Danish Modern Living Room
See how the Design-on-a-Dime team pulls a living room together for less than $1,000.
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Mark Levitz likes Danish-modern design and recycling, but hasn't found a way to put his fabulous finds together to create the casual, yet sophisticated look he wants for his living room. He likes the Danish-modern sofa and chairs he currently has, but they need a little work to make them great. A midcentury side table currently has no legs and is supported by a box. The apartment-white living room is cluttered with vintage accessories and audio components, and he needs window treatments to give him privacy from the busy street outside.
Mark's bargains will be refurbished and used as key pieces in the room. His midcentury side table will get new legs, and a linseed-oil rubdown will give new life to the sofa and chairs. Unique window treatments will provide privacy and style, while a coat of warm-yellow paint will complement the natural woods in the space. A custom wall unit brings much-needed storage and display space, and chic mirrored shadow boxes will give Mark a spot to display his favorite knick-knacks. Here is how the team gets it done.
Design coordinator Summer Baltzer creates custom window treatments with beaded wooden place mats that she ties together with heavy-duty nylon thread (figure A). The panels are attached to a curtain rod with metal shower-curtain rings. She glues on extra beads from an extra place mat to create a coordinating lampshade.
Host Lee Snijders brings Mark's existing side table back to life by adding cone-shaped legs that are common to midcentury furniture. He paints the legs a glossy black to give them a finished look.
Design coordinator Charles Burbridge builds the mirrored shadow boxes by first deconstructing store-bought framed mirrors. He gives them depth by attaching poplar-wood panels cut to size and painted black on the interior side. The frames get a silver-leaf treatment using materials he found at a craft-supply store.
To apply the leafing, Charles first coats the surface with spray-on metallic-leafing adhesive, applying the leafing tissue while the surface is still tacky (figure B).
He then burnishes the leafing material using a cotton ball (figure C). Once mounted, the exterior depth is painted the same warm-yellow color as the wall.
Lee assembles the wall unit that will fit around the sofa (figure D). The custom design will provide Mark with built-in end tables and much-needed storage and display space. A rubdown with linseed oil brings out the natural grain of the wood.
The team adds a midcentury orange chair to complement the sofa and existing chairs. A new rug and Mark's own accessories give the space a final touch of casual sophistication.
Custom wall unit - $200
Coffee table - $140
- Lagfors, Birch veneer, $129.00 - Ikea
Rug - $65
- Fenja Rya Lnpi, 18687, $59.99 - Ikea
Plants - $27
Pillows - $55
- Fabric - yellow ochre, $2.99 a yard - Kashcool
Danish chair - $100
- 2 Thrifty Store
Table touch-up - $25
- table legs - $4.99 each - Anawalt Lumber
Display mirrors - $100
- 074110066, $20.98 each - Target
Paint and supplies - $70
- Benjamin Moore, Adam's Gold HC-18, $ 24.72/gallon - Mark's Paint
- aluminum leaf guild - $17.76 - Pearl Paint
Lighting - $65
- lamp and shade - $32.50 each - Goodwill
Window treatments - $150
- curtains - Wilma, 18709, $14.99 each - Ikea
- place mats - 067021461, $3.99 each - Target
Total - $997
This couple wants to transform their boring living/dining room into a bold and modern space.
Designer Karen McAloon helps these homeowners identify their tastes so they can create the ultimate family room on their own.(4 photos)
Karen McAloon helps coordinate the homeowners' old stuff and hand-me-downs into a stylishly modern living room.(7 photos)