retro vintage bedIts no secret that Heywood-Wakefield is a well-known and well-loved line of vintage furniture among us retro folk — and for good reason. The line epitomizes the streamline modern style and coordinates with a variety of vintage and modern furniture styles. Add to that the solid wood construction and the warm glow of the finish, and it is easy to see why Heywood-Wakefield is so popular. And good news — Heywood-Wakefield is still being made today. We recently connected with Leonard Riforgiato, who, with his partner, bought the rights to the Heywood-Wakefield name  in 1991 and revived production of the brand. Together they began recreating some of the hardest-to-find vintage styles. These include their best sellers, queen- and king-sized beds.

To learn more about the line of Heywood-Wakefield furniture made today, we asked Leonard to answer a few questions and provide us with more information about the revived Heywood-Wakefield company and how he got into the furniture business:

How did you get into the Heywood-Wakefield furniture business?

I started in 1984 doing a booth at Art Deco Weekend in Miami Beach, selling whatever 1950s and mid-century stuff I could find to the public and to antiques dealers as a “picker.”  At that time, the South Beach Art Deco District was in its infancy; rents were dirt cheap, so I opened a store.

I soon noticed that any time I had Heywood-Wakefield furniture (which I had just found out about) it would sell fast, so I started specializing in it. Within a few years so did a lot of other people, and it became difficult to find reliable sources.  When Gloria Estefan’s people came in one day and wanted 150 of the “dog bone” chairs for a restaurant, and I had three, I knew it was time for us to start manufacturing the stuff.

So my partner and I bought the name and trademark and intellectual property rights to the brand from the Bankruptcy court in New York and began the quest to find people who could build it today.  By cute coincidence, the actual transfer became official on my birthday in 1991.  It’s also very interesting to note that my partner is Andrew Capitman, the son of Barbara Capitman, who is credited with almost single-handedly saving the Art Deco District buildings from destruction beginning in the 1970s when she founded MDPL – the Miami Design Preservation League.

With so many vintage styles of Heywood-Wakefield furniture in the vintage resale market (since the furniture is so popular), how do you choose which styles to begin making again?

Originally, I picked the ones that were the most popular, but over time, I concentrated more on what I thought people might consider useful, and may not be able to get shopping for vintage. For instance, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that our fastest-selling product is queen- and king-sized beds. These didn’t exist the the ’40s and ’50s.

vintage desk

M 926-Desk/Vanity

retro living room

Madeline living room set

I also try to pick things that I can produce and sell at a price lower than the vintage. Our M 926 Desk/Vanity is a great example: a vintage one will set you back over $3000.00. Ours is $1795.00 at retail. (more…)


vintage aqua sofa sectional
Vintaga sofa, couch, davenport — whatever you call that large piece of seating in your living room that seats two to 10 comfortably — for those of us in the retro-sphere, a fantastic vintage couch can be both the crowning piece of  living room decor and a place to spend many leisure time hours. A while back — we asked readers to upload their prized 1940s, 1950s or 1960s vintage sofas — today we will look at just a few of 219 vintage sofa photos uploaded — like this Florida reader’s aqua mid century sectional with two built-in laminate-topped side tables and a triangular corner back table…and…er…a giraffe? This reader must surely have a wild side. And we say: Bring it on! Let’s take a look at 15 more vintage furniture delights –>

Vintage sofa sectionals

mid century vintage sofa sectional orangeAbove: These readers had just moved in to their new place –but already had picked out a prominent place for their prize possession — their amazing orange mid century sofa sectional.

mid century sofa sectional I’m loving the clean lines of this vintage sofa sectional that reader Mark purchased.  He was then able to get it reupholstered for just $50 by his cousin at a family rate. It now sits proudly in their rumpus room. Those orange bolster pillows really are a nice touch, don’t you think? (more…)

retro-end-tableIkea is no stranger to taking inspiration from their vintage design archives — which we explored discovered in our story about their 2012 PS collection. This time, instead of simply being influenced from the past, they have revived it. Their new LOVEBACKEN side table is a nearly exact replica of the 1956 model the LOVET. This table was one of the first flat pack pieces that Ikea manufactured, a practice that is told to have started when the Lovet’s designer Gillis Lundgren removed the table’s legs in order to fit it into his car.

ikea-lovbacken-tableThe LOVEBACKEN table went on sale in U.S. stores this summer, retailing for $59.99. With features like a distinctive grain pattern in the veneer top and plastic feet that protect against scratched floors, this mid century design revival would be a welcome addition to any retro or modern home — at a very affordable price.

From the Ikea Family Magazine:

In 1956, the LÖVET side table began the flatpack revolution when IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and designer Gillis Lundgren unscrewed its legs so they could fit it into a car. Now it’s back, renamed LÖVBACKEN. ‘It’s good to delve into the treasure chest of our design history,’ says Peter Safranek, Living Room Range Communicator. ‘It’s classic ’50s design. The leaf-shape top, angled legs… It’s a beauty.’

You can read more about the history of this design and see vintage catalog pictures in the story about Ikea LOVEBACKEN on the Daily Mail’s website.

mid-century-end-tableMega thanks to Facebook follower Carole for tipping us off to this story!

The post Affordable midcentury modern furniture: IKEA revives the 1956 Lovebacken side table appeared first on Retro Renovation.

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