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Rock-n-Roll Living Room

A sparse living area is transformed into a rocking residential retreat for less than $1,000.

The Dilemma

Brian Angely is an up-and-coming musician who would like to give his living area a new look. Host Lee Snijders visits Brian's makeshift music studio that also serves as his living room. The space has the basics such as a couch and a TV, but doesn't have much style or flair. Lee points out that besides the couch there is very little seating for Brian's guests to come over and enjoy the music.

The wet bar has an open shelf that exposes mismatched bottles and just doesn't have the swingin' look that the apartment deserves. The broken pink barstools could use some attention as well. Lee notices there is a large collection of guitars in the room and wants to find a way to feature them. Lastly, the desk will need an update to help calm the clutter.

The Solution

The style-challenged living room is turned around with bold color and new furniture and fabrics. Here's how:

  • Two walls are painted a vibrant blue to match the existing couch. A six-inch band is also painted around the window to coordinate the color throughout.

  • Design coordinator Summer Baltzer creates new pillows with hot blue flame cutouts stitched to the top. She stitches pillow forms out of black vinyl, then cuts the flame out of blue vinyl. She uses spray adhesive to secure the appliqué to the bottom layer, then uses a Teflon fitting and nylon thread to stitch the two pieces together.

  • Design coordinator Charles Burbridge ties the coffee table and desk together with matching yellow laminate tops. To secure the laminate, he rolls on a layer of contact cement to both the top surfaces and back of each laminate piece. When the two surfaces have dried to a "tacky" touch, he puts them together and smooths out the top. He bands the edges the same way using black laminate. Matching metal legs tie the two pieces together.

  • Lee comes up with display pieces to showcase all of Brian's guitars. He uses plywood for the back and covers it with black felt. He frames it out to create a shadow-box effect and stains the wood to match the kitchen cabinets. Guitar cradles hold the guitars in place and allow them to be easily removed when Brian is ready to play.

  • The bar area is updated with styrene panels (normally used as tiles for a drop ceiling) and fluorescent lighting, which creates cool silhouettes against the bottles. Four new chrome barstools make more room for guests while contributing to the hip, streamlined look.

  • An ultra-modern armchair adds more seating to the living room.

The Cost

Furniture - $501

  • stools: Dining & Stool Unlimited - IEM, 3606 B black / chrome
  • chair: IKEA - Lyby, 30058829 / 90058831
  • table legs: IKEA - Vika Curry, 10666
  • laminate: Pride Enterprises

Guitar Boxes - $229

  • guitar cradles: The Guitar Center - Wood and metal, 1598388000

Accessories and Lighting - $214

  • bowl: IKEA - Snits, Blue, 16790
  • decorative sphere: IKEA - Makta, 17324
  • styrent ceiling panel (for bar area): Anawalt Lumber, 778993
  • blue and black vinyl, black felt: Jo-Ann Fabrics
  • picture holder: Urban Outfitters - 09399064
  • chandelier/shade: Urban Outfitters - 09821448
  • lava lamp: Urban Outfitters - Liquid Metal Peace Motion Lamp, 09241183

Paint and Supplies - $50

  • paint: Lowe's - American Tradition, 145952

Project Total - $994

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