After turning in his postwar home for a classic Orange, Calif., Eichler (part 1), Patrick Quiroz was ready to decorate. Luckily, he was one of the smart ones who started buying midcentury collectibles and furniture back in the ’70s at yard sales and thrift stores. “I always appreciated modern design, architecture and art,” he says. “Midcentury was one of the better periods in history for art and design.” His maiden purchase was a French reverse-image lamp celebrating Bastille Day. “I was really attracted to it: it looks like a big bowling ball on little metal legs with a typical ’50s shade. I bought it at a yard sale for $5.”
One of his first collections was early 1900s Bauer pottery, which he liked to plant with cactus and other succulents. “The glazes are really nice—rich reds, turquoises, blues, yellows, oranges.” Quiroz jumped forward several decades for his furniture, and once had five garages jam-packed with Heywood-Wakefield and more kitschy ’50s pieces.
For a guy drawn to colorful art and objects, selecting a house that was basically a white box was akin to moving into a gallery. Ah, the chance to fill a 2,500-square-foot house with studio pottery, numerous Eames designs, midcentury glass, original artwork and iconic vintage pieces—Quiroz’s home was a paradise for the midcentury collectibles fanatic.
“I could be a packrat; I tend to overdo things,” Quiroz admits. “I could become obsessive-compulsive like some of my neighbors.” Luckily, Baringer performs the function of acquisitions editor to keep the household from looking like a museum or storage unit. “If I sneak something in it will disappear. I’ll ask about it and Steve will say it didn’t work and it’s now hidden away somewhere. He has a good eye and likes things kind of austere.
“These houses look great with nothing in them, because then you can concentrate on the beams and the posts and the way the rooflines are, the way the lines intersect and work together,” Quiroz continues. “The more stuff you have, the more it detracts from that.”
Little pieces add character, but what kind of large midcentury furnishings did Quiroz settle on for his gallery-home Eichler? Check back in to Part 3 to find out!