Googie style speaker shelves


I became fascinated by Googie architecture and style last March when I made my Jetson’s wall clock. It was only recently that I discovered there is a name for this retro style: Googie. Today it is considered a part of the mid-century modern style.

I really love the playfulness and optimism it embodies with its outrageous use of non-parallel lines, atomic energy themes, arrows, boomerangs, and other discordant shapes and colors.

Last month I bought a new set of surround-sound speakers for my home theater set-up and decided I wanted to make wall-mounted shelves for the three front speakers to sit on. My first idea was to make them look like sconces, but instead decided to just have some fun with shapes!

Naturally, I expect to hear a few grumbles from people who do not approve of this style and prefer to stick with traditional furnishings. Perfectly understandable, but I hope you will take two things from this project: 1) Don’t be afraid to experiment with styles. 2) Color can make a room cheerful.

If by chance, you would like to play around with some Googie themes, here are some templates I created that you can experiment with:


  1. Steve, you’re married, right? My wife would kick my butt from pillar to post if I even suggested putting that in our living room. Maybe in the kids rooms. I like it,it’s sort of “Disney like”. you need to do something with the wires, it is the future after all.

  2. I made the Jetson’s style clock for my home office. I like this style. But where can I get a copy of the 1950’s style t.v. pattern that you are using?

  3. My wife would certainly mention the wires, hanging down from the speakers, and force me to drill holes to get them out of sight. Her sight of course.

  4. Steve, love the googie videos – makes me want to get a dog and name him Astro! Looking at the speaker shelves it occurred to me that it might be interesting to use some plastic compatible silver spray paint on the speaker wires and stretch them tight to make them look similar to the antennae.

  5. All that modernistic styling, and that poor Googie TV only can show a test pattern.

    What happened? Watching a government TV station during the Government Shutdown?

  6. The style, through not my style, is certainly fun to look at and enjoy. Your enthusiasm is contagious. And what can be taken from this is spot on.

  7. The best message from these videos is that through your own Woodworking you do not need to conform to the styles and forms of expression imposed upon most of society by commercial mass production.

    If you want a Googie style entertainment center. Go for it. Build it. Not only can you build it yourself, but it will probably be less expensive than a crappy generic entertainment center purchased at Crappola Furniture Mart.

    As I see it. Steve is doing what HE likes, and I applaud him for it, whether I personally would choose the same style or not. Steve’s efforts should serve as an inspiration for everyone to build for themselves exactly the style of furnishings that make yourself happy. After all, it’s you that will be looking at your furnishings the most.

    I hope more people metaphorically piss on mass produced generic furniture and make their own with whatever style suits them.

    Maybe not just metaphorically… but literally too.

  8. Wow. Each single piece is ugly and yet they look so awesome together! Great design! Instead of hiding the wires, you could expose them even more by using some wide laths decorated with fluorescent paint, luminous fabrics, LED strips or sth.


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