My Cross-Country Mid Century Modern Mattress Run – Crazy Or Inspired?

I have a thing for Mid Century Modern furniture. I love the clean lines and the interesting shapes. The problem is that Mid Century Modern pieces are now so expensive here in California that I can’t afford to buy them – at least not the really good stuff, which of course is the stuff that I want. Sometimes, after watching HGTV or paging through a design magazine, I get all inspired to find a realistically-priced piece, say a nightstand, and I spend hours searching on ebay and Craigslist. There has to be one out there, I think. Something affordable yet fabulous. ย However, I inevitably end my search emptyhanded and discouraged. Everything seems to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, way beyond my budget.

But then I had a brilliant idea, an idea that would only be possible with my stash of points and miles. What if I went to the source? I could use my miles to fly to Denmark! I could snap up chairs and dressers and credenzas and nightstands galore, then I could ship them all home and sell the ones I didn’t want, for a profit. It would be an adventure! It would be amazing!

It would be totally unrealistic.

But it got me to thinking: there’s got to be a state in this country where Mid Century Modern pieces are still ignored and languishing in basements and attics. I did some quick research online and discovered that the Midewest seems to be a treasure trove, filled to bursting with incredible finds. What if I used miles to fly to one of these intriguing states? I could rack up a few Hyatt stays (I need them for the Diamond challenge I am doing – more on that soon). I could pile everything into a storage pod and have it shipped across the country. I could fly for free, and bring a friend using my Southwest companion pass.


I just might do it. Is this crazy? Have I lost all perspective? Do I need a miles intervention?



  1. Rebecca says:

    wow that would be quite a valuable piece of furniture. How would you ship it home? Would you take a road trip? My mom goes on antique road trips with friends in search of key finds. They have such great fun. What about scouring garage sales?

  2. Hmmm…

    I think it is inspired!

    However, as you must know, current trends in furniture style change like the wind and the bargain you get today might very well be yard sale fodder next year. That being said, I would suggest flying one way to the mid-west, renting a Ryder truck and using it to make the rounds on your shopping spree, then driving it home yourself. Otherwise, the logistics of getting all of your treasures in one location and the cost of shipping them home my very well be prohibitive.

    • rebecca says:

      “yard sale fodder” ha! Some of the best treasures can be found at garage, yard & estate sales. Keep on thinking fodder thoughts, more for me!

  3. I love it. It sounds exactly like a plan I might have hatched. I do agree on driving the stuff home yourself in a rented truck. It has got to be lots cheaper.

    My only caveat is your time frame. If you have a job you have to which you have to return one week off might not really do it unless you have already zeroed in on certain targets.

    What is the worse that can happen? You’ll have another great adventure to tell your grandchildren about!

    P.S. I’m now going to report that I have lots more sympathy for Josh trying to be track of what city you’re in when you leave home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Points Pixie says:

    Rebecca – My plan is to fly there, then either have the items shipped back, or (as Brant and Anne have suggested), drive them back myself in a U-Haul. I found a friend who is crazy enough to come with me (hi, Star!), so it would be a shared adventure (always the best kind).

    Brant – Sounds like you’ve got some experience in this area! Thanks for the reminder about trends. I am trying to price out the options. It does seem that if I add it all up, renting a U-Haul over a weekend to gather the finds, then filling/shipping a storage pod might be the cheapest way to go. My thought is that I would buy/sell/resell on Craigslist, and just do it within a very short time frame. Chime in if you have more thoughts!

    Anne – Ha! Yes, I can definitely tell that you and I would be dangerous together ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I will let Josh know he’s got a sympathetic reader. He loves those.

  5. pinkisnice says:

    The most inspired ideas have some crazy in them by definition. Go, go, go!

  6. Not crazy at all. My deco furniture dealer built his business from buying trips to London/France/Belgium and shipping a container back to Dallas. He then refurbed before sale.

    On the other hand, he did have to close shop about 10 years ago but made some good money for a while.

  7. Points Pixie says:

    pinkisnice – ๐Ÿ™‚

    PeterS – I’m rethinking Denmark!

  8. This is my business (interior design and vintage furniture resale). Awesome finds in Denmark but they know what they have and the price reflects it, so you won’t find great deals, especially when you add on the high price for shipping. You may have luck in the Midwest, but try and plan your trip around the date of a big antiques fair or flea market. There is a ton of competition for mid century pieces all around the country….unless you luck onto a major estate sale or have lots of time to search, it may prove difficult to get a uhaul’s worth of stuff. People are very savvy these days, especially since anyone can find out what stuff is worth by quickly checking the Internet. My opinion, go for it cuz it sounds like fun.

  9. Points Pixie says:

    Tricia – Thanks for the insider scoop! And the encouragement ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I lived in St. Louis for a time and I also love mid century. I found a bedroom set on cl that included a long dresser and attached mirror, tall chest like dresser, nightstand and a medium sized dresser for $50. I contacted the seller and she told me that someone was coming in 3 days to pick it up but if it fell thru, she would let me know. I told her I would give her $75 and pick it up that night and she accepted. The pieces were in pretty good shape, I had to oil it about it about 7 times and wax the drawers a bit so they would slide easily. I have had the set for about 6 years now and moved it back to Houston. I looked for it about 2-3 weeks. The deals are there, you just have to be patient and a little aggressive. I did notice that stl had a lot of mid century pieces, much more than I expected. Good luck to you!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Tarah – Oh wow, this is exactly what I wanted to hear!! I’m thinking of scouring Craigslist before I leave and setting up a bunch of appointments, then driving around in a U-Haul all day and picking stuff up. (Star, are you reading this?!?)

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