Mid-Century Madness and Scandinavian Style

A current obsession at Big Daddy’s is Scandinavian design, and we know we are not the only ones… The Nordic countries have a distinctive and enviable style that is at once casual and glamorous, rustic and ultra-refined.

Milla Blogg XMas Arne Norell

The resurgence of Mid-Century design is in full swing, Mad Men chic is back and the original furniture is more coveted then ever. The sculptural and minimalist aesthetic, developed from the modernist philosophy of form following function – and the use of luscious materials, leather and beautiful wood, give a warm, comforting quality to the vintage pieces, and only continue to get better with age.

BDA Mid-Century _Fotor

The Mid- Century period was a turning point in design worldwide, and the Scandinavian culture contributed some of the most successful and definitive designers from that period. From the Swedish Arne Norell to Danish designer Borg Mogensen, and so many more like Arne Vodder, Finn Juhl, Hans Olsen, Bruno Mathsson, Kaare Klint… the list is long, each designer distinctive, and we love them all.

Mogensen House

These designers changed the look of our homes and brought us into the modern age. The trickle down effect is seen everywhere now, but the craftsmanship, materials, and innovative aesthetic of the original designs has maintained an inspired newness for decades… They look as fresh and cool today as they did then.

Vosges Paris Chair Shot

The current iteration of Scandinavian design is equally as inspiring. Carefully appointed interiors that feature earth-toned palettes, raw and organic materials, farmhouse bones and a modernist touch, we especially love the monochromatic rooms that pack a powerful visual punch, and their dramatic bright white interiors that channel the look of light.

One of a pair Ope chairs from BD Antiques.

One of a pair Ope chairs from BD Antiques.

At Big Daddy’s Los Angeles, our most recent container has just arrived, and our showroom is a treasure trove of Scandinavian Mid-Century antiques. Some may be making their way to our San Francisco location soon, but for now, please contact our Los Angeles showroom, or come visit, to explore our newest offerings.

A Borg Mogensen style sofa in our Los Angeles showroom.

A Borg Mogensen style sofa in our Los Angeles showroom.

The Simple Life

The Shakers are a fascinating and aesthetically important chapter of our American history. Emigrated from the United Kingdom in the 18th century, a derivative of the Quakers, they were known for their commitment to communal lifestyle, equality of the sexes and strict celibacy, but the most lasting legacy they left behind was the purity of their designs.

Abstract beauty of Shaker Architecture

The abstract beauty of Shaker architecture.

Known for creating austere interiors that are an elegant study in minimalism… Making something well was their direct form of prayer.

Shaker Village - Pleasantville, KY from Off Beat and Inspired.

Shaker Village – Pleasantville, KY from Off Beat and Inspired.

Shakers believed that God dwells in the quality and the details of their work. Clean and rustic, raw with subtle, utilitarian beauty, furniture was generally made of inexpensive and lightweight pine, or whichever materials they could find locally. The careful attention in their handiwork was also a replacement for the dedication to home and family, and the results are exquisite.


Shaker furniture from the Met Museum.

Architecture, furniture and home artifacts, with a distinctive look that has inspired much of the classic American farmhouse aesthetic, and a philosophy that was later rediscovered in the modern Mid-Century European design movement. Things were created from necessity, their form inspired by function. Famed Danish architect/designer Kaare Klint for instance, was heavily influenced by Shaker design.

Shaker Architecture from Architectural Digest.

Shaker Architecture from Architectural Digest.

What we find most inspiring, is the dedication to quality. Our passion for antiques was born from a desire to find lasting treasures that will age with us and become a piece of our own legacy. Our modern world is one of immediate gratification, where faster is better. Shaker style furnishings are made slowly, painstakingly, the results seem in tune with nature. Recalling a time when people had a more intimate relationship with the land they lived on.

Our own farmhouse style chair. BD Antiques.

Our own farmhouse style chair. BD Antiques.

By the middle of the 20th century the Shaker communities were largely gone, so their creations have become artifacts. We are constantly on the hunt for Shaker treasures to incorporate into our complex, modern lives – perhaps as a reminder that the simplest things are sometimes, all you really need.

