Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mr Watters' Steampunk Dorm Room

So you think your home is too modern to be steampunk -- no molding, no wood floors? (I know I often do...) How can you get that steampunk vibe when you're not starting with a Victorian house? Well, sure a Victorian infrastructure would help, but as this photo set by Mr. Sam Watters shows us, *any* room can become steampunk -- even a generic institutional dorm room.

The Study

The Cafe and Mantel

Sam says:

I wanted my room this year to take on a victorian/steampunk feel this year, and began to acquire various elements at flea markets and antique fairs. I was planning on a victorian filigree wall stencil, but the administration is cracking down on painting this year. The solution came in the form of some decorative, pre-stained moulding strips and a nice fabric for kind of a framed wallpaper effect.

I like the "necessity breeds invention" solution of framing Victorian fabric. It's a great way to get the rich feel of a Victorian home -- all molding and ornate wallpaper -- without it costing too much (or overwhelming a small room). The "zoning" of his room into a study, a cafe, and a bedroom is also quite clever.

There are 4 more pictures in the flickr photo set.

Now, I have to throw in a few of my ideas into the mix.

The Bedroom -- or it could it be the Parlor?

First, the part of the room with the bed in it, with it's great gold framed portrait, would make a great "parlor." With the addition of a couple of bolsters -- a long one across the length, one on the foot, one at the head, and a nice comforter (preferably red!) -- you'd have a day bed worthy of esteemed guests. (Links are to Target, but I've seen plenty of small pillows and comforters at thrift shops and stores like Ross that would suit a student's budget. Or make a duvet cover with the same fabric that is framed.)

Second, I'd like to see more "young scientist" influence. Victorian by itself is lovely, but I think steampunk is both broader (encompassing art deco and art nouveau) and more specific (focusing on science, technology and fantasy). Mr Watter may not need a pair of goggles hanging on a hook, or have a babbage engine in the corner, but a brass weather station would be a nice touch. Or he could expand on the explorer theme he's started with the maps and globe and add in an airship -- a model or a poster (print your own) -- and a compass (or raygun!). And don't forget a clock! How could it be steampunk without a clock? How about making one out of bike gears?

Thank you Mr Watters, for sharing. (Even if you didn't ask for the brainstorming.... please take no offense at my suggestions, I think your room is lovely as it is.)

(and thank you, Tinkergirl, for sending Sam this way)

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