs each evoke a pendulous, abstract mirage of geometric shapes. Utilizing metal mediums such as steel, aluminum sheet, brass sheet, steel wire or rod, he combats the metallic sheen with gratifying matte paint colors. “My mobiles really work well with the midcentury design decor style that is so trending right now,” says

etsy.com/shop/KellyDesignMobiles, @kellydesignmobiles.

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Kelly. “But I also like to look at the new and current design style to help inspire me and create mobiles that will fit that style as well.” With a half dozen to choose from to order on Etsy, each one of his sculptural and colorful mobiles sway gently and revolve weightlessly—adding a playful yet tranquil mood to a space. The “Snake” mobile, for instance, has a slithery snakelike look as it moves, suspended in the air. Its teardrop shapes are painted in an ombré of two different shades of blue, with a cartilage body of steel wire. And in December, Kelly released a new model titled “Perspective.” With both vertical and horizontal pieces constructed in a chaotic harmony of lines and vertebrae, the figures of this metal mobile are painted with a matte black finish to handsomely hang over the sofa or corner of the room. From the entryway, office nook or nursery, hanging one of these artful fancies eliminates static sterileness—and adds an emotive 3-D layer of decor and amusement to pique your inner childlike wonder.


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Palma Sola Modern

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he Palma Sola Modern project began with the dream of having a relaxed, low maintenance home where the homeowners, Monique and Andres Riviere-O’Daly “could enjoy the natural beauty of the natural surroundings”. Having both grown up in modern homes in Venezuela and their deep love of Modern Design is something that is simply a part of who they are. From the inception, the indoor/outdoor connection was a key design component for this home. This young family desired to have a “club house” feel to the home where guests are always welcome and playful childhood memories are created. In seeking an architect, they had an immediate connection with Jerry Sparkman of Sweet Sparkman Architects in Sarasota. Jerry’s confident, low key, casual nature and attitude was the perfect fit for them. In design, the key goals were continually visited – modern, easy and connection with nature. The home site is nicely located on Palma Sola Bay which is known for being one of the state’s valued preserves for natural wildlife. Along with sea turtles, fish and various species of birds, the bay is also home to a number of beautiful plant species. Jerry’s design features a single level, raised home which has a sweeping radius back porch that welcomes views all of the natural beauty of Palma Sola Bay. All of the common living spaces and family bedrooms are situated to take advantage of bay views. The unique one level raised design provides and incredible opportunity to almost double the home’s square footage with ground level outdoor living spaces. The ground level of this home has plenty of space for swimming, dining, lounging and well, playing. The round bed swing is truly a place of solitude for any family member or guest when they want a little getaway. In staying true to the connection to the outdoors, the home welcomes guests with a carport and rich slatted entry system. Once inside the home, the combination of clean minimal architectural elements is perfectly married with warm natural finishes. The interior color scheme is a simple natural combination of rustic white oak, crisp white and splashes of walnut. One item that was thoughtfully selected in this home is the live edge desk just off of the kitchen. The homeowners were lucky enough to find a beautiful wood slab complete with a little bit of Florida history. The slab they acquired was from a Fever Tree (aka Acacia) that was fallen at the famed Selby Gardens. This simple, yet perfect desk will house many a homework session with the younger family members. This modern, timeless, open floorplan home is truly a place of refuge for this young family and surely the place of pure joy for all that enter.

MISSION STATEMENT Ross Built LLC is a boutique custom home builder in West Central Florida. Our mission is simple – to build high quality homes with an pleasurable customer experience. Our company focus is to hire talent that truly love construction. Our employees, trade and craft people are carefully selected and represent the best construction talent around. We understand that building a custom home is a very personal experience and we are dedicated to taking on a select number of projects to ensure the highest level of quality and personalized service.

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ROSS BUILT Greg Ross 305 67th Street W Bradenton, Florida 34209 941-778-7600

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SRQ | HOME&DESIGN MAGAZINE SPRING 2021 | BUILDER PORTFOLIO

“We are passionate about modern architecture and were delighted to work with such driven, intentional and fun clients” — Greg Ross

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WRITER Brittany Mattie

Time to clear some space and roll out the big guns for some textured, layered aesthetic. These Transitional statement area rugs will bring class, sass and conversation to the ground level of your hideaway.

Carpet Diem

This page, clockwise: 21 Noir and 22 Noir, Christie Collection. Available in six different rectangular sizes and four round sizes. From $1,939. Rugs As Art, 6650 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-9211900, rugsasart.com, info@rugsasart.com, @rugsasart. 93 Ivory Blue, Etesian Collection. Available in five different sizes. From $79. Rugs As Art.

