Mid-century Modern is huge right now. Whether it’s Googie, Danish Modern, Tiki, Atomic, or Boomerang, people are loving this retro style. When shopping for a gift, it’s imperative that you determine whether or not your giftee is a purist. Those people will only want authentic objects from the 1950s and 60s when the style was in its heyday. Of course, a safe bet is to just buy them a T-shirt or a book on the topic. Here is a combo of old and new gift ideas to please all of your loved ones who rock a retro aesthetic.
Face Masks are a great idea, because you certainly can’t find an “authentic” one from the 50s. This one with a cool Atomic design is only $9.99 on Amazon. For lovers of tiki, how about this mask from Jeokary?
World Market has some adorable ornaments, like kitschy pink flamingo and palm tree ornaments, but they keep selling out. Some of them are also only available for curbside pickup. I’m almost afraid to recommend these kitschy pineapples, these irresistible 60s-style deer, and little space ornaments for fear they will be gone, but we can try. Get them quick!
Not only are these cute 60s-style retro deer in stock at Target, they are only $3 each and come in an assortment of colors. Some colors are available for shipping and others are only available for pickup at the store. This set of four is available. There is also a four-pack of poodle ornaments.
This DVD, So Cal Tiki : Insiders View of the So Cal Resurgent Tiki Scene – Tiki Farm, gives an inside look into the modern California Tiki scene. Featuring the antics of Crazy Al, Holden, Bamboo Ben, and King Kukulele, among others. Visit Tiki Oasis, the Tiki Farm Parking Lot Sale, the set of the set of Tiki Bar TV, legendary tiki bar Bahooka and the Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach. Enjoy performances by the Ghastly Ones, the Creepy Creeps and the Tikiyaki Orchestra. A nice Mai Tai would complete this gift.
$20 AND UNDER
This set of three dishcloths will charm with their cookware designs from Anna Kovecses. Midcentury Designs – Set of 3 Kettle/Cups/Bowls (Cobalt Blue/Yellow/Orange on Natural).
Of course, you can’t forget your best friend! Adorn your gorgeous poodle with this stylish collar that seamlessly transitions from day to night.
Spoonflower Home on Etsy has a lovely set of Placemats for $27.90. It would be preferable to have four placemats instead of two at that price, but it is a very cool design. There is also a more colorful an Atomic set, and geometric fabrics.
Get something cute and kitschy for obsessive collectors to laugh about. Also, some people love age jokes. Make sure your gift recipient is one of those people. This little wall hanging is 14″ x 11″ and ready for framing.
If you’re going to be safe, why not be cool at the same time? Celebrate the holidays with this two mask set decorated with retro shopping. Even the idea of shopping in a department store is retro right now. Gift one and keep one for yourself. Or go matchy-matchy with your partner. Is that a thing yet?
$30 and Under
Shower Curtain Madness is happening at Walmart!!! The online store has more than 100, yes, 100, shower curtains in all manner of Mid-century styles from the understated to the outrageous. The collection features bath mats and towels in some of the designs. Seriously, there are even pillows and awesome bedspreads. Just don’t tell anybody where you bought them.
There is a certain Midcentury style that is obsessed with long, sleek cats and we are here for it. This cute tablecloth from Wayfair will only set you back but will thrill your loved one.
Cats, cats, cats…more cats! We love ’em! Dry your dishes like a cool cat with this handmade 16″ x 20″ drying mat, extra kitchenware that most people won’t have already. according to its description. It can also be used as a “coffee station mat” or a “pet placemat.” Maybe it could be used as a diapering station instead, I don’t know. But it’s so cute! Cats! $25.99.
The perfect gift for friends with a kooky sense of humor! It’s wacky, but it’s practical! No matter the emergency, the Easter Island tissue box has you covered. This tiki-influenced show piece from Soaplant is made from poly-resin and fits any standard-sized tissue box. A bargain at only $24. Don’t be shy, pick one!
Protect that pricy furniture in style with these Abstract Cork Drink Coasters from Amazon for $19.50. There is also a colorful version with aqua and all of those other MCM colors.
$100 AND UNDER
Gotta love this “Never Trust the Living” Beetlejuice-inspired print by McBiff Mercantile, whose work is influences by films, pop culture and architecture. We also love the print inspired by the famous Stahl House above Sunset in Los Angeles.Starbursts! 60 years ago, people loved starbursts. You can find them all over, from vintage to new. A lot of them have little mirrors or rhinestones on the tips, which is simply not done. We like these three Aged Brass Finish Mid-Century Modern Atomic Star Burst Wall Sculptures from Walmart. $46.99. Easy to find, easy to order.
This decorative pillow is 95% feather and 5% down. It comes with a removable sham for cleaning or even switching out. Different pillows for every month–it’s an idea. The broken stripe design is created from beautiful chain stitch embroidery. So it’s swanky. There is also a bluer version. Get that one too–for switching out.
Bed Bath and Beyond has a really cool design on a matching bath curtain and bath mat. They are a bit pricy for both, but they are perfect for a MCM holiday! Check out this Designs Direct Retro Ornament 34″ x 21″ Bath Mat in Green and matching 71-Inch x 74-Inch Shower Curtain.
Why not try something original and send your friend some Midcentury candy? The Vintage Candy Co. specializes in retro candy for every decade. The VINTAGE CANDY CO. 1950’s RETRO CANDY GIFT BOX includes Candy Buttons, Swedish fish, Chick-o-Stick and even Candy Cigarettes to bring on the nostalgia.
The Broughton Natural Rug is a 32-in-x-16-inch natural coir doormat that is woven and sheared to create a dense pile that will trap dirt and moisture. Get the bottom of your shoes clean in style for $44.
OK, I know this is what you all were scrolling down for. Cat furniture is notoriously ugly, but Hauspanther has some fantastic stuff, including this Jeston-y cat hangout. There is both a low and a tall version. You may have noticed while working at home your cat wants to be all up in your business. This taller version can be set next to your chair to let them supervise properly. The plastic bubble will be cool in the summer and you can add a little blankie for the Winter.
Have unlimited funds? Why not treat someone high up on your list to some mind-blowing furniture? Heck, treat yourself! It’s relatively easy to find original MCM chairs, end tables and lamps. but desks and couches, not so much. Joybird has desks with seriously cool lines, like the Xavier, and customizable couches you can choose in that perfect shade of pink or teal. They even have loveseats and sofas with pull-out beds, since you may need to get a room-mate after spending over a grand on it.
This cool shelving unit from Simple Living from Overstock.com is much more reasonable, and will still give them a huge present to open
The Victrola Memphis, with an 80-watt Bluetooth speaker, has grace and style it hasn’t even used yet. Sleek lines bring nostalgia and modern technology together in a non-offensive way. The subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity, full-functioning remote and HDMI/RCA connections take care of your digital needs, while the sleek cabinet is the perfect size to hold your record player. You can stack some records or books along the side and you’re ready to rock.
Seriously, WTF having a microwave with little legs? It’s definitely stylish if a little weird. It’s a cute little number with 0.9 cubic feet is around 22″ long with 900-WATTS cooking power. It didn’t get great reviews on Amazon, but not that bad either. It’s useful for an apartment or someone just heating things up. I personally prefer the style of the one without legs.
The Elite Americana Toaster Oven has better reviews and is maybe a little less anachronistic. Maybe? It holds 6 slices of toast, has four rack positions and also broils, bakes, and keeps food warm with the temperature maxing out at 480°F Measurements are 17.2″L x 12″W x 10.6″H and it boasts 1500 watts of power. It’s only $59.99 right now at Kohls.
Stay tuned for future posts in this series!