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Affordable & Modern Interior Design for the 100K House

by Chad Ludeman on January 21, 2009 · 21 comments

in Design,interior design

As we are nearing completion of the 100K House, we have started posting a bit on the interior design and furnishing of the home. Since we will be living in the house, we intend to make the house a model show home of sorts to walk prospective buyers through that may be interested in future projects prior to or during their construction.

This post has been a work in progress for a few weeks now, so forgive me if the formatting is not completely consistent. This list is intended to be a sort of wish list of furniture only that we would consider purchasing for the home. It is organized room by room and tries to focus on functionality, modern style and affordability.

We tried to get a few sustainable pieces in there as well, but currently we are a bit disappointed by what’s available. There is not a huge selection out there in sustainable furniture and what is available is often very pricey or not very appealing design wise. I could go on, but we’ll save that for another post.

Please peruse our list and feel free to offer other suggestions. We are very interested in your feedback on this post as we have already started sourcing some pieces for the home.

Living Room


Desire: Mid-Century Modern look and feel with legs. Convertible sleeper sofa for guests.

Blu Dot – One Night Stand Sleeper Sofa – $1799

We looked long and hard, and this is the best option to get a comfortable and inviting looking sofa with arms that converts into a bed. Having a sofa bed is important given the fact that we don’t have (or need) a guest room.

Coffee Table

Desire: Simple, wooden, clean lines, possible storage for magazines. Thrift store, salvage or craigslist find may be best.

Here is a possibly vintage boomerang coffee table listed online for only $150.

STRIND Coffee Table from IKEA – $139

IKEA has a couple of options including this guy that aren’t too bad. We like the idea of something non-square that has room for storage. Finding pieces with extra storage is going to be a common theme in this house.


Desire: Compact, comfortable, durable, classic.

OFFI – Perch Lounge $499

The wife and I are in love with this chair. It’s not at all cheap, but we just keep coming back to it. Between the molded plywood with a comfortable, yet simple covering to the beautifully integrated storage underneath – it seems to have everything we are both looking for in the perfect living room chair.

IKEA – Tobias Chair $99

This thing comes in clear also which could be cool. This is more of a dining room chair, but I really like the design. It passed the comfort test and there are a few more chairs in this price range we like from IKEA we’ll consider as well. A thrift store find could also take the place to add a bit more character into the room also.

IKEA Jakob Swivel Chair ($139) and Bernhard Chair ($119) could also work

pause stool from CB2 – $14.95

This is fun option for additional seating when one or two extra friends are around than seats. Folds up flat for easy storage in a closet when not in use. Recycled cardboard.


Desire: Mid-century or industrial style, legs, new or vintage, capable of holding A/V equipment

IANNONE – Signature 2.0 Dandelion Graphic Console $2,775

I absolutely love IANNONE Designs as they are local, modern and environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, we will most likely not be able to afford one of their pieces for some time. They ain’t cheap.

IKEA – PS Cabinet $99

I’ve always liked this basic high-school locker inspired cabinet from IKEA. It’s uber cheap too.

IKEA – Torsby Sideboard $299

In case we want to match our dining room table and the white cabinets in the kitchen there’s always this option.
IKEA Torsby Sideboard

Another option is this Open Source Storage unit that can be made with only $200 in materials

Side Table

Desired: Compact with storage, preferably wooden.

OFFI – Mag Table $169

Back to OFFI again. Not cheap, but beautiful, timeless and functional.


Desire: Capable of lighting most of the living room area without using overhead lighting. Appropriate scale for a compact living room area in an open floorplan.

Pablo – Umbrella Light $220
This baby reminds me of the Fortuny Lamp that retails for a cool $5K.

IKEA – Kulla Floor Lamp $89

Simple and fitting with what seems to be a black and white scheme developing in the downstairs. If the shade was oversized a bit more, I think I’d like it even more.

Bauhaus arc floor lamp from CB2 – $199

CB2 has a couple of floor lamps that we really like for $200. This arc lamp reminds us of the classic Arco lamp without the painful price tag. It comes in white as well.

Dining Room


Desire: Makes a statement without breaking the bank. Comfortable for guests, but not too comfortable.

