I’m a big fan of retro and mid-century modern decor. My grandparents on one side of my family loved Bauhaus design. My other set of grandparents were fans of Danish modern. Growing up, I was always sitting on some interesting chair, or ogling some contemporary work of art. From an early age, I found myself drawn to this type of home aesthetic.
Living in Buffalo, access to this type of furniture, and accompanying accessories, has fluctuated. But at the end of the day, there has always been great finds for those willing to search them out. Over the years, Hertel has become a mainstay for both antiques and mid-century design.
A couple of months ago, a new retro home decor shop opened at 1251 Hertel Avenue. The daughter-father team of Jessica and Joe Buscaglia run the show. The pair make a great team, because they both bring different elements to the table. Jessica knows her stuff when it comes to the furniture designers and art history. She’s also a practiced hand at sewing and stitching fabrics, which is certainly handy when in this business. When it comes to furniture repair, Joe is a pro. He’s also possesses a keen knowledge of mid-century pottery. Between the two, they have just about everything covered, from vintage jewelry to bar carts.
Since they opened Mimo Decor, I have managed to pick up a couple of sets of bar glasses, and found a coffee table for my mother-in-law, whose aesthetic is more akin to chinoiserie.
The prices at Mimo are beyond fair, which is another reason that I love this place.
Since opening, Jessica and Joe have already managed to annex a couple of additional spaces towards the rear of the shop. The first (smaller) room, currently houses lamps, glassware, etc. The second (larger) room is used for storage and repair. While Jessica believes that minor blemishes add character to the furniture, Joe is more of a perfectionist. Once again, there is a nice balance here, because there is a time and place for both trains of thought when it comes to the sometimes controversial act of restoration.
According to Jessica, one of their biggest sources of clients is people who are looking to furnish their Airbnbs (more of a streamlined look). She also told me that the Danish modern is popular with those who are hoping to transition older homes into something a little more up to date. 90% of the store features vintage goods, but there is a small amount of new furniture. Since many of the incredible mid-century designs are still being made, such as Saarinen’s “womb chair”, there’s no reason not to carry it. It’s still as beautiful and comfortable as ever, even in its state of sparkling newness.
Mimo Decor is a mix of classic mod, kitsch, and everything in-between. As I mentioned, the prices are excellent, which is why the shop has already become a destination for some Toronto dealers. Jessica and Joe have done a smashing job of displaying the merchandise, which makes it a breeze to see how everything works together. Plus, they do their best to make sure that everything is complete – the lamps have lampshades, and there is only a small amount of “chatter” (blemishes) when it adds to the overall look and originality of the item. After all, if it looks too new, then one’s house guests might suspect that it’s not vintage. And vintage is still a super hot look.
If you stop in, be sure to check out Jessica’s custom-made pillows that she covers with vintage fabric. Also be sure to allocate some time to browse, because there are a lot of “smalls” that you will miss if you simply breeze through.
One thing is for certain. Jessica and Joe have transformed this Hertel corner into a smashing looking focal point. They spent a lot of time fixing up the interior, which can be readily seen through the numerous oversized display windows. The signage out front is also pretty sharp. Mimo Decor is a welcome addition to the vast array of Hertel offerings.
Be prepared to be “wowed” when you pay a visit. Not only are Jessica and Joe super helpful, they also know what they’re talking about, which goes a long way when you’re seeking out these types of mid-century (mi-mo) finds. Even if you’re not into retro aesthetics, there are still plenty of tchotchkes to gander, especially the colorful custom pillows that will add pizzazz to any room.