Thursday, July 5, 2007

Edison Bar Analyzed

I've been looking at the pictures of the Edison Bar since TinkerGirl posted them on BrassGoggles recently. I think this is the most complete example of steampunk decor I've seen anywhere, and there's a lot of ideas to use.

Let's remember that good design has a tension that is created via juxtaposition, and I'd like to point out a few ways the Edison Bar's design team achieved that juxtaposition. I'm referencing pictures in the order they are embedded in the flickr slide show above. All images are by David Bullock (eecue).

  • An (assumed to be) hand painted mural greets you as you walk into this extremely industrial setting. (#1)
  • In picture 2, you get a real feel for the juxtapositions. You "see" a industrial basement. You "feel" a Victorian library.
  • Concrete floors -- scored and stained -- and then topped with oriental rugs. (Most easily seen in the 6th picture above, the dance floor.)
  • Shiny metallic tiles in the entry way (silver) and lavatories (copper) which contrasts with the decidedly rusty metal of the various engines and generators. (Picture 1 -- entry and 10 -- bathroom)
  • Dainty "Curly-Que" wrought iron tables offset by both blocky ottomans and the heavy weight of the pressure tank. (Picture 11)
  • Sinuous, organic lines of the banquette seats in photos 3 & 12 contrast with the hard edges and straight lines of the walls and floors.
  • The modern bathroom sink in picture 10 echos the turbine in 3 & 12 -- the same lines, just in contrasting materials
  • Space framing and defining using curtains, concrete columns, and rugs. (Can't you see it in an urban loft?)
  • There's a great end table idea in picture #6: use "equipment" -- these I date from the 1950s or 1960s -- with glass tabletops (easily found at thrift stores).

    If you picked it up, turned it over, and shook it out very little would be Victorian -- the Victorian feel is achieved entirely in the furnishings, but in very few of the built in features. (Good news for those of us who do not live in Victorian houses!) The space is industrial, modern, gritty. The warmth and comfort comes from the furniture, the fabrics, the rugs. This is an interesting answer to something I've been struggling with -- how do you decorate "steampunk" without having your home look like a Victorian knockoff?

    There are additional pictures on the Edison Bar's website (choose "Visual Tour") as well as here, here, and here.

    Readers, what else do you see that you'd be able to use in your home?
  • 1 comment:

    daysease said...

    Wow, I would love to go there myself and see it all for myself. So interesting. Everything is lends to the FEEL of the place. Where is the Edison Bar located?


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