1950s-inspired metal side tables from Urban Outfitters

painted metal side tablesmetal shelf from urban outfittersEverywhere I look I see vintage retro mid-century inspired everything. These little tables are from Urban Outfitter’s summer catalog. They are 16″wide, 10″ deep, and 22″ tall — a nice little size for a variety of tasks, such as: bathroom storage (tuck it next to the toilet)… plant holder by a window… side table on the porch… or – ? The first few customer reviews indicate they are pretty sturdy — they look it. And of course, the colors are wonderful. They are $49 plus shipping, available online only.  Urban also has some other cutie petutie painted metal shelves and things — like the bow shelf, at the right — available in black or white, for $19. Of course, you can also always keep your eyes peeled for the real-deal vintage — there’s a lot of this around and it spray paints up nicely.

  1. Gavin Hastings says:

    Not to harp on this, but:

    Show me 8 sofas from 8 decades of the last century and I can put them in order; because of the DESIGN.
    It all stops around 1980- and no “new look” has yet to appear.

    That is the point I was trying to make.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Great big Shabby Chic slipcovered sofas — 90s? And I reiterate: Starck Ghost chairs.

      1. Gavin Hastings says:

        I am looking at Better H&G Complete Guide to Home Decoration, 1942, pg 196.
        There it is… in several very similar styles.
        Google: Elizabeth Peacock Lucite Chair.
        She was the designer-the pieces were made and marketed by the studios of Cora Scovil.

  2. tammyCA says:

    Wow, I really like those Retro side tables, esp. like the aqua! It’s so weird that today I was thinking back about the gold metal magazine rack we had growing up & wishing I could find one like it. I think it was triggered by looking at this site of old Sears catalogs pages: wishbookweb.com

  3. karen says:

    Hmmmm…..that table is cute, but I just got back from an estate sale (I wait until 3:00 when everything goes half-price) and picked up an authentic MC entryway table for just $15.00. OK, so it’s not exactly the same ~ mine has a wood base w/shelf and heavy marble top, but i’ts “real”, not some hipster copycat. I find I very rarely shop retail these days, due both to financial necessity and the fun of the hunt.

  4. Charlotte says:

    I LOVE the shelf! Thanks for the tip, Pam — this is exactly what I need for my entryway. I’m going to use it to hold my keys and coffee mug on my way out in the morning. No more forgetting my coffee until I’m already in my car!

    1. Jackie says:

      I agree with that. Urban Outfitters got in on the fact of the “hipster/indie” young adults of today. Before it was “cool” and before people shell out crazy amounts of money for the stuff, most of the “hipster/indie kids” were just poor and bought everything at thrift stores and estate sales.

      I won’t lie I am one of them. My house is full of estate sale finds, a Weidman painting, a green velvet chair from the 70’s, a 50’s dresser used as a buffet in my dining room etc. When my grandmother died I hoarded her jewlery and kitchen china. I’m only 25! But I love it!

      1. Just another Pam says:

        Though a long way from hipster I own virtually nothing that is new and most of that came along second hand. The search is fun, the preserving is fun, and as Pam rightly points out, it’s the right thing to do for the planet.

        If you want it, trust me, it’s out there. Sometimes you just have to be patient and enjoy the adventure that is the search.

        1. Patty says:

          Unfortunately what’s good for the planet doesn’t do much for the economy.

          I don’t think our society has ever been at this point before — we have no shortage of stuff, but we do need more jobs. And a lot of the jobs we do have depend on people buying more stuff they don’t need and/or that could be bought used instead of retail.

          We need some creative solutions to pull our economy out of dumps.

  5. Gavin Hastings says:

    Everywhere I look, I see it too.
    So…is design done?

    The charm of some of these items is the fact that they were embraced by a forward-looking society- eager to invest in a new idea. If you were to tell someone you were an advocate of modern design….I would assume they would think of a look from the 50’s…or more likely the 70’s: “modern for the masses last stand”.

    Is there going to be a new Eames chair or Parsons table for the 21st Century that will remain with us for decades?

    Or has design become fad-ish entertainment?

    1. pam kueber says:

      I am going to start watching and researching “What is REALLY new.” I tend to believe that new design is facilitated by new technology. A few innovations since the mid-century technology boom that come to mind — (1) Philip Starck Ghost Chair made possible by advancements in plastic clarity and moreover, molding technology… (2) Corian and other solid surface countertops… (3) Flat screen televisions and anything driven by smaller computer chips…. I am sure there are more. Welcome thoughts.

      1. Jeanne says:

        Good discussion to have. I’ve always wondered these things myself. What designs today will stand the test of time? Durability has to be (one of) the keys and so many things are made to be disposable today.

        One thing I covet is my Michael Graves tea kettle. Of course he ended up designing less expensive models for Target. I also just bought a classic Weber charcoal grill to replace the fancy gas grill I lost in the divorce (*cough*). I always preferred the basic model anyway. 🙂

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