Help me time-warp my home office into something amazing.
August 7, 2012 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Help me time-warp my home office into something amazing.

My wife and I just saw Moonrise Kingdom last night and I can't stop thinking about how amazing the early 60's set design and props were. It's made me really want to totally revamp my home office into an early 60's replica. I'm imagining a steel-case desk & chair would be a good start, but I want to really do it accurately down to every last detail. Since my "office" is just one medium sized room, the task doesn't seem too daunting but how do I get the ideas? Should I just look for old magazines from the time period I want to mimic? Better Homes and Gardens mags from the 60's? Or would I be better off hiring some kind of actual interior designer?

I guess making my LCD monitor, desk phone & Laptop fit with the theme will be difficult too (just thought of that)

Any suggestions or help would be great!
posted by Hellafiles to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First you find a dial telephone. Then you look for a CRT monitor. Then you wonder if nostalgia is worthwhile.
posted by Cranberry at 12:53 PM on August 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: How creative, thanks! I'm not worried about how 'worthwhile' it is really. Just looking to have some fun with the room I'm trapped in for 10 hours a day. I find decor from that era soothing, so thought it might help reduce some stress too. :)
posted by Hellafiles at 12:58 PM on August 7, 2012

Telephone is easy I think as long as you just need a basic phone - they make plenty of modern vintage inspired touchtone phones from that era.

Monitor you could probably hide in some fashion if your desk is against a wall. On the other hand, I guess most desks were free mid room them=/ Either inside of a cabinet that you open would work, or wall mounted under a large box frame with a slim print in front that where the frame sits on fancy cabinet hinges to swing up or out. Or, actually, just frame the monitor and make a classic 60's print or something your screensaver. Make sure to get a nice keyboard tray under the desk that hides any keyboard/mouse behind a fake drawer. I guess you could put a nice freestanding desk in the middle of the office, and this set up in a smaller wall-situated secretary desk.

Only thought for the laptop is to set it up in a nice laptop dock inside of a cabinet linked to previously mentioned monitor/keyboard/mouse. If you have a desktop as well you would probably need to conceal a KVM switch inside the desk somewhere for easy access to switch between the two.

Also, decoration wise, I have a soft spot for wood & possible leather danish modern pieces from that era, although that may not be the aesthetic look you are intending.
posted by McSwaggers at 1:02 PM on August 7, 2012

Response by poster: Awesome suggestions McSwaggers!! Thank you for the post! I'm torn between the wood / leather and the steel :)
posted by Hellafiles at 1:09 PM on August 7, 2012

Whoa, just saw these - USB Keyboard Typewriters
posted by McSwaggers at 1:20 PM on August 7, 2012 [5 favorites]

If you have Netflix or another streaming service, there are 5 seasons of Mad Men waiting for you with loads of office decor ideas. Based on their recurring themes, I'd say you need a bar cart and a very rumpled loveseat.
posted by bcwinters at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2012

You could get a CRT or typewriter for the looks and store your flat screen in a cabinet like the built in spice rack seen at the bottom of the July 19, 2011 post here. Depending on your wall's framing you could get a decent sized screen in there.

2 Surprising sources for retro styled goodness:

Government surplus auctions or sales held on military bases. I bought a 60s looking knockoff office chair for $3 a few years ago and a $1 Aeron type chair last year (the $1 was slightly broken but still 100% usable)

Companies or restaurants going out of business: I know someone who is semi-stalking a restaurant in my area that has beautiful custom leather club chairs in hopes the place either redecorates or goes out of business. My friend has no need for these chairs. It's not a bad idea. 10 years ago, she bought 12 very sturdy wooden chairs for $10 each when a restaurant up the road closed down. (I think she gave away 4 of them the next day since she only needed 8 at the time)
posted by jaimystery at 6:54 PM on August 7, 2012

Re: phone, I saw one of these on woot! a week or so ago, if you have an iPhone.
posted by smirkette at 11:25 PM on August 7, 2012

I love that old steelcase furniture, and it shouldn't be too hard to find. Mount your monitor inside the shell of one of the candy-colored Macs, or an old tv. Car-painting shops can do a great job with metal filing cabinets; go for aqua or another retro color. There's a Goodwill outlet not too far from me; office furniture shows up pretty often.
posted by theora55 at 9:56 PM on August 8, 2012

Check out Retro Renovation - lots of inspiration there.
posted by jocelmeow at 12:29 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

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