MCM Popular Mechanics Part 2: Bigger Remodeling Projects

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We continue mining the homemade mid-century modern treasures of the 1961 “Home Handyman” series by Popular Mechanics.¬† Last week we covered how to build the sleekest chairs, sofas and boomerang tables (plus a space age dog house!). This week, we stick with indoor projects.

For loft dwellers, room dividers are a constant obsession. And who doesn’t have something in their house that needs to be screened off from view? But the prices of those things! All the tips you need to build your own are here, just double click to see full size.

“Instead of considering an old-fashioned brick fireplace a problem when remodeling and modernizing a home, make it an eye-catching center of attraction…”

But if done right, brick can coordinate with wood or cement to create a Swedish look:

Note that with the 2nd fireplace idea shown above, you can combine a fireplace and a room divider, which is a great time saver.

They show you how to create a basement rec room, while I dream of my living room looking like this!

We should note that the houses that sprung up because of the Baby Boom were much smaller than what has been built since the mid-1980s. Whereas contemporary homes consider a refinished basement a way to get an optional¬† level, back in the ’50s and ’60s, they had to finish the basements to make a place to stash the older kids.

Note the chairs that Marge and Olwen sit in for a game of Canasta in the basement. It’s interesting to note that today’s mid-century modern fascination is among the younger generations, while back in the day, all generations pretty much accepted modern design as a daily routine. Which is why those of us raised in an ugly post-modern world covet this time period – it was the last era when everything was supposed to be beautiful all the time.

1 thought on “MCM Popular Mechanics Part 2: Bigger Remodeling Projects

  1. Few things are more deeply underrated than the remodeled basement rumpus room/rathskellar. It is the very definition of “multi-purpose”, yet for some unknown reason, cannot be listed as a true “room” when listing your house? Bah!

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