Patrick Quiroz and Steve Baringer said “so long!” to their regular postwar home and said “hello” to a beautiful Eichler in Orange, Calif. (part 1). From there, Quiroz’s collection of midcentury pieces and art turned their primarily white home into a gallery (part 2). But what’s the difference between an art gallery and a home? MCM furnishings.
The living room’s vintage distractions include an Eames sofa compact and fiberglass shell chairs, one with a new rocker base from Modernica. A Peabody chair by Selig was found at a thrift store years ago, and there are five more Eames chairs in the garage, including one with dowel legs. “It’s interesting to see the escalating prices of some of this stuff,” Quiroz says. “It’s nice that people appreciate it more now and that there’s a resurgence of interest in the craftsmanship of the furniture.”
A Case Study shelving unit from Modernica is about the only reissued piece they have. “Original ones are $15,000 to $20,000 and their legs are usually bent and rusted,” he says. “The Modernica pieces are well made and they have all kinds of different sizes and conformations, as well as desks.”
In addition to iconic and generic MCM furnishings, Quiroz has collections that include decorative glass, studio pottery, espresso makers and outsider art, specifically of the clown variety (see sidebar). But now at the point where he doesn’t need more stuff, he only purchases reasonably priced items in as close to original condition as possible.
“Even if it’s perfect, I really don’t have the space for it,” he admits. However Quiroz continues to enjoy searching out, but not necessarily buying, artwork. “It’s part of life. It’s great to see something new and different you haven’t run across before in a book or in person. I keep my eyes open.”
Still, he claims his stuff doesn’t own him and that they could divest themselves of their home and its contents at any time: “I’d really be happy with a hammock between two coconut palms in Hawaii,” he says wistfully.