Before: Chaos CentralKim and Kevin have an office/guest room in their condo that has become a catchall for Kim's pack-rat tendencies. This one room functions as a music recording studio, office, guest room, laundry room and storage room. The closets are packed to the gills, retro knickknacks are scattered about, and there's no space to sit and do basic household paperwork.
The couple would like this room to function as a guest room, a music studio and an office space. Designer Kahi Lee and design coordinators Spencer Anderson and Abraham Hopkins blend function and style to turn this overworked space into a midcentury modern masterpiece.
For all available product information, click on the After photo of the room.
After: Midcentury MakeoverAlthough the 1950s modern style uses more muted colors, Kahi chooses a steely blue wall color. The more saturated color works better with the bright red futon fabric. The classic midcentury modern elements are all here: full-length pleated curtains, low furniture, clean lines and simple design. These happy homeowners now have a stylish space where they can be together or do their own thing.
Paint — $54
- paint, walls and pendant lamp ceiling mounts (Behr, 730F-5 Nature Retreat); stain for wooden ball accents on clock, utility closet doors and the cornice boxes (Minwax, oil-based, Colonial Pine) — The Home Depot
Pendant lights — $69
- paper (Kare pastel/yellow 25" x 18" decorative sheet paper, 16047550) — Paper Source
- backing material for inside of pendant lamps (4 x 8 x .020 white styrene) — Gavrieli
- light kits (Hemma, cord set, 10175810) — Ikea
- aluminum sheaths (5/16-inch round aluminum tubing, 1115); energy-saver bulbs (Feit 13-watt compact twist bulbs, 30186020) — Anawalt Lumber
Closet project — $225
- plywood (BCX 3/4, 4 x 8 3/4" Poplar plywood) — Studio Supply and Recycling
- edging tape (3/4" white birch edging, 710084); stain (Minwax, Provencial 211 stain, 302661); polyurethane (Minwax, Helmsman Satin finish polyurethane, 873995) — Anawalt Lumber
- swivel desk chair — Craigslist
- magnetic primer (Rust-Oleum, black magnetic primer, 115535); magnets (3/4" ceramic magnets, 59194), (1" ceramic magnets, 59195) — Lowe's
Drapes and fabric — $225
- pleated drapes (gold); toss pillows (loose spun gold material with metallic thread), (light blue/gray fabric with black, red, gold and cream print) — Mayborne Corp.
Laundry doors — $32
- adhesive (Liquid Nails, paneling and ceiling construction adhesive, 406751); plywood (4 x 8x 1/8" Mahogany plywood, 4818M0); edging tape (3/4" Red Oak Edging, 710134) — Anawalt Lumber
- door knob for utility closet doors (Eva bone doorknob, 12944484) — Anthropologie
Furniture — $344
- hutch — Craigslist
- desk — Craigslist
- desk chair — St. Vincent de Paul Society
- end tables — Craigslist
Clock — $27
- starburst clock, chopsticks accents (Fuji chopstix, 150149) — Mitsuwa-Trendy
- wooden ball accents (1 1/2" wooden ball accessories, 754246104519); clock kit (3/4" clock kit, 46308238554) — Michaels
- spray paint for chopsticks (Valspar, Cherry Red high-gloss paint, 165837) — Lowe's
- self-adhesive paper (wood grain, 790444984805) — The Home Depot
Accessories — $21
- desk lamp (metal adjustable bent neck task lamp, 022011791647) – Staples
Total — $997
Pendant LightsTaking a cue from the design elements of the 1950s, Abraham creates these pendant lights with laminated wrapping paper and a light cord set. He chooses a paper with a steely blue color that is brightened with a yellow accent. The cone shape and aluminum sheath over the cord give the lights their distinct style. To keep the laminated paper from melting, Hopkins uses a fluorescent bulb, which burns cool.
Craft your own pendant lights just like these in a few simple steps.
Laundry Closet DoorsSince the louvered doors on the right closet door didn't have a place in this era of design, Hopkins stained a wood panel and used panel adhesive to affix it to the door. Here's a green tip: choose an adhesive that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to be sure to minimize pollutant chemicals.
Smart ShoppingSeveral pieces bought separately look like they are part of a set of furniture. The desk chair is an actual piece from the era. The midcentury hutch is a place to highlight the homeowners' collectibles. The clock was a damaged '50s-style clock that Lee repaired and then repurposed. Keeping one style in mind when shopping makes it possible to find different pieces that combine into a cohesive look.
Learn how to give an old clock a modern midcentury style.
Closet StudioFor all the recording studio components and instruments, Spencer reinvents the closet space to store all of it. Extra-deep shelves ensure that the components won't overheat. A tall storage area to the right of the desk is a great space to stash instruments. When the room is used as a guest room, the homeowners can just pull the curtain over the studio equipment to creat the appearance of a clean, quiet oasis for visitors.