For over a decade, Stamford Modern has been a source for incredible contemporary and mid-century finds restored with on-trend, up-to-the-minute finishes. Founders Carlos and Mariela Solano combined their unique backgrounds—he had spent a decade in the furniture industry, both contemporary and vintage; she wanted to use her accounting skills to create a business blending vintage and newly made pieces—and launched the company in 2011. Since then, Stamford Modern has become an indispensable resource for interior designers and enthusiasts of crisp, modern lines alike.

On October 13th, they’re hosting an event from 4 – 7 PM at their Stamford headquarters called Beyond Mid-Century, where many of their pieces will be on display, along with their collaborations with names like Blueprint Lighting and Cheryl D. Miller Fine Arts. If you’re in the New York or Connecticut area and are interested in attending, email to RSVP.

Read on to learn more about the personalities behind Stamford Modern, their chic collections, and the styles they’re loving right now. And to shop Stamford Modern on Chairish, click here.

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Stamford Modern

First and foremost, how did Stamford Modern get its start? How did you combine your backgrounds to launch the business? 

We established Stamford Modern in 2011 to elevate rare vintage designs with modern finishes. I had previously spent a decade working in the furniture industry, first for a high-end retailer in New York, and then for an antiques dealer. Mariela saw the potential in merging the two industries and created the Stamford Modern concept. Today, Mariela uses her Master’s degree in accounting to manage all of the financials. I am our resident furniture designer and lead the entire process of sourcing, purchasing, and restoring every item in our showroom.

You also have your own newly made collections, including furniture, casegoods, lighting, and art. How did you launch these, and how do you decide which types of pieces to focus on?

Our custom collections were launched to offer our designers the opportunity to expand their imaginations and put their personal touch on custom-made pieces. We offer the foundations of our designs, but finishes and modifications are up to them. 

As furniture designers, our focus doesn’t rest on a single design or piece. Our goal is not only to create a beautiful product,  but to also focus on comfort and functionality.

Stamford Modern

You have an event called “Beyond Mid-Century” coming up on October 13th. Tell us about it. What does the idea of “beyond mid-century” mean to you? How does this influence the types of pieces you acquire and create yourselves?

Beyond Mid-Century will focus on presenting exceptional mid-century pieces from some of the most iconic furniture designers from around the world, ranging from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. It will showcase how great designs can transition through time gracefully with the correct restoration process.

You also have a design studio, offering all kinds of services for people’s interiors. Tell us a bit about that—how did it get started?

Stamford Modern Design Studio was an idea that became a reality in June of 2020. Our love and knowledge of art and interior design encouraged us to combine the two and offer our clients a comprehensive service, and it’s been an incredible success.

Stamford Modern

What is the design scene in Stamford like these days? Do you find most of your clients in Connecticut or in the New York City area, or is it a mix?

Stamford is a growing city, but most of our clientele still comes from New York as well as California, actually.

What types of pieces are moving these days? Are there any discernible patterns in terms of what’s selling right now?   

It’s not so much about a specific piece of furniture—though chairs and benches have always been our best sellers—but it’s more about finishes and what’s trending in the overall design world.

Do you see any upcoming trends in terms of what’s next for the design world? What types of pieces do you hope to stock next?  

When it comes to trends, experimenting with size, scale, and proportion brings the most attractive results. “Perfect imperfections” offer uniqueness, while inimitable pieces will bring the wow factor to your spaces.

Are there any styles or trends you’d like to see disappear in the design world right now?  

I hate to say that any trend should disappear, because every trend brings something compelling that makes it unique on its own, but I’d say get rid of bouclé… now!

Who are some of your favorite makers or designers, in terms of your own inspirations?  

Paul McCobb, Vladimir Kagan, Gio Ponti, and Hans Wegner are some of our favorite designers.

And finally, what’s a dream piece you’d love to own yourself?

The Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair

All images courtesy of Stamford Modern


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October 4, 2022

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.