Modern Shaker style from Style At Home.

Modern Shaker bedroom from Style At Home.

There are so many modern interpretations of Shaker style that we love, rooms that have warmth and familiarity, elegance and the quintessential sparseness of Shaker style that still feels strangely contemporary.

A home in Bucks County, PA from Old House and an image from Pinch Design.

A home in Bucks County, PA from Old House and an image from Pinch Design.

The Japanese Philosophy of Wabi-Sabi

There is beauty to be found in all things. Our quest for inspiration leads us back, time and again, to the Japanese philosophy Wabi-Sabi.


“Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay and death. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind.”  ~ Noble Harbor

Wabi Sabi Space

Our search for beautiful antique furnishings, vintage and gently ‘loved,’ has helped develop a taste for the organic charm of a diamond still in the rough. Sometimes updating a vintage acquisition helps give it new life, but personally, we search for special pieces with just the right amount of wear and tear.

BDA Wabi Sabi

From home furnishings to the spaces we live in, beautiful decay adds character and depth. Metal changes over time, shaping the material and changing its color and texture. Wood wears every life scar beautifully, like wrinkles on a face, the more you use it, the better it gets. Leather is our favorite, getting softer with use and developing a patina that is completely unique to each individual piece.

Le Corbusier

Our Le Corbusier chair with the original leather is the chicest seat in the house. The above images are (mostly) our personal takes on Wabi-Sabi, but below are a few of our favorite rooms, perfect examples of the philosophy at work, and absolutely spectacular interiors.

Axel Vervoordt wabi Sabi

Axel Vervoordt is the finest example of contemporary, and highly intentional, Wabi Sabi. His use of aged, natural, materials and minimalist form gives his interiors a feeling of warmth and history. We swoon for all his epic designs.

Axel Vervoordt Wabi Sabi

The New Mexico home of American painter Georgia O’Keeffe is a study in instinctual Wabi Sabi and one of our most loved inspirations. Austere and striking, but spiritual and unintentionally edgy, her home is a reflection of the artist and her spirit.

Georgia O'Keeffe Wabi Sabi 2

Another room that channels the very essence of Wabi Sabi, Alan Donovan’s home in Kenya, a fine collection of local, artisanal creations, put together in perfectly imperfect harmony.

Alan Donovan's house in Kenya - Wabi Sabi

Remodelista Holiday Market at Big Daddy’s

Remodelista Porcelain

This past weekend we were thrilled to be hosting the annual Remodelista Market. Over 30 local artisans were in attendance, bringing with them beautifully handcrafted wares. This was our second year as host and we can’t wait to do it again.

Remodelista Clothing Collage

From bespoke shoes and clothing made with the most luxurious materials, featuring timeless designs, to home accessories like ceramics and porcelain, to leather goods and jewelry, or candles and perfume, our showroom was the perfect place to find things both unusual and beautiful.

Remodelista Pendleton

Surrounded by so many lovely things, we did quite a bit of our own holiday shopping, in between mingling, chatting, snacking (one of the booths was selling some very delicious pastries and we took full advantage) and of course working our own booth with leather and metal jewelry and accessories, one of the newest additions to Big Daddy’s.

REmodelista Big Daddy's Collage_Fotor

Meticulous craftsmanship and passion is the secret behind each one of the participating companies. One of the reasons we love antiques is for their unique quality and the incredible attention to detail.

Remodelista Ceramics

The artisanal creations featured at the Remodelista Holiday Market are sure to become the cherished antiques of tomorrow… We are already looking forward to next year!

A Family Affair

It was a five-dollar purchase that started Shane Brown’s business. Two paintings of Venice Beach, bought in downtown LA at a flea market. A little refurbishing, reframing – someone took a liking to the paintings and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

LOL Sinage

Big Daddy’s Antiques was born out of Shane’s love and natural ability to spot a diamond in the rough and give them new life. Antique relics, rediscovered classics, style that embraces a casual approach to a glamorous home. 

Shane's Wife and Daughter

Kristine brings her own creative influence to the business. A love of Victorian birdcages has become a custom business and a trademark of the brand, channeling the essence and romantic style of vintage chic. 

