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Atomic Age Living and Dining Room

Homeowner Andy Pruden needs help with his living room and dining room. He's grown tired of the country feel that his decor dictates and is in desperate need of some help.

The Dilemma

Host Lee Snijders assesses the situation when he visits this bachelor's pad. They decide that new furniture, cool colors and some dramatic lighting will give the two rooms the space-age lift they need. The couch must stay, but needs to be adapted to fit the chosen style and the chair needs to be replaced with something more fitting. While the coffee table and side tables are nice, they also need to be changed to better blend with the new decor. The dining room table screams country, so the team will have to do something there too.

The Solution


The atomic age takes off in Pruden's living and dining room — here's how the design team gets it done for less than $1,000:

  • A turquoise blue hue in both rooms sets the stage for the 1950s look. The dining room features a two-tone color scheme with the walls painted the turquoise below the chair rail and a light gray above.

  • Design coordinator Charles Burbridge shows off his furniture-making skills by constructing two tables to outfit the living room. He cuts 3/4-inch furniture-grade maple plywood into one large boomerang shape for the bottom and a smaller triangle for the top. He routes the edges to create a bullnose, sands the surfaces then applies a coat of polyurethane. He attaches retro-styled legs to both pieces to create a two-tiered effect.

  • Snijders creates his own 1950s-style art piece out of everyday materials. He cuts wood boards into four boomerang shapes; one of which is larger to act as the backdrop. Then he creates the Sputnik shapes out of wooden bun feet, drawer pulls and dowels. (All of the pieces are painted before assembly.) One of the Sputnik shapes is attached to a boomerang, which is then attached to the main piece; the other two boomerangs and Sputnik shapes are mounted on the board separately.

  • Design coordinator Summer Baltzer creates a starburst-shaped chandelier for the dining room. She creates the piece out of two stainless-steel salad bowls, aluminum rods and various electrical components. She drills holes into the salad bowls using a titanium drill bit and secures electrical allthread rods. Aluminum rods are set over the allthread rods and both pieces are spray-painted chrome for a consistent look. Each rod is then thread with wire and the wires are secured in the center of each bowl. Epoxy is used to adhere the two bowls. Small chandelier bulbs are inserted in the end of each rod.

  • Windows are unified with matching valances with the same fabric used on a contemporary-styled chair that Snijders had professionally reupholstered.

  • The country-style sofa is camouflaged under a new black slipcover.

  • Pruden's existing lamps are made to fit in with the theme with the addition of metal rods forming a starburst shape on each base.

  • The country-style dining set is replaced with a '50s-style set featuring black vinyl on the seats and chrome accents.

    The Cost

    Furniture - $524

    • reupholstered chair: garage sale

    Fabrics - $183

    • sage green fabric: Jo-Anns

    Accessories and lighting - $133

    • black sofa slipcover: Marshalls

    Art piece - $117

    Paint and supplies - $40

    • wall paint: Lowe's - American Tradition, #145609 (interior flat)
    • wall paint: Lowe's American Tradition, #145950 (interior flat)

    Project Total - $997

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