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Back to the Style Cure

We last left off with my declaration to get moving on our basement TV room and, eventually, onto the man cave/bar area.  One of the first assignments of the Style Cure is to go on a treasure hunt and find whatever appeals to you.  The purpose behind this assignment is to get the creative juices flowing which will help build a design plan.  Since I’m going about the whole thing a little backwards, I already knew what room I’m going to be working on and what my overall aesthetic should be. However, I had no idea how I wanted to go about achieving the ‘look’, because I wasn’t sure what that was exactly.  I know I want the room to look as if it belongs in my 1956 mid-mod ranch, but I also want it to be a warmer, less modern space than the upstairs of the house and I want to achieve that on a $0 budget.  This should be a snap.

Since I have no budget to speak of, I decided to forego going out somewhere to take pictures of things that appeal to me and decided to peruse the internet instead.  I tried looking for 1950’s TV rooms, mid-century family rooms, etc. and came-up with some pictures that are quite appealing.
(All images found on Google Images.  I think they’re from catalogs, so I have no idea of the original source.)

Of course my TV room won’t look anything like the above pictures because it’s in a dark, mostly unfinished, basement and I have no budget.  But, again, these pictures are just for inspiration. I’ve looked at them long and hard and asked myself to really concentrate on the kind of feeling they invoke.  That’s what I want to capture – warmth, serenity and a mid-century vibe.

Once I identified what it is I’m really after, I started looking at things more specifically. There is a fantastic website called  This website has a ton of downloadable high resolution jpgs that are free to download, presumably because there is no active copy right for the images.  I went to the site and spent some time looking at their travel posters.  I found a trove of amazing prints that are right up my alley.  Since they’re free, I downloaded anything that appealed to me and narrowed down my selection to three that I’m going to print on high quality paper and frame.
When I look at these prints, I get the feeling I’m after.  They’re warm and mid-century, for sure, and I love to travel more than anything.  These give me something with which to work.  I’ve also started looking at what I already have since shopping my home is going to be a big part of this project.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
I have my new MALIN TRÅD pillow covers from IKEA, this vintage fan I picked-up at a garage sale this summer for $2.00 (which I still need to clean) and a  never hung print of “Mit Und Gegen” that I reframed from when my daughter was going through her Kandinsky phase (whose 10 year-old goes through a Kandinksy phase? Mine, that’s who!).  I think this is a good start to my overall design.  Of course, most of the furniture will stay, minus the horrible couch that’s being replaced by our new (to us) IKEA Ektorp sofa.  One of the pieces I’m most excited to better showcase is the dresser I worked on earlier this year.  I think I’m going to give it a nice coat of polyurethane before I put it into heavy use, though.  I plan on using it to store all the quilts we have downstairs for cold winter night TV viewing.  It’s nice mid-century lines will work well in my overall scheme.
That’s where I’m at so far.  The next step is to clear everything out and come up with a floor plan.  Some things will have to stay in the same spot, such as the TV (I’m not sure why, ask J) but other things can be moved around and I think I will take advantage of that because the room is really lacking something in it’s current state.  I’m not going to re-paint because I’m happy with the warm orange walls as they are.  This is more about refreshing and re-styling to make the room more cohesive with the house and less “college hand-me down”.


About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

5 responses »

  1. I must say, the first image really captivates me. Although I gravitate towards traditional homes and furnishings, I love the practicality of MCM era furniture and homes. I’m surprised by the pairing of colors (I love the green and coral), not two colors I associate with that era, usually.

    • Check your library for “Inspiring Interiors 1950’s: From Armstrong” by C. Eugene Moore. I don’t know if MD has an inter-library loaning system, OH does, but that’s how I found a copy. I’m pretty sure that’s where that image came from and the book is absolutely lovely. Some of the color combinations are quite striking, and nothing I would have ever thought of, but gorgeous nonetheless. I spent HOURS perusing that book. Even if you aren’t doing your house in a MCM style, it’s so beautiful and definitely worth checking-out. C. Eugene Moore also wrote “Interior Solutions from Armstrong the 1960s”, which is also lovely and worth a look, but it was the 1950’s one that really set my heart aflutter.

  2. Oh, another internet searching tip: check local real estate listings for houses built in the era you desire. There will be quite a few ‘dated’ homes that look as though they have been in a time capsule. Bonus: if the owners are moving, they may be interested in selling/giving their era-appropriate furnishing to you. Also, check your local estate sales (Craigslist, etc…).

  3. Wow, I have so much to say! I love your inspiration pics, and I totally get what you’re after… I love it! Then, thank you so muck for that free poster link!!!! I can’t wait to spend quite some time there! I love the posters you chose. And last but not least, I totally adore your dresser! It is so gorgeous!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see the space!

    • Thank you, Rocio! I’m glad you see where I’m going with things. Hopefully it will all turn out the way I’m seeing it in my head. 😉 I’m glad you like the dresser, too. I’m actually really proud of the way it turned out and hope to actually use it soon. Also, I hope you let me know what prints you choose from the vintage poster site. There are so many great ones!


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