Custom Bird Cage

Shane’s youngest daughter, Georgia Brown, is the namesake for the Aspen outpost and a design power house in the making. She had the final say on the paint colors of the Colorado store. Raleigh is the yin to Georgia’s yang,  an old soul for her young years, they are definitely the perfect pair to carry on the family legacy… 

Shane and Fam

With a collection of custom and vintage furnishings that Shane has described as ‘organic, industrial, with a European flair’, our showrooms carry the necessary tools for a well loved home. A home that is welcoming, comforting, beautiful, glamorous, approachable, and most of all, unique. On this holiday week, from our family to yours…   Happy Thanksgiving!

Leather Chair

Shining Mountains

The city of Aspen, Colorado was originally the land of the Ute Indians for more than 800 years. The Fork River Valley was hallowed ground for the tribe, and it remained untouched by modern society until the late 1800’s. The city of Aspen was rich in silver ore, and it experienced its first industrial boom for little more than a decade in 1879. The city quickly grew in the Victorian style of the times, establishing a look that still remains to this day.

Aspen Vintage Sinage

When the silver rush ended, the city fell out of fashion and essentially became a ghost town for several decades. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that Chicago industrialists Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke discovered Aspen and reinvented the city with a philosophy that embraced the past and shaped its future. The couple formulated the “Aspen Idea” and worked to popularize their discovery. The land was beautiful and provided natural recreation, the Paepchke’s wanted Aspen to become a cultural center, with a community of citizens that believe in the nourishment of the mind, body and the spirit.

Gary Cooper Filming with Wife and Daughter

Gary Cooper in Aspen

By the late 1940’s Aspen was once again a booming city, reborn as a retreat for the famous, the adventurous and the lovers of nature. In search of the idyllic lifestyle established by the Praepchke’s, the ‘Aspen Idea’ began to thrive. The historic Victorian relics were carefully preserved and updated and a new style of casual elegance and rustic beauty defined the city’s aesthetic.  

Ralph Lauren's RRL Ranch in Telluride featured in Architectural Digest

Ralph Lauren’s RRL Ranch in Telluride featured in Architectural Digest

Modern day life in Colorado continues to inspire and define classic American chic. Though not in Aspen, Ralph Lauren’s Double RL Ranch outside of Telluride is the epitome of approachable elegance, recalling our history and reimagining classic motifs and furnishings in a modern and eclectic way. We can’t get enough of his warm and welcoming design… Farmhouse antiques and Native American inspired textiles mix effortlessly to warm and welcoming perfection.

The stunning interior of the Hotel Jerome

The stunning interior of the Hotel Jerome

The Hotel Jerome, the “crown jewel” of Aspen and another stunning example carefully updated décor, stays true to its 19th century bones with elegant design and dark details. A quintessential Aspen experience, dinner at Prospect or drinks in the iconic J-Bar are two of the town’s hottest spots.

Georgia Brown Aspen

Georgia Brown Aspen

In Big Daddy’s Aspen outpost Georgia Brown, named after Shane’s youngest daughter, you can find our distinctive style and vintage home furnishings. The history of the city feels like a kindred spirit in its philosophy of lifestyle and design. Shane pulls his beautiful antiques from barns, farmhouses, colonial homes, and western spaces all over the country to curate collections that attract the likes of the incredible Ralph Lauren and other Americana design enthusiasts.

Aspen Aerial

Georgia Brown is a proud to be a local Aspen tastemaker, we love to combine all of our favorite elements in one place, creating eclectic and effortless interiors that recall our cross country adventures. This aerial view of the dramatic Colorado terrain is our true inspiration, a carefully preserved masterpiece of nature. Visit our Aspen location and come explore this beautiful slice of American life.

Images and References Via: Architectural Digest, Hotel Jerome, Aspen Pitkin, Aspen History

Les Puces

Creating a home that tells a story is not something you can buy – you have to hunt. Honing your eye and waiting to find the perfect pieces that you absolutely love, mixing styles that speak to you with reckless abandon. We believe in this personalized philosophy of home design, and it’s how Shane approaches his search for beautiful furnishings.

French Antiques - Interior inspiration found on Pinterest.

