Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Minister's Treehouse

Deborah sent me a note saying this oddity called the Minister's Treehouse -- an understatement if I've ever heard one -- is about as Steampunk as you can get using only wood. (For the record, I have no problem with "only wood steampunk.")

It's like a haunted Victorian manse.... only built around a tree. Maybe it's the tree that haunts it?

If you want to visit, it's in Crossville, Tennessee.

Pics via Oddity Central.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mechanical Iris Peephole

Maker Chris Schaie has created this wonderful irising peephole for his workshop -- and yours too!

Chris says "It was created via a long discussion thread on brassgoggles (Due credit goes to Robo Von Bismark on said forum for the design inspiration) and a lot of trial and error." He's also working to "create a full sized door incorporating this design for [Bruce Rosenbaum's] upcoming 20,000 leagues exhibition in Foxboro."

It's available at Maker's Market for $385.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jen's Steamy DIY Dining Room

Allison sent me to this dining room about an hour before Jen (of the infamous Cake Wrecks), the creator, dropped me a line.

I love the details the most:

These are handmade buttons -- from pennies! Jen has a whole post about how she made them. I love how they look.

She steampunked a gumball machine with bronze and aged copper paint, and filled it with ceramic number balls (I have the corresponding letter balls, but no place nearly as neat to put them...).

Do you like how the light reflects through the glass onto the ceiling? I sure do.

I had to laugh at these drawer pulls -- I've been searching around for a "bin pull + label" handle for a while, and have only found one, which wasn't quite right. Jen just used her existing bin pulls and added label holders meant for scrapbooking -- 5 for $3! The labels themselves with their spidery writing are with a free font called Schoon.

Good job, Jen. Definitely send us an update if you ever settle on the perfect chandelier...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alchemist's Chamber at the Baltimore Symphony Decorator's Showhouse

My friend Kara sent me this link from Pigtown Design -- it looks like steampunk has made another showhouse fundraiser -- this on in Baltimore. (By my count that's 3 -- San Francisco and Philadephia.)

This one is by McLain Wiesand, a custom furniture builder and restorer.

Baltimore Sun BSO article

6-8 015

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Art Donovan's Newest Creations

Art is a longtime favorite here at The Steampunk Home, and it's been a while since we've seen a new piece from him (he's been too busy curating the steampunk exhibit at Oxford, among other things...) Luckily for us that dry spell is over.

Pictured above is the Oxford Station Wall Lamp. It's my favorite of the new pieces -- I love how it combines Art Deco lines, an long Edison bulb with such a large glass shade that reminds me of early surgical operating rooms (for some reason...)

This is the Ferryman Reading + Research Lamp.

Art says: "Captain Nemo had a tremendous library on board his vessel, the "Nautilus".
What the good Captain didn't have was a proper reading lamp."

Like the one your grandmother uses with her sewing. Only much, much cooler.

This one has a neat "flame in globe" bulb -- as if you were an alchemist experimenting with catching fire. Eventually Edison would beat you to it, though...

Thanks for sharing, Art!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lenard does not refer to any figures connected with a branch called art

Lenard's Ferronneria is full of fantastic pieces. My Polish is lacking, so we'll rely on what he says about his work:

La Ferronneria that is Machinecreating. This is a third generation of retransformed machineries known from somewhere else. These subjects have a fictitious function and their author endows them with a compulsive-obsessive syndrome. These mechanisms are made of nobly ageing metal with a discreet contribution of mirrors, electric current, and with intangible participation of models stylized in a retro way.

The whole art is influenced by Hertz formulas, Brewster angle, Kardan shafts, Oldham clutch, Junghans watches and other great creators.
Spiritual patronage is exercised by rabbi Löwa ben Becalel. However, the author does not refer to any figures connected with a branch called art.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cranked-up Comfort -- can you get any more mainstream than this?

My in-laws pointed me to the article "Cranked-up comfort" in the Houston Chronicle this weekend:

We’ll take our wood unvarnished, finished only by time and years of hard use. We’ll take our metal unpolished, its strength trumping shine. Giant gears of metal or wood become wall art or table tops. Factory carts roll into family rooms as coffee tables.

The look wears many names — industrial chic, rough luxe, Belgian modern — for the rugged materials that pair with refined natural materials such as linen and leather on comfy, inviting sofas and chairs.

