TAMPA – Walking into David Call’s vintage store is like walking onto the set of “I Love Lucy.”
It’s mostly all 1950s-style furniture, a reminder of times when furniture was made to last. Call’s store, A Modern Line, has things you simply can’t get anywhere else. Call makes sure that the items he sells can take the beatings of another 50 years by refinishing most of the items himself.
It’s not the only thing that Call refinishes. If you walk into his home, it’s 1927 all over again. There are things at his shop from the ‘60s and ‘70s – think of the home in “The Brady Bunch” – but the ‘50s are a special time to Call and his furniture reflects that.
Much of the furniture comes from Heywood-Wakefield, a company that works with solid wood furniture from the middle of the 20th century. The furniture uses birch wood construction and is light in color. It is considered “retro,” not antique, falling back on the idea that an antique is an item that is at least 100 years old. The furniture is as comfortable, Call said, as anything made today – even if it does bring back memories of a different time.
Call started his company 12 years ago. Today, he is happy to look at anything that can be refurbished. He said it all comes natural to him.
“I am a Jack of all trades,” Call said. “The customers usually come to me. I am self-taught and I enjoy it.”
His furniture, he said, is as solid today as the day it was mode – more than a half-century ago.
“These items have been around for 50 years and they will be in good shape for another 50 years,” Call said. “Then they might be considered antiques.”
He said the reason his furniture stands the test of time is that in the 1980s, furniture started to decline in quality as mass-marketing stores started to take over the business. The experts can tell the difference. Call said people come from all over Florida to see his items.
There are some items that are certainly unusual, including a lamp that is connected to a vintage film projector, and another lamp that is hooked up to a vintage photo camera, but Call said there is a market for vintage furniture.
“We aren’t a superstore, but we have a certain niche crowd that we like working with,” Call said. “It feels great to bring these things back to life.”
A Modern Line is located at 6415 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. Call (813) 234-4500.