French Antiques – Interior inspiration found on Pinterest.

A long time destination of treasure hunters worldwide, the ramshackle experience of France’s flea markets is infamous. Combing the markets in Paris’ Saint Ouen and Montpellier, Shane has found some of his most unique treasures, like this incredible, convertible, 19th century daybed. These gorgeous chairs are stunning example of quality and ingenuity, dating back to a time when home furnishings were built by artisans.

French Chair Collage

The history of the flea market originates in the outskirts of Paris in the late 19th century. Chiffoniers were the riff raff of the time – they stole through the night, exploring the discards of chic Parisians, and collected the most interesting and valuable things they could find. Setting up makeshift shops in their shantytown homes, the ‘Moon Fisherman’ created what has become Paris’ most known flea market.

The Vivant - Paris Flea

A beautiful shot from The Vivant

Chic Parisians soon took notice of the intriguing makeshift market and trips to look at the eclectic wares soon became a weekend pastime. The one drawback to the endless sea of fascinating curiousities – the fact that these discarded finds were frequently infested with fleas. The pastime and the market itself developed a nickname ‘Fleamarket’ or ‘Les Puces des Paris’.

Gorgeous ceramics at the Paris Flea.

Gorgeous ceramics at the Paris Flea.

The fleas are gone, but the finds remain, from interesting trinkets to gorgeous examples of classic French design. Accessories for the home, vintage books and oddities that are one of a kind, the thrill of the hunt is still our favorite way to shop. Making the pilgrimage several times yearly, Shane continues to hone his keen ability to spot a diamond in the rough, visit us in our showroom and discover our latest flea market finds…


Images via The Vivant and Bonjour Paris.

Louis Vuitton

“Securely packs the most fragile objects. Specializing in packing fashions.”

Louis Vuitton Big Daddy's Antiques

Vintage Louis Vuitton trunks from BD Antiques.

This was the sign on Louis Vuitton’s first Paris store. In 1835 at the age of 13, Louis Vuitton left his home in the provincial French town of Anchay and walked almost 300 miles, over the course of two years, following his dream of a better life in the City of Lights. Less than twenty years later he had created his destiny, as the inventor of modern luxury and the packing and boxing master of Napolean Bonaparte’s Paris.

Sig Bergamin's home in Brazil, featured in Architectural Digest.

Sig Bergamin’s home in Brazil, featured in Architectural Digest.

In Paris, Vuitton found a city that was in the throws of extremes, great wealth and opulence and abject poverty. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing. Louis was personally chosen by Eugenie de Montijo (the Spanish countess and Empress of France) as her personal packer, and charged with the responsibility of “packing the most beautiful clothes in an exquisite way.”

A Vuitton steamer as a coffee table from Japanese Trash.

A Vuitton steamer as a coffee table from Japanese Trash.

Around that time he married, opened his first store and developed his signature trunk. Made from a treated canvas, that was more durable than leather, and with a new rectangular form that made it easy to stack and store. Louis Vuitton created his classic steamer trunk and the birth of modern luggage.

Vuitton suitcases as a charming bedside table in House Beautiful and vintage LV riding boots.

Vuitton suitcases as a charming bedside table in House Beautiful and vintage LV riding boots.

By 1860 Vuitton’s business had already undergone a major expansion and international acclaim. The business of Louis Vuitton continued to grow and become synonymous with luxury. When he died in 1892 his son George took over the family business and, soon after, created the iconic LV logo. George followed in his father’s innovative footsteps and also developed a patent in 1890 for a tumbler lock that is said to be ‘unpickable’ and is still the standard used today.

Vreeland and Hepburn Collage

Diana Vreeland and Audrey Hepburn, two classics with their classic LV’s.

In 1914 Louis Vuitton opened their first store on the Champs Elysee and officially secured their position as the worlds most luxurious travel brand, favored by royalty, movie stars, and luxury seekers worldwide.

Louis Vuitton our way at Big Daddy's Antiques.

Louis Vuitton our way at Big Daddy’s Antiques.

New Container 4/6/2014

Another container from Texas has arrived! This shipment includes club chairs, neon signs, artwork, cabinets, tables and more!