Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best of 2008

Welcome to 2009! I thought I'd take a moment to recap the best of last year.

The best, by all counts -- page visits, comments, referrals -- was Holly Black's Hidden Library.

My favorite part of the year was discovering artists like Art Donovan and Eric Freitas.

"Minimalist Steampunk?" was thought provoking and picked up by a number of other bloggers.

Let's not forget the Lost New York Times Steampunk Feature, which, among other things made me blush.

What was your favorite post of 2008?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Garden of Decay

Garden of Decay is a self published book of industrial decay and abandoned buildings that is captivating.

Be sure to click through for a mosaic of their images (including an abandoned Gothic church...)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Showtime House

Have you seen the Showtime House? Sponsored by Metropolitan Home, each room was designed with a different Showtime TV show in mind.

The most steampunk is The Tudors Living Room. The era isn't Victorian, but it has a lot of design elements in common with steampunk -- antiques, brass surrounding the fireplace, and industrial inspired lighting.

The Dexter Dining Room is not at all steampunk, but is incredibly creative and over the top, in a very macabre way.

Also, don't miss the book tower in the Californication Study.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thomas Hamel

Reader Natália and I are both fans of Desire To Inspire. (In fact, this is my 2nd find from them this month! Oops!) DTI recently spotlighted Australian designer Thomas Hamel.

This is a designer who loves books --I think this is the only bedroom I've seen with glass fronted bookshelves in it. I love the medieval map (Ben guessed Canterbury) set into the wall and framed with molding.

I'm not sure what the framed print is here (anyone else?), but you could have fun Photoshopping an old Scientific American print to get a similar affect.

I love the symmetry here -- the bookcase is centered at the end of a long hall, with the light extending the vertical line -- and the touches of the exotic in the Chinese seat and wicker chest under the window.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Copper Kitchen

I ran across this kitchen at a Home Depot Expo in Fairfax County, Virginia a while back and was taken by all the shiny bright copper.

The copper really stands out against a black granite backsplash and counters.

The sink might be a bit much -- I think it would be impossible to keep this shiny. You can find some quite reasonably priced antiqued copper bathroom sinks, however.

The $6,000 copper hood by Abbaka Trading Company.

Closeup of the copper tile border.

The border and accent tiles featured old fashioned botanicals.

The entire kitchen might be a bit more than you would do in a "real" kitchen, but I think the idea of warm wood, copper accent tiles (You can find a variety of copper tiles with a quick Google search.), and black counters is really striking. A more "country" look would be to combine copper with white counters and backsplash.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Explorer's Bathroom

Since I seem to be on a bathroom kick, how about this one for the steampunk explorer? The key to this look is to use a large scale map print so it's not overwhelmingly busy.

via MyHomeIdeas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Steampunk Tub

Perhaps you don't want a steampunk shower... how about a tub instead? This one is from the home of Liz Lambert, who I know as a cool-as-anything Texas hotelier (her first project is the Hotel San Jose here in Austin). The large exposed copper pipes, the rusty feet, the Victorian tub add up to a nice mix of steam and punk.

Picture from Marie Claire Maison.

(Sorry for the sparse posting recently -- Christmas and a sick steampunklet is about all I can manage right now!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Steampunk Shower

I just came across this shower on Desire to Inspire. I don't know anything about it other than the picture was taken by Morris Moreno, but how incredible. First, you've got the Victorian/Industrial tension between the cement shower "box" and the claw foot tub. Add in copper piping, decorative gauges, and a porthole -- wonderful!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm making a list...

It's that time of year again, when bloggers find themselves "Makin' a list, checking it twice..." I surely hope you've been both naughty and nice.

For the steampunklet in your life -- or just to display -- are "A Young Mad Scientist's First Alphabet Blocks." G is for goggles, of course. $40 by Xylocopa.

A perfect hostess gift is this "amber" soap, complete with bug. $6 by amandalouise at Etsy.

I also was charmed by steampunk correspondence cards by whatkatyhad, also at Etsy. The airship one is sold out, but the Fantastical Sea Adventure is still available.

You may remember Steve Thomas' Vintage Space travel posters -- he also has a calendar which would usher in the new year in a very stylish way.

I've got two more lists I'll post in the coming week... watch for a DIY list and a books list!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Smith & Mills

Smith & Mills is a TriBeCa bar & restaurant designed by John McCormick. I've never been, but it looks pretty wonderful, with blueprints on the walls and industrial pieces combined with soft banquette seating.

It's ...the sort of place where a 1920s Eastern European factory worker could blow off some steam after a hard day hammering steel.

