’70s Style: Falling in Love Again

On Saturday, my pal Susan and I drove out to deepest Scarborough to pay a visit to John Baltazar, owner of What the Vintage, a relatively new website and warehouse with a stockpile of 1960s and ’70s furnishings. And I do mean stockpile (see below).

John’s warehouse is overflowing with mid-century furnishings, lots of it run-of-the-mill and that’s no slight to the furniture. John knows the difference between Canadian-made and authentic Scandinavian, American and European-made pieces and he prices his goods accordingly. If you want a serviceable, no-name ’60s teak or walnut buffet and are willing to sacrifice cache for price, John can help you.

But if you want authentic Herman Miller shell chairs in impeccable condition ($300 each) or a superb set of four Eero Aarnio wicker tub chairs with table/ottoman ($1,250) he can also fix you up.

It was John’s good 1970s pieces that really got my pulse racing. God knows not all designs from the era were winning but pieces like the authentic Percival Lafer sofa, below (sold, $1,100) with the matching lounge chair and ottoman (top pic, avail for $950) feel au courant despite the vaguely marshmallow design.

John has no designer/manufacturer info on the sling-style chrome and leather chair below left, he only knows it’s a beauty in great condition (set of two with matching table, chipped glass, $650). I neglected to get a price on the awesome Scandi rocker John is currently rehabilitating.

Pieces like these and the super-sexy white leather, chrome and rosewood sofa below ($750) recall the impossibly stylish interiors of Dreamgirls, one of the best ’70s-era set designs in celluloid history (I’m so bummed it’s not on Netflix!).

I also admired the Lightolier Lytegem desk lamp ($125) and the horseshoe coffee table ($230) below.

John came to the mid-century furniture game after years as a vintage toy collector. In May 2012 he gave up his corporate day job and took the plunge, God knows he’s got enough stock to keep him going for awhile. His warehouse space is open Saturdays from 12 – 5 at 550 Coronation Drive, Unit 8 (647-983-6059) and he delivers for free in the Toronto area. The What The Vintage website is updated regularly and John provides accurate condition reports so you can order online with confidence.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Magda Says:

    Love it.

  2. shelly Says:

    Good luck John! It’s not for me, but it looks like his wares are in great demand.

  3. Carol Says:

    Am I ever glad I came across your blog. This is a find!

  4. shezcomeundone Says:

    Dammit, you stirred up my desire for the white leather sofa again ;) I’m sure it’s something I saw in the storefront of that Italian import place on St. Clair W. circa 1985 and yet like Barbie to her impossibly pink plastic Corvette, I am drawn.
    Whaddya think Chris, for my clinic?

  5. Steven Says:

    Thanks for helping spread the word about John and his fantastic store/site! I purchased an amazing credenza, teak bed and nightstands that I love and have only the best things to say about the level of service provided. He refinished the pieces beautifully and was so passionate about what he’s doing it that I felt more invested in my beautiful new pieces because of it!

    I love your site Chris! Thank you for all your work on it.

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