After a year in Cockeysville, the couple moved their store to western Baltimore County and rented 5,000 square feet in the old Oella mill. The mill's future was uncertain as a developer sought, and eventually received, approval to build apartments in the space. But for a time, the rent was cheap, and Home Anthology could expand. "It worked," Degenhard says.

One of their first mentions in the press was a piece in The New York Times when a reporter writing about railroad towns stumbled into their store seeking a glass of water.

When the mill closed for redevelopment, the couple moved the store to a 5,000-square-foot space in Catonsville and focused more intently on midcentury modern furniture and accessories.

Sarmiento says she loves the look of the midcentury modern pieces, especially the Danish modern design. "I love the simplicity. I love the scale," she says. "A lot of modern stuff is so overstuffed."

Home Anthology carries authentic Danish modern pieces and less expensive American modern furnishings. Although the inventory changes constantly, recent pieces in the store included an eye-catching blue daybed designed by Adrian Pearsall for $625, a Louis Poulsen pendant lamp for $650 and a yellow Danish Jydsk sofa for $950 that looks like it came right from the set of "Mad Men."

Although modern furniture can look almost stark in its simplicity, it can be surprisingly comfortable. The furniture makers of the era understood ergonomics and function, Degenhard explains. Skills, techniques and materials that had been used during World War II, such as bent plywood, were applied to furniture design in the 1960s.

David Rago, an owner of Rago Auctions, a New Jersey auction house which focuses on 20th-century decorative arts, says interest in midcentury modern furniture has blossomed along with the changing views on antiques. Starting in the 1980s, collectors began to develop an appreciation for 20th-century furniture and accessories, he notes.

Now, the trend seems to be moving away from pieces in the midddle of the 20th century to the late 1960s and 1970s, he says. But the classic designs, such as Danish modern, remain popular.

"People like having things with age and history. This offers that," Rago says.

Sarmiento and Degenhard have been in business 10 years, but some things haven't changed since the day they opened their store. They still buy furniture they like and they still spend much of their time visiting flea markets and estate sales. "We're always looking," Sarmiento says.



Where to buy



Home Anthology, 91 Mellor Ave., Catonsville, 410-744-0042, homeanthology.com. The store is open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment.