Vintage Teak

Those that know me know I’m obsessed with thrifting and its ilk—estate sales, garage sales, scouring craigslist for a screaming deal on that certain piece—these are all things I love to do.  But thrift stores are where I go most frequently since they are stationary constants. My love of thrift stores started as a teenager, when I would go with friends, looking for unique and kitschy clothing and accessories. My interests in them have waxed and waned in the years since, but as I’ve grown more and more fond of,  interested in, and educated about mid century design and vintage items in general, my interest level is at an all-time high.

Some may look at thrift stores as dingy and dusty places to find old clothes, beaten up IKEA furniture and your Grandmother’s china. While this is still true, it holds a treasure-hunting appeal. People are continually donating items that are beautiful, rare, sometimes unique, often valuable to those in the know, and of a quality that is unmatched dollar for dollar anywhere else. Every time I pass a store, I can’t help but wonder if that one thing I’ve been looking for is in there, lurking behind abandoned coffee mugs from the 1980s, tucked between rows of baskets and generic vases that came with a flower delivery.

I’m often asked “What are you looking for?”, but that’s hard to answer, because it’s a long list of things, but often it boils down to: is it beautiful, useful, and do I love it? And I have small but growing collections of certain things. And, at least right now, there is still room for just one more bowl, one more vintage tablecloth, one more interesting picture. But here is one thing I am always looking for: teak.

Used heavily in the 1950s-1970s, teak is beautiful, timeless, durable, with a beautiful warmth, and hard to find today (and expensive when you do!). So I am always on the lookout for beautiful teak items that I can use in my home. Here are some of my teak finds (shown below, on top of a Danish teak credenza with stainless steel top, circa 1960s—a craigslist find).

From left to right: baguette slicing guide, Kalmar (circa 1960s); oblong tray; glass carafe with teak stopper (circa 1970s); Kalmar large bowl (circa 1960s); Unisilver bowls, set of 4 (circa 1970s); round tray from Japan (circa 1970s); Backman of Finland bread slicing tray (circa 1960s).

Teak items