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Carpet Diem

This page, clockwise: 779 Ivory, Catamaran Collection. Available in seven different sizes. From $69. Rugs As Art. Naidu, by GAN. Prices upon request, Home Resource, 741 Central Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-6690, homeresource.com, @homeresourcefurniture.; Wood Grain, Global Views. Prices upon request. Norris Furniture & Interiors, 8001 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-556-0501, norrisfurniture.com, @norrisfurnitureinteriors; Duna, by GAN. Prices upon request, Home Resource.

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Carpet Diem This page, top to bottom: Silhouette, by Nanimarquina. Indoor or outdoor rug. Available in two different sizes. Price upon request. Home Resource. Tasili, by GAN. Prices available upon request. Home Resource.

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The History “I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR TWO DECADES,” SAYS MORRIS HYLTON III, DIRECTOR OF THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA’S COLLEGE OF DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND PLANNING. TWO DECADES TO SEE THE REVIVAL AND RESURGENCE OF ONE PARTICULAR DESIGN STYLE. “Mid-century modern, really was a cultural phenomenon,” he says, and its moment has returned. Following the Great Depression and World War II—two decades of little new construction—a booming economy and a growing middle class, mixed with irrepressible feelings of optimism and progress, lead to a moment of design like the Renaissance: a burst of creativity with an enduring influence. Wartime experimentation and innovation shifted to domestic living spaces, turning technology originally designed for fighter-jet cockpit covers into bubble skylights and plastics into Eames molded chairs. “People were ready for something new,” says Hylton, “and we as Americans tend to look forward, not backward—the minimalism, the honesty of material, the structural expression—all of that was in stark contrast to the styles that that generation grew up with in the ’20s. “Aren’t we always rebellin’?” he adds. Mid-century modern style swept through the nation and the world, developing idiosyncratic divergence in accordance to specific regions and designers. And in this neck of the woods, Sarasota School of Architecture (SSA) was the style explored and exemplified through the commission of public school buildings and spaces such as Sarasota High School, Riverview High School, Fruitville Elementary, Booker Elementary and many more, with world-renowned architects like Paul Rudolph, the Zimmermans, Gene Leedy and Jack West. Transforming the signature style of the period to a coastal climate, the SSA branded the Florida coastal subsect of midcentury style by melding the indoor and outdoor worlds. And the style is now celebrating in a revival, thriving in all aspects of design, preservation and re-modernization. From original construction that stands as time capsules from the ’50s to interior design, art and real estate, mid-century modern is back in full swing.


The classic 1950s style is reveling in its revival in all forms of design, preservation and decoration.

Midcentury In Motion WRITER OLIVIA LIANG PHOTOGRAPHY WYATT KOSTYGAN


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Below: Jill Geisdorf: Interior Designer with Chic on the Cheap. 941-321-1108, jill@chiconthecheap.net.


The Interiors As an interior designer, Jill Geisdorf pushes mid-century decoration to simplify and soothe people’s chaotic lives. “I DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT A GEM MINE WE HAD IN SARASOTA,” says Jill Geisdorf, an interior designer with Chic on the Cheap. Born and raised in the area, it wasn’t until Jill returned on spring break from University of Florida and took a Sarasota Architectural Foundation–sponsored house tour of mid-century homes in her own community that she connected the styles and executions learned in the classroom to the historic advances still standing. While midcentury style revolved around clean lines and honest materials, the Sarasota School of Architecture refocused the design on place. “Since we didn’t have AC, the architects were trying to make life really enjoyable here. So, they would do passive cooling techniques: large expanses of windows across from each other on the side of the house so air would flow through. Then the furniture had to be clean and simple to complement the architecture. That’s why I love it, the interior design and the architecture are so closely related.” Whether it be retirement, empty-nestitude, downsizing or some larger existential crisis, Jill has found interior design in the mid-century style to be the calm and clean that people crave. “People want things that are simple right now because their lives are chaotic and cluttered,” she shares. With minimal decoration, vintage pieces and clean lines to enrich the spaces, “there’s a nostalgia that is associated with mid-century modern that reminds us of supposedly simpler times.” Using local vendors and scouring either antiques stores or vendors who continue to shell out mid-century-style designs like Soft Square, Jill strives for a partnership between interior and exterior design, playing with how furniture and art can play up the features of a mid-century home. But for the true enthusiasts and lovers of authentic design (and for those who can afford it), vintage finds may be the most thrilling part of decorating a MCM home. “Yes, they may have some nicks and dings and wear and tear, but that just shows it lived a good life. My bar at home has long brass handles on it and you can see where someone has pulled in the same spot for years and years and years.” And what could be more fitting of a style exhibiting a simpler past than the comfort of continuing on someone else’s cherished aesthetic? “Mid-century modern proves that form and function go together,” says Jill. “They place the emphasis on function, but in such a beautiful way that it proves both can live in harmony. And any time a design detail can reinforce a style, it’s awesome.”