Blu Dot – REAL GOOD Counter Stool $199

I liked the REAL GOOD chair from the day it came out. I have a soft spot for flat-packed furniture that reduces the impact of shipping. This one out of metal takes the idea to another level over most wooden flat-packed furniture. Coming from Blu Dot, you can’t beat the price and they offer a counter height model that we will need.

Dining Table

Desire: Sleek (metal/glass) or warm (reclaimed wood), one piece, rectangular or oval, seats 6.

I really like the matte black glass and steel table below from BoConcept. The only problem is the price for a seemingly simple table. We turned to IKEA to see if they had something similar and, lucky for us, they did. The table is very similar with the exception that the glass is frosted and not black. A carefully applied can of spray paint on the under side of the glass should do the trick and we’ll still have saved about $1,130.

BoConcept – Dining Table $1,339

IKEA – Torsby Dining Table $199

darjeeling dinging table from CB2 – $899

This option made from reclaimed railroad ties could add a bit of warmth to the back half of the ground floor. It’s not too cheap, but I really like it. CB2 had a few other 6-seaters that we like at more reasonable prices also.

Custom Scrap 2×4 dining table? – Mr. Darling $0

Another idea we are considering is having our master carpenter, Nic’s Dad, design and build us a unique dining room table out of scrap 2×4′s left over on the construction site. The end result could be poly’ed or painted with a high glass paint. We’ll have to see how Mr. Darling feels about this idea when he arrives next week…

Dining Chairs

Existing IKEA black rubber and steel tube chairs. Our current dining room chairs will have to do for now. They seem to be discontinued, so I’m having a hard time finding a good stock image. They are comfortable, stackable and will work nicely with the dining table chosen above. If we replace them in the future they could also work in the back yard or as guest chairs in the office.

We are also scouring craigslist for viable options to replace the current chairs. It really depends on the type of dining table we end up going with. I don’t mind mixing and matching used chairs for a dining table but the wife does not always agree. We’ll see how it plays out.



Desire: Minimal platform bed with integrated storage in the base.

MANDAL bed from IKEA – $349

This bed is the most economical option and with some paint over the cheap wood, it could look pretty sharp.

harmonica bed from CB2 – $799

A slightly classier version of the platform bed with storage is available at CB2 for just over double the IKEA model. No painting required though.


Desire: Low and wide, 6 or more drawers, simple aesthetic.

IANNONE – Green Mod: Wood Stripe Tall Dresser $3,995

Again, not cheap but beautiful. Check out his site for more furniture. I guarantee you will love it.

IKEA – Mandal 6-drawer chest $249

Guess which one we’ll be able to afford? The Mandal from IKEA gives us the 6 drawers that we need with some flair to the drawer fronts. I’m not crazy about the type of wood used on this model, but that could always be stained or painted to give it a different look.


This is a custom clothes storage option seen in a vintage clothing store in Old City. If we can clean up our closet enough, I’d like to recreate something similar with plumbing pipe and plywood.

Rocking Chair

Desire: Eames Molded Plastic Rocker. Period.

Eames Molded Plastic Rocker $449


Desire: Something that looks nice and keeps Nic and Chad’s blood from pooling in their limbs or requiring weekly full body massages to live. Our current IKEA chairs just aren’t cutting it…

Office Chairs

Herman Miller – Celle Chair $450

Wall Shelf

Desire: Maximum storage with minimal impact on the small office it will occupy.

Italic Shelf – Kadushin Open Design

This design of this shelf is available for free via a Creative Commons License. We could use the same plywood that will be used upstairs and send the files to our local CNC shop for fabrication. I think it would make an interesting piece in our office to store books, files and office supplies. We may even try to incorporate a dart board into one of the shelves openings if possible.


DIY Glass Whiteboard – $??

Here at Postgreen, we tend to use our tiny 2′ x 3′ whiteboard quite a bit. It’s normally in a completely full state that often hinders us from brainstorming more lousy to semi-brilliant ideas that may or may not ever go anywhere. We have been discussing the possibility of making our own huge glass whiteboard and are determined to make this happen when we move. We have a local glass shop that should be able to help us out or there is always the possibility of using a glass table top from IKEA. Either way, it should be considerably cheaping than buying one online.

