Our 1951 midcentury modest man cave

mid century modern basement family room

That’s my boy Astro asleep in our basement family room — I captured him in this awkward and hilarious pose yesterday morning, so here’s a glimpse into our “man cave.” We don’t have knotty pine, but there is cherry wood panelling original to 1951, when our coolonial was built.

This room was the first one that we attacked when we moved in, nine years ago. We spend a ton of time here, as it holds the TV, so it needed to be super warm and cozy. When we bought it, it was freeeezing and claustrophobic. I’ll do a full-blown tour someday soon. But for this silly Saturday snippet, the highlights of our basement renovation included: 

  • Gold plush carpeting that is as close to harvest gold as I could find at the time…
  • A mid-century wrap-around sofa sectional, which I found at an estate sale. It originally had that awesome nubbly gold lamee upholstery — but it was all wrecked and reeking of cigarettes. This upholstery is a chenille in “antique red,” which ties to other colonial decor in the room. Also, I want to point out that middle of the sofa points straight at the TV. This is Very Good and Practical  TV placement, if you ask me…
  • The lamps are vintage 1950s Stangl, bought when we owned the 1912 Colonial Revival house in Michigan. Clues to our future…
  • The green club chair is 1975 Ethan Allen, in perfect shape, the perfect size, and super duper comfy…
  • Pinch pleats, I had made from Waverly fabric…
  • There’s also a gas fireplace on the wall opposite the window…
  • Gosh, there’s a lot more. Yup: Every single feature and accessory is carefully curated — I am a decorating woman!

A perfect man cave? Yup! DH loves the room. And it’s pretty clear that Astro — the other man of the house — does, too. I think a video may be called for.

  1. Charlotte says:

    This looks so inviting for TV-watching and general lazing. Some mid-century decor I see is so over-the-top that the rooms end up looking more like a museum than part of a livable home. Yours, however, is MCM done right – comfy, cozy, and well-curated.

  2. Debra in TX says:

    Yes! Video, please. 🙂 I love this room, particularly the paneling. What a cozy and inviting space. Astro is just the right accessory.

    Our 1962 home has a big ol’ den full of hardwood paneling…painted WHITE! 🙁 Grr. I will restore it to its honey-toned glory someday.

    1. pam kueber says:

      yes, they are very cool, too. I realized as I posted this funny photo, that literally every single element in the room was carefully found – or sent to me by the retro decorating gods!

  3. Dave says:

    That sofa is beautiful. The low back helps to visually elongate it and make it appear longer. Very nice and comfortable looking den.

  4. cynthia says:

    yes, colonial or “early american” were very popular into the 60s. we tend to forget that mid century style was not just “modern” but also included traditional, colonial, and neo-classical trends.

  5. Edwin says:

    What a great picture! Cracks me up how the dogs will do that every once in awhile!

    The room looks cozy indeed – wish I weren’t up yet and was sprawled out like Astro still this Saturday morning.

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