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Below: Cocoon House, photo courtesy of Ryan Gamma Photography. Martie Lieberman: Realtor, 941-724-1118, martie@modernsarasota.com

The Homes Martie Lieberman, mid-century real estate agent extraordinaire, sees architecture as Sarasota’s art form. EVERY DAY, AREA CODES FROM AROUND THE WORLD light up Martie Lieberman’s cell phone from design enthusiasts in search of their next property. Mid-century homes, a mixed bag of fixer-uppers in need of face-lifts and well-preserved properties that sell instantaneously, are prime real estate all along the west coast of Florida. But Sarasota School of Architecture [SSA] is the pedestaled property. “What we’re known for internationally is our architecture,” says Lieberman, a recognized real estate professional and mid-century fanatic. SSA was about working with you as a customer, a couture-type design of the “marvelous world of inside– outside, indoor–outdoor,” and according to Lieberman, there’s no question that it will outlive even today’s trends— that will most likely turn kitsch in a few years. After discovering that local agents were selling authentic MCM homes for their land value rather than their architectural significance, Lieberman’s defense mechanisms engaged, catalyzing two decades of not only unearthing Sarasota School of Architecture’s proper place on the map, but fighting to educate and reignite a well-deserved passion and love for its aesthetic. “Architecture is like sculpture, and it’s Sarasota’s art form,” says Lieberman, determined to open her community’s eyes to the hidden gems in our own neighborhoods. And as the president of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota in 2001, Martie proposed and co-chaired the landmark “An American Legacy: the Sarasota School of Architecture Tour & Symposium,” which drew national acclaim, then she went on to become the founder and co-chair of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation. But while it’s no longer a game of outright preservation—the world has come to recognize the timelessness of such style— the question is how to ensure that the style will remain relevant in years to come when taste and priorities will inevitably change. “If it’s no longer relevant, it gets smashed. It gets scraped,” says Lieberman. And despite SSA homes selling for 15 to 20 percent more than “the sticks and bricks next door,” these almost century-old homes often come in fixer-upper packages, in need of love, passion and revitalization. “Today it’s mid-centurish-ish,” says Lieberman, welcoming the newest creative developments and latest enthusiasts that keep her beloved aesthetic not only alive but thriving.

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H & D The Business John Collins, a vintage vendor, says mid-century pieces are the perfect accentuating gems.

WHEN JOHN COLLINS TURNED 18 YEARS OLD, he got a job working for an antiques dealer. Unable to afford genuine antiques at the time, his eyes fell to a certain affordable and sleek style that was splattered throughout random shows around the country: Mid Century. And so a collection began with a slatetop, walnut base, boomerang coffee table. “It made me fall in love with mid-century design,” says Collins. Then 25 years and a career in lighting design later, he put his teenage fascination to the test, opening (along with partner Jenn McDonald) McCollins Modern, a vintage and antiques store specializing in bringing the past back to life. “Sarasota wound up being one of the best places in the country for this kind of design,” says Collins, and his four warehouses of vintage and eclectic furniture, artwork and accessories seem to prove it. Partnering with The Hudson Mercantile out of New York, though working with handfuls of dealers from across the country, McCollins Modern may be one of the best spots in town for those who want to avoid IKEA at all costs. “Our philosophy is there is great design from every era. We don’t want to be too homogenous, we don’t want you to walk into a space where everything is this recognizable aesthetic.” And that may be where mid-century style thrives most in the modern day, funkifying a space and diversifying a home’s aesthetic with ease. “When people retire down here, it’s time to off-load some of that heavy, dark, old furniture and go with something a little cleaner, a little more refreshed, a little more modern,” says Collins. And what could simplify and sleekify a space better than those organic shapes and crisp lines of mid-century modern? “Mid century is our go-to because it goes with so many different styles.” But where will it go from here? Throughout his many decades in the collecting business, Collins confesses that he has witnessed the ebb and flow of mid-century style. However, extinction seems to be off the table. “Right now it’s having another moment, but it will valley again. The one thing that remains constant is that good, clean design that works with so many other eras and styles,” he says.

