Pull Up a Chair .. These are the Best Mid-Century Modern Furniture Shops in New Zealand

Chairs, lamps and artwork on display in a vintage store.

Mid-century modern is a design philosophy that emerged - ironically enough - in the middle of the 20th century. It is typified by elegance, simplicity and timelessness, which is why it often mixes well with other design styles and aesthetics.

Words by: Julia Rutherford

It is a design period that has stood the test of time, particularly when it comes to furniture. Defined by clean lines, gentle curves and organic shapes, mid-century modern pieces are often highly sought after and can be hard to find. Dotted around the country, it’s worth hunting out these specialist furniture shops to make your mid-century modern dreams a reality.

Mr Bigglesworthy

15 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn, Auckland

At Mr Bigglesworthy in Auckland, their specialty is hand sourcing furniture from around New Zealand and the rest of the globe. Their focus is on rare and exceptional mid-century modern design. Owners Dan and Emma have been informed by years of travelling and collaborating with others in their field.

At Mr Bigglesworthy, there is an immense importance placed on restoration and the conservation of originality. The team in the workshop do everything by hand to ensure the utmost care is taken and to preserve the decades-old design work.

Arild + Tore

6 Nile Street W, Nelson

For all you mid-century modern aficionados in Nelson, you must visit Arild + Tore, who specialise even further in this design period, focusing on sourcing Scandinavian pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. The store opened in 2012, and since then they have travelled to Scandinavian design hotspots Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm, on their buying trips. From beautiful sideboards to armchairs and sofa boards (coffee tables), these are true statement items for your home.

Source Mid Century

Store is online / warehouse - 123 Port Road, Seaview, Lower Hutt

The name says it all when it comes to Source Mid Century based in Seaview, Lower Hutt. They are passionate about sourcing mid century modern furniture, particularly from Denmark, Scandinavia and Europe. This era of design, where furniture was not only functional but also an expression of creativity and craftsmanship, is celebrated here. All available stock is listed on their website, and you can also arrange a viewing at their warehouse.

Mid Century Swag

Based in Auckland, Mid Century Swag is all about finding those unique pieces you may never have seen before that spark creativity and make a real statement. Alongside furniture, they are also specialists in lighting and sculptures and focus on sourcing items predominantly from the 1960s to the 1980s. If you are a fan of American designers like Milo Baughman, Plycraft and Curtis Jere, then you might just be in luck as Mid Century Swag often has pieces from these designers. The team are currently looking for a new showroom, so are operating online and by appointment.

The Vintage Shop

21 Morningside Drive, Morningside, Auckland

Another mid-century modern gem in Auckland is The Vintage Shop, which specialises in furniture from Scandinavian designers that are sourced from around the world. They have a range of furniture typifying this design period, from oak and teak sideboards, to feature chairs and sofas that will last you a lifetime. The Vintage Shop loves finding unique pieces for your home or design project and is happy to work with you to source items you haven’t been able to get your hands on yet.

Honourable Mentions

5 McDonald Street, Sandringham, Auckland

While these stores are not exclusively mid-century, it felt wrong to exclude them from this list, as they each stock incredible pieces from this design period. Vintage Industries in New Plymouth is an absolute treasure trove, and they have mid-century items such as pommel horse bench seats that stand the test of time. So Vintage in Hastings is a family-run business with a strong focus on French objects. There are often mid-century lighting fixtures to be found here, so keep an eye out for those. 

Junk & Disorderly, in Auckland and Christchurch, are well known for their acquisition of unique vintage pieces. If you enjoy browsing and aren’t looking for anything in particular but are happy to come across a great find, then definitely head here. Speaking of happily browsing, The Vitrine very much hits this brief too! You never know what you might discover in their warehouse - perhaps a mid-century modern find.