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.