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Below: John Collins: Owner of McCollins Modern, facebook.com/mccollinsmodern, 941-993-5371, mccollinsmodern@gmail.com.

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Below: Ryan Perrone: President and Owner of Nautilus Homes. 941-809-5989, ryan@nautilus-homes.com.

The Construction Ryan Perrone, president of Nautilus Homes and board member for the Center for Architecture Sarasota, constructs dream houses that span seemingly every waterfront and coastal style. And yet, a truly mid-century-style home reigns. HOW DO YOU SEE MCM STYLE IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY? It is very popular, but good examples of this style are also somewhat rare in our local area. These homes are very authentic and authenticity is timeless. The 1960s represent a special time in the US’s history. A time when it seemed that even the most improbable was possible. These homes inspire a bit of nostalgia for that American notion that anything is possible, while still staying humble to our roots. I am sure that this style will continue to be popular for decades to come. Architectural groups like the Center for Architecture Sarasota and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation have had a big impact on the exposure of the Sarasota School of Architecture and mid-century modern, and we are lucky to have some very devoted citizens and, in some cases, collectors of these living pieces of art. Today, we are seeing a new resurgence of organic architecture that communicates with the beautiful landscape of Sarasota. We have some exceptional architecture in both public and private settings being built today that will stand the test of time. The simplicity is calming and understated, while the craftsmanship speaks for itself. DESCRIBE A RECENT MCM PROJECT OF YOURS. The Courtyard House is a primary example of what is possible. This is a home on Bird Key that Jack West (a leader of the Sarasota School of Architecture) designed. Over the years, it was modified and fell into a bit of disrepair and the clients came to Nautilus to renovate it. They already had some designs, but they didn’t embody the original intent. When revitalizing, I try to understand the mindset of the original architect first. Interesting homes have thoughtful designers and there is usually a core concept that influences elements throughout the project. Once you can identify the core concept, you can use it as a guiding principle for any modifications that the client is considering. It became clear after studying the home that Jack West had two primary objectives: to create reveals (i.e., incremental exposure of the experience of the home) and calming exterior spaces. I knew that Echt Architects would know how to interpret that with a renewed crisp appeal. That home recently won two awards at SRQ Home of the Year for best remodel and best landscape design. We added a few new reveals and a water feature in the footprint where the old courtyard walls were at the front entry, paying homage to the original intent.

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Below: Jeff Schwartz, Artist and Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs of Ringling, jeffreyhschwartz.com, 941-586-5848, jschwart@ringling.edu.

The Art For Jeff Schwartz, uninhabited spaces and empty furniture pose an inspiring simplicity. A LOT OF THE SCENES IN YOUR ART HAVE MCM FURNISHINGS AND SPACES. WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION? There’s a certain kind of elegance to the work, to the furniture, to the architecture that really resonates for me—the simplicity of it. I went to art school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bauhaus was a pivotal movement in art that really influenced my work and who I am as an artist. So, that work is so representative of mid century that whenever I see something like that, it kind of clicks into place. It’s part of who I am, it’s part of how I’ve become an artist and it’s the aesthetic that I follow both in my living space and in my art practice. The authentic (MCM) style is usually single story with the high transom windows, lots of natural light and there’s nothing like that feeling that’s down here: an inside space unlimited with natural, exterior light. It does create that interior–exterior experience that just feels right to me. I notice it whenever I travel, the light, in these kinds of homes—it charges my batteries. We built a house that is very much like that in terms of that MCM style with lots of natural light. We hardly turn on our electric lights unless it’s nighttime, which is just a wonderful experience. WHAT EMOTIONS DO YOU HOPE TO EVOKE WITHIN THESE MCMINSPIRED SCENES? I try to make images that feel somewhat timeless. There’s an elegance to simplicity, which is what MCM speaks about. Most of these original homes were built from whatever was available. It’s never oversized, it’s never excessive —it’s what’s essential. And it maximizes these things that we find in nature: the light, the breeze and the kinds of exposure you create. It’s responsive to nature, to the environment. That, to me, is very appealing. Many times when I show these spaces to people, they respond that it reminds them of something. There’s something about the space that is very inviting and contemplative and they’re not typically dynamic or super active. It’s space to occupy, to think and be present in. And I don’t have much of that in my life, so the artwork allows me to make that space that I miss. There’s so much going on in our world right now that for something to get attention, it has to be flashy or edgy or very highly engaging. I just tend to work in quietness as opposed to high energy.

