HANDMADE MODERN: Mid-Century Inspired Projects for Your Home

Todd Oldham, Author, Julia Szabo, With . Regan $19.95 (213p) ISBN 978-0-06-059125-0

Qualified do-it-yourselfers can go retro with enough projects by legendary designer Oldham to fill entire rooms. Taking inspiration from such mid-century designers and artists as Isamu Noguchi, George Nakeshima, Alexander Girard and Florence Knoll, Oldham revisits modernism in the new millennium. Bold, vibrant, unpretentious and suitable for small urban spaces, Oldham's pieces for the bedroom, living room and "reading room" play to function as well as form. Projects are rated for "ease level" on a scale of one to five, but readers unskilled in using jigsaws and sewing machines are left with rather unfulfilling tasks, such as a sand-art incense bowl or kaleidoscope art glass. However, those with the know-how and the right equipment in their tool boxes (Oldham suggests "mod podge" and a "respirator" as must-haves in any "basic" toolkit) can create an all-in-one room divider with "floating" boxes for storage space, an illuminated end table which is at once a display case and a light source, or a hand-quilted body pillow to go on top of a platform bed. Step-by-step photos illustrate techniques, and full-page pictures of finished rooms show how various pieces can be eye catchingly mixed and matched. Oldham is not out to create a revolutionary new aesthetic here, but is simply using elements of modernism that have endured—namely comfort, utility and visual panache. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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