Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A New Addition


Hey everyone.  This is Nick, fellow St. Louisan, Mid-Century Modern enthusiast, blogger, and friend of Mr. Modtomic.  You may know me better as Nickarmadillo from Mid-Century Midwest.

Mr. Mod approached me several weeks ago about occasionally submitting content to his blog and, now that we've made our arrangements, I thought that I would introduce myself.  So here's a quick intro in Q&A format.

What’s with the user name?  Armadillos and Mid-Century Modern?  What gives?

I wish that there was some sort of interesting back-story here, but Nickarmadillo is just an old account opened by my parents when I made my first babysteps onto the internet.  You can probably guess where the “Nick” part came from, and the “armadillio” was thrown in because, as a child, I went through a phase of being obsessed with the critters.  The boring truth is that my Blogger name actually came about because I was too lazy to go through creating another new account.

What motivated you begin collecting Mid-Century Modern furniture and décor?

To put it simply, I’m always on the lookout for a bargain.  Some might call me cheap, but being extraordinarily thrifty in all aspects of my life is kind of my game.  If there’s a freebie, a coupon, or a yard sale, I’m all over it.  This was particularly true when I moved into my first home and, naturally, money was pretty tight.  Like most young homeowners, I tried out the flat-pack particleboard junk, but it wasn’t for me.  I wanted stylish, well-crafted furnishings at a rock bottom price.  Since then, the market for Mid-Century Modern has really heated up, but bargains still abound.

What was the first piece that you added to the collection?

My first Mid-Century purchase was an American Furniture Corp. bedroom set from the local Salvation Army.  I remember sitting with my girlfriend, guarding our find from thr hovering thrift shoppers for over an hour while we waited for a manager to do the pricing.  We were ecstatic that we’d found something so cool for so little cash.  From that point on I was hooked.  In fact, we still use the set and the dressing table is one of our favorite pieces.

Who are some of your favorite designers?

I tend to focus on the low to mid-level pieces (Broyhill, Kroehler, American of Martinsville, and the like), and many of their designers’ names have been lost to history.  While they may not have the pedigree, they are often just as well designed and I don’t have to worry about using my collection on a daily basis.  If we are talking about big shot designers, my favorites would be Bertoia, Eames, Pearsall, and Nelson.

We know that you love Mid-Century Modern, but how else do you fill your days?

My other hobbies include biking, hanging out in local bars (usually on Cherokee Street or in the Grove), fiddling with electronics, running a family business, and maintaining a cross-Atlantic relationship with my lady-friend of 8 years.  This guy keeps busy.

How do you know Mr. Modtomic?

I’d been a reader of the blog for several months beforehand, but we had our first in-person meeting at an estate sale in 2011.  As you might have noticed, Mr. Mod likes to keep his identity shrouded in a veil of mystery and therefore hasn't posted any pictures of himself.  However, from the pre-sale chit-chat, I deduced who he was and introduced myself after the tag snatching was through.  We’ve been friends since and often go on picking adventures together.

What advice would you give to the upstart collector on a budget?

Persistence is key.  Get up early.  Check your traps often.  Keep at it.  Oh, and eat your Wheaties.  You’re going to need them when you’re dragging a solid wood dresser up a flight of stairs after waking before the crack of dawn.

Where can we hear more about your amazing adventures in thriftiness?

I just so happen to have my own blog, which you can find at midcenturymidwest.blogspot.com.

Well, that's all for now, but if you have any more queries or comments, just leave them below and I'll get back to you.  See you all soon.


  1. I learned a lot about you from this post. Thanks for the background. My SIL really enjoyed meeting you and seeing Mr. Modtomic and The Girlfriend again. I'm sure our paths will cross at some time or another!

    1. We enjoyed meeting up as well. Hopefully the next time he is in STL we'll have an opportunity to hang out for a while longer.