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The Places Looking to recreate or revive your space with a touch of lasting life? These local spots offer a taste of the bold design and decoration that is mid-century modern.

ANTIQUES & CHATCHKES

As reflected by the lively pink exterior of their retail location in the Rosemary District, Antiques & Chatchkes has provided patrons with high-end antiques- jewelry and furniture-, high-price, low-commission estate sale liquidation and certified business owner antique appraisals for more than 18 years. As was true on their first day of business, they tirelessly strive to reinvent the perception of antiques stores, take possession only of what they consider “must haves” and treasure a uniquely diverse inventory of authentic antiques, estate jewelry and, most relevant to this article, are known for their wide array of furnishings. These timeless items, most of which come from house calls around and out of the state, successfully juxtapose modernism, functionality and simplicity, making them the ideal mix-and-match provider for those seeking to enhance more open layout concepts throughout the community. 1542 Fruitville

Rd., Sarasota, 941-356-3318, info@antiquesandchatchkes.com

HOME RESOURCE

Founded in 1995, this locally owned Rosemary District business has established itself as the “must see” contemporary and modern furniture showroom. Representing some of the style’s most revered brands and brilliantly displaying sophisticated and reinvigorated designs, it has made a name for itself among local enthusiasts. Home Resource is the sole Sarasota representative of renowned brands like Knoll, Herman Miller, Cassina, Fritz Hansen, and Zanotta, all of which license the exclusive production rights of the mid-century furniture that its patrons know and love. Having been specifically trained, their staff values the qualities and characteristics of each and every one of their many pieces, accommodating buffs who have been dedicated to the originality of mid-century before its surge in popularity as well as newer patrons who wish to refurnish their spaces and relive fond memories of interiors past. It is their belief that even a single touch of mid-century modern can serve as the optimal complement to any space. And their success has proven it does. 741 Central Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-6690, info@homere-

source.com, @homeresource.

MCCORMACK & COMPANY Situated along the bustling streets of Burns Court, this self-proclaimed mid-Ccentury modern Plus store is the tangible result of owner Tony McCormack’s passion for and extensive collection of mid-century furnishings, artworks, light fixtures, accessories and ceramics. Though they are often contacted by sellers or expand their already

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impressive inventory from calls in and around Atlanta, Miami or Palm Beach, McCormack & Company is dedicated to providing mid-century modern pieces to Sarasota’s many intrigued patrons. Locally, the style’s popularity has increased with recent construction of upscale apartments and condos which, as locals downsize, allows for interior upgrades. A feat that is made easier by the scale of mid-century modern decor. Their iconic pieces, defined by light and airy structures, serve as perfect pops of color or statement items in any home. Known for our architectural gems, it is no surprise that the addition of McCormack & Company has Sarasotans falling in love with the boldness of mid-century modern decor and design concepts. 500 S Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-350-2785

COPENHAGEN IMPORTS Having celebrated 37 years of business, this family-owned and operated modern, contemporary and transitional furniture store offers a boutique showroom of statement furniture, artwork, lighting and custom rugs that boast innovative, environmentally-sensitive design and exceptional quality. Sensing a local demand for the principles of Shaker, Scandinavian, mid-century modern and contemporary eras, their staff travels the world in search of dateless design. To Copenhagen Imports, modern is not a trend, it is a way of living. They choose furniture inspired by the enduring principles of form and function. Though midcentury modern has recently regained popularity, its particular aesthetic, ageless appeal and minimalistic yet highly functional nature allows its influence to remain a classic. The streamlined style and unique form of their mid-century modern inventory has contributed to their undeniable success and lends itself to being accessible to anyone in Sarasota who seeks it. 7211 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-923-2569, @copenhagenimports.

Inspired by the qualities of mid-century modern innovation, these unique spots offer patrons young and old a glimpse into the juxtaposition of historic and modern design concepts without worries that their neighbors may find the same furnishings. As we witness the rebirth of this longadmired style and its tangible artifacts, stores like Antiques & Chatchkes, Home Resource, McCormack & Company and Copenhagen Imports take their rightful place atop the realm of mid-century modern musts here in Sarasota. Stop by any or all to find your space’s newest statement.


Profile for SRQME

SRQ MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021 HOME & DESIGN  

Explore gorgeous residential interiors and architecture along the West Coast of Florida—from mid-century gems to collector rugs and Calder-e...

SRQ MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021 HOME & DESIGN  

Explore gorgeous residential interiors and architecture along the West Coast of Florida—from mid-century gems to collector rugs and Calder-e...

Profile for srqme