Like some legendary tech titans, Julian Goldklang started his business in a a garage. But Goldklang wasn't creating computers in his one-car space, he was selling his personal collection of midcentury modern furniture (along with Atomic Era estate sale finds he'd been hoarding). Demand exploded, and he found himself flying to Denmark and England to expand his offerings.
Fast forward several years, and Goldklang's San Francisco space (now called Mid Century Møbler) was slated to become condos. He took the opportunity to relocate to Berkeley and open a new 7,500-square-foot showroom. Goldklang claims he is the largest midcentury modern dealer in Northern California, and it's easy to believe. The grand, new retail space looks like a warehouse of Mad-Men cool.
The sheer array of goods is dizzying. For example, Goldklang says that on any given day, they have around 100 credenzas on hand. The wall of chairs alone has more than 50 examples of 1950s-1960s era seats. Even with all this, keeping up with demand is a lot of work. "We travel to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the UK every two or three months and ship back between 400 and 500 pieces per trip," says Goldklang.
Although Goldklang loves San Francisco, moving to Berkeley made sense. "I like this area because it has a strong design community," he says. "It also allowed me to lease a bigger space."
Although his retail area has grown dramatically, Goldklang says the most popular items with his customers are pieces that fit a small space. "Many clients are looking for storage solutions for their living or dining room," he says. "But the increased square footage allows me to keep a little of everything on hand."
What does the midcentury master have to say about rumors of the style's demise? "People have been saying the midcentury look is over for years," he says. "Tastes may be changing, I don't see midcentury modern going away any time soon."