Was zipping down Melrose this weekend – AZ and I were off to Montana Avenue in Santa Monica to do a little shopping and get some lunch – when I saw the furniture outside of a store with no sign out front on Melrose (a store I had been into once before to pick up some chairs for RB). I screeched to a halt and said “Come on AZ, get out, lunch and shopping in Santa Monica is on hold – I’m going in here to take a look”. I think AZ rolled her eyes skeptically looking at what seemed to be a bit of a “rough around the edges” furniture store (a far cry from our destination) but then willingly hopped out of the car for a look.
David Trask says he finds most of what is in his store, Design Modern, at estate sales. His vintage and resale furniture shop is on Melrose in Hollywood, CA not far from the Paramount Studio lot. Being in the heart of Hollywood and right next to a big studio, David says that stars like Jessica Alba and Courtney Cox come scavenging through his shop to find spectacular home furnishings at a cheap price – and all they might need is a bit of refurbishing and tlc. In addition to the celebrity clientele, David says Design Modern also gets its share of star interior designer as well (for example, he says, just last week famed designer Kelly Wearstler’s assistant was in perusing the store and taking pictures).
Design Modern is cluttered with furniture stacked to the ceiling. For the mere neophyte it might be hard to see what’s good and what’s not … not to worry…David is there to point what is hot. In spite of the mounds of furniture heaped together, David assures he has vintage modern and estate sale finds that are well worth the sorting through. He claims that high end interior designers simply spruce up the furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories and resell at their stores in the tonier antique and vintage shopping district on La Cienaga Boulevard for three and four times the price.
Just to mention a few iconic modern designs I saw when I was there – David pointed out some good condition Barcelona Chair frames and a few Saarinen table bases. He also said that I should really be focused on the two Curtis Jere Lamps that are fashioned entirely in polished brass including the shade. I had never heard of Curtis Jere…but David assured these lamps were a true find for any mid-century modern furnishings aficionado.
My simpleton tastes were most drawn to a classic iron outdoor table (above) – a table that David later told me was what every designer who came through lately (including an assistant to Kelly Wearstler) had been eyeing for purchase. Made me feel a little better for going for the basic!
Oh yes, one other thing, David is selling one of his store fronts…furniture and all…he says for well under $40K someone can buy one of his stores on Melrose, all the furniture and get his expert advice for years to come. He’s ready to retire soon and wants to keep the business alive and well with someone on the hunt for modern finds.
6057 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038
Owner: David Trask