Inside the non-marked spot, you'll find a diminutive den of working-class touches: male staffers in basic blue workman's jackets, ladies in factory dresses (so unsexy they're sexy) and shelves lined with antique dishes, cans and mason jars. Meanwhile, low-lit Edison bulbs create a moody, amber vibe you can soak up from one of the faded lime banquettes as you sip vintage cocktails (Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, Negronis). In the bathroom—a onetime elevator shaft—you'll use a train car sink that empties manually (it'll be just like that summer you spent in Dresden). (UrbanDaddy)

serves classy cocktails of the Hoover regime to women with vintage handbags and men who’ve cultivated the facial hair of silent-movie villains. The bar itself is tiny, but so low-lit you’ll hardly notice how small it is. Shadows and 30-watt Edison bulbs are complicit in helping to create a dramatic atmosphere, though the space has plenty of narrative to begin with: Smith and Mills is in a 200-year-old building that once housed a coffee roaster, a seafarers’ inn and a horse stable. The current decor is remarkable, from the drainpipe mirrors behind the bar to the ship blueprints that adorn the walls to the bathroom, which is actually a vintage elevator. Everything seems rusty, which lends Smith and Mills a blue-collar, proletariat feel. (PaperMag)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fun things....

Keith sent me a link to this campaign furniture champagne bucket (for chilling your champagne when you are on safari, I presume). Part of a larger set of campaign furniture at Sporting Wood.
And Steampunk Angel mentioned this log roller: transform your newspapers into firelogs through the extraneous machinations of this mechanical device.

She also pointed us to this useful Art Nouveau font for free download.

Fun things, all.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gonzalo Álvarez -- Mueblos Raros

Gonzalo Álvarez is an artist that works in a variety of mediums, but I was taken with his clocks and furniture. (Have I mentioned my philosophy on clocks in a steampunk home? Clocks -- along with lights -- are where you should indulge in the steamiest creation you can make or find -- there are plenty of options out there, and they will make a statement.)

The interior gears are cut from wood.

Oh so airship pirate, no?

He uses this clever hinged drawer in other pieces as well.

Thanks to Juanan for pointing this out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dark Wood, Industrial Antiques, Science and Leather -- What more could you want?

Laurel sent me a link to this home tour at Country Living.

It's a wonderful collection of modern and new, industrial and science. Not distinctly steampunk, but with oh so many of the elements we like.

It's interesting how much grey they use through this house -- a very modern neutral, but the blue in the grey provides a lot of contrast for the yellows in the antique browns.

I love how she has succulents tucked in all over the place. (I'll get around to sharing my terrarium of succulents here soon...)

This is an old seed packet display -- but it's almost a wunderkabinet now!

The plants in the tall glass cloches add a lot of height to her table...

These are old French mail bins. (Also, I've seen a similar surveyor's lamp at Target recently...)

Industrial antique table and stool, leather chair, dark wood... sigh.

See the whole tour here. Photos by Don Freeman

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wire Cage Lights

If you've spent any time at RadioGuy's website, these will look familiar.

At $1000 and up, I suspect you could dig some out of your grandfather's shop or find them at a flea market and rewire them yourself.

From Rewire via ReModelista

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"Moulin Rouge" Furniture

The furniture is by Coach House Furniture at the Harvest Moon Company.

The line includes black velvet upholstered pieces...
And a black bookcase...

via Apartment Therapy, from Tamara, whose fascinating blog Anima Tarot finds Tarot symbols in all sorts of art, architecture, and nature.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Edison Electric Light.

Robert Williams sent me a link to this sign that has been making the rounds... Roadside Blog has it in a couple of sizes to download.

I see it framed and displayed next to a push-button light switch (although a turn-key switch would be even better...)

Originally from NextNature.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sharpie Art Library

Diana Peterfreund recently reminded me of this DIY library, created by amateur artist (lawyer by day) Charlie Kratzer with nothing more than a Sharpie Marker and a incredible amount of imagination and persistence.

Look carefully in this basement o' dreams and you'll see a drawing of the Kratzers' upstairs library — with Claude Monet, the greatest of the Impressionists, at the doorway. It's a tribute to Monet, but it's also a way of living with cultural influences: Kratzer and his wife, Deb, don't just keep them within book covers or admire them in museums. Their Picasso spends each day close to their pinball machine. Agatha Christie's shrewd little Belgian detective and his carefully pruned mustache hover over the deck door.

There are both The Walrus and the Carpenter (from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There), and William Shakespeare. The Marx Brothers peer around a corner. A flip-top garbage can is transformed via marker art into Star Wars' plucky little beeper R2D2.

The article and a 360 degree panorama is at the Lexington Herald Leader.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Puzzling Home Design

So you hire an architect to design your home. It's built, you move in. Four months later your son is having a sleepover and his friend discovers that the radiator grill has a ciphered message addressed to the son.... and the game