It's about mass retailers and designers adopting what we call steampunk:

Sarah Kammlah of Fredericksburg, a designer with the Carol Hicks Bolton collection for E.J. Victor (, calls her twist on the look “steam punk.” “It’s like you took Matrix and Age of Innocence and mashed them together.” Her recipe for a post-industrial look: mix one part Victorian, one part industrial and a twist of punk.

(If you call it that, you must be reading this blog, right? So dish, Sarah Kammlah, and send us some pictures!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playroom Reading Nook -- Corners of my Home

The blog originated as a place for me to collect ideas and images for my own home, but I've been oddly reticent to share what I've done in my own home (18 month renovation and counting!). When you spend so much time looking at pictures of work by professionals -- designers, photographers, artists -- you get to a point where yours will never measure up. (And let's not mention the work to get a home "photo ready.") I thought what I'd do instead is share "corners" -- small bits of my home that I'm especially proud of.

This is the reading nook in the (new) upstairs playroom (we built on 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a playroom over our garage). The steampunklet and I sit here for bedtime stories... It's also a great place to web surf when she's playing. (Another step backwards and you would see the lincoln logs that are just out of the picture... :) )

The sconces are repurposed old fire alarms that my father in law gave us. I asked designer Roni Koltuniak how I could use them -- she suggested using them as sconces and arranged to have one of her tradesmen drill the holes that cast such awesome shadows (she also had a big hand with the paint color choices, which I discovered I'm not very good at!).

Here's a peek into the bathroom -- it's panelled in red and picks up the sconces and the chair. (Please ignore the temporary blinds!)

I'm pretty frugal, as you'll see from this list...

The red chair is from a local Salvation Army Thrift Store -- I forget if I paid $50 or $75 for it. The brass reading lamp is likewise from a thrift store, so long ago I've forgotten how much I paid for it. The side table is from Urban Outfitters for $60. It's still available. The clock is by Timeworks, found on One King's Lane for $49. The jewelry case is thrifted. The black wooden skull I picked up on a visit to Chichen Itza, I think it was $15. Goggles were a gift from the steampunklet for Christmas, from Restoration Hardware. If you can't live without a fire alarm of your own, there's one at Urban Remains Chicago for $695!

The bathroom tile is basic white subway tile by American Olean from Lowe's. (Laying it in a herringbone pattern is what makes it look luxe!) The red paint on the bathroom panelling is Benjamin Moore Heritage Red. (I'll do a post on the bathroom once it's "picture perfect.")

The ceiling fan is Lowe’s Harbor Breeze 74” Twin Breeze. The walls are painted Woodruff by Laura Ashley Home (also from Lowe's). The trim is Valspar Lincoln Cottage Black (Lowe's again -- see a trend?) I can't track down exactly what model the carpet is, but it's a Stainmaster carpet with very subtle Victorian swirls in it.

What do you think? I love it! It reminds me very much of the minimalist steampunk post I did a couple of years ago -- the lack of clutter seems especially approriate for a playroom, which has plenty of it's own stuff to go around.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cecelie Starin at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase

Cecelie Starin's PR person contacted me after one too many people called Starin's room in the San Francisco Decorator Showcase "steampunk."

The San Francisco Showcase house room is a bit too much on the "exotic" -- it's OK if it has a lot of safari or natural history style, but that zebra rug and all the horns are a bit much for me -- but it has some very redeeming qualities.

Like this chandelier:

Or this bookshelf:
Did you catch the Gothic touch in the choice of books?

I decided her style was more "traditional, with steampunkesque accessories." I looked through the rest of Starin's portfolio and found some other examples that I liked.

Muted, with map.

The color scheme is set by the globes, picked up by the books and the chair.

I love her use of maps and globes (I'm a bit globe-obsessed right now...). I think these rooms are a great example of how many rooms can be steampunk'd with the addition of some great art and knick knacks -- although I do think it helps to start with a more traditional or old fashioned style.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Halo Styles

I was impressed by this random display in the Piedmont Triad airport. It's from a company called Halo Styles, and they fashioned the entire display case to resemble one of their trunks.

Love the parasols for filling in vertical space.

Corny, but I liked the resemblance to a trunk.

Sorry for the crappy pictures -- all I had was a camera phone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


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