Guest Chair(s)

We currently have eight of the dining chairs we will be holding onto, so that leaves two extra for the office and back yard to fight over. Also, my IKEA Jules molded plywood chair that is currently destroying my back on a daily basis will probably stay around for those guest that like added mobility in their seating.

IKEA Jules Swivel Chair FREE ($39)

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian Jewett January 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Re: the IANNONE Dandelion Console for $2,775

Try something white like Ikea PAX cabinets and have some vinyl graphics cut for you by your local discount sign shop.

2 lavardera January 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm

keep an eye on local used furniture dealer Boomerang for a used task chair:

3 Painting Contractor January 21, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I love all of your suggestions! Luckily, I found your blog right as we were beginning to design the interior of our home. Thanks to you, we saved a lot of money! Thanks for the helpful and money saving resource!

4 Jackson January 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Great suggestions. I like that rocker chair. I think I saw that on Its supposed to be really comfortable too. It would look great in my home office.

5 Andy January 22, 2009 at 9:20 am

Costco sells Herman Miller office chairs now. Check their website. You may get a better price there.

6 Josh January 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Where did you find the plans for that shelving unit?

7 Dan January 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm

For what you’re paying, that Celle chair is overkill.
If you’re spending any amount of time in it, the seat will actually encourage pressure points and pooling. There are better choices!

8 chad January 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Josh – The link is in the title of the shelf –

9 Creede January 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm

You have to email for the plans for the open source storage. I think the email address is in the comments on a post I did about it.

If that doesn’t work, use the contact form at GRM and I’ll send you my copy.

10 chad January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Dan – any suggestions on a better task chair?

11 lavardera January 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Hmmm, Chad I would stick to your choice of task chair. Dan has a lot of cheaper chairs obviously inspired by more expensive designs like the Aeron, but I don’t think I would trust any of them over the Celle. The seat and back surface of the Celle performs very comparably to a mesh chair. A poor copy mesh chair is more likely to create numb places on your legs than a well done chair from Miller.

12 midcentury furniture January 27, 2009 at 12:59 am

I like the style of harmonica bed, it looks comfortable and stylish..

13 Josh January 27, 2009 at 10:15 am

I took a look at the shelving plans, it is a really simple design. You do not need a CNC router to do it, just a handheld router with a pattern bit would do it. Any of your trim carpenters should be able to knock it out in a day. I will make a set sometime over the next couple of weeks and post my process.

14 Rob January 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I have been looking for furniture for my own house, a sofa and chair and a dining room set. And I came to the same basic conclusion that there are really no green affordable options.
That lead me to several options for getting the furniture that I needed. Ikea, craigslist (with me refinishing the piece as needed), used furniture/consignment shops (these are probably better in bigger cities) or me making something out of relatively cheap, and hopefully green materials.

I am still looking, but have mostly decided on going the used furniture route(as it seems to the be the cheapest and greenest) until I can afford exactly what I want, which is probably some sort of modern Stickley, well built, solid wood, enduring.

With that in mind, I love the idea of furniture from reclaimed construction waste. With a good designer and craftsman there are few limits to what could be built.

15 Diana February 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Might be an option for your dining room table. I bought the IKEA Torsby and returned it. OHIO design has nice custom tables and a reasonable price.

16 Sarah February 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Instead of a glass whiteboard try finding a place that will cut plexiglass for you, it’s not that expensive usually, I worked in a factory for a summer and helped implement some pretty awesome clear plexiglass dry erase boards (as well as some tinted ones too)

17 Matthew Jastremski May 3, 2009 at 10:11 pm

There is (or was?) a plastics shop on the north side of Vine between 12th and 13th, I once had them cut me some plexiglass and it came out perfect and was really cheap. Should be easier/safer to mount than a huge pane of glass. In front of a white wall or even painted white on the reverse side should work out great.

18 Ted May 5, 2009 at 8:26 am

But Plexi scratches very easily. Even using a sponge it gets lots of tiny scratches that make it look bad very quickly. Also, creating plexi is a less green process than glass.

19 Nanda May 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Looking for the plans for the Italic Shelf. Still couldn’t find it with the link posted above. Can anyone provide plans?

20 Bill Sabey May 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

click the little drop down below the picture of it at and you get a zip file of it.

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