The streets surrounding 2100 South and 1100 East are probably the closest thing Salt Lake will ever have to neighborhoods like San Francisco’s Haight Street, the bay city’s eclectic hub for vintage fashion and kitschy fun. Despite a string of big box retailers, Salt Lake’s Sugarhouse neighborhood is our go-to place for everything from cups of tomato soup, cool vintage clothing, high-end denim (for men) to consigned furniture and, of course, the best selection of gifts for bachelor/bachelorette parties.
Our favorite stop in this walk-and-shop nexus is the Green Ant (179 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City), approximately 1,500 square feet of cool mid-century designer furniture that includes hard-to-find Tulip Chairs, the ever-popular Wassily chairs, Bertoia’s iconic Diamond wire-basket chairs, as well as Knoll settees and fiberglass sofas and office-like pieces from Herman Miller.
Before you get turned off by a 30-year-old bench that costs as much as $350, it’s important to know exactly what the sticker price includes: Green Ant is packed with original designer furniture from such heavy architectural hitters as Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Poul Kjaerholm. While some pieces might require a little TLC—a sanding or a new coat of fresh white paint—many of Green Ant’s originals are in near-mint condition. While some of the pricier items are true originals, it’s important to note that there are less costly imitations, as well.
The inventory is the kind of stuff that can give any transitional Salt Lake home a chic accent or an object of interest, putting a nice twist on safer catalog looks. Green Ant is also home to colorful vases, abstract prints, geometric-patterned dishes and poppy prints. You’ll also see vintage cameras, radios and record players.
The Green Ant isn’t a consignment shop. Owner Ron Green hand-selects each and every piece from high-end collectors and auctions. So, how does he decide on a price? “I look around at what everyone else, including eBay, is charging,” he says. “And then I mark mine lower.”
Sure, it might take a little vision to see each item’s potential, but that’s half the fun. If you ever score a deal on a Wassily chair and find the perfect spot for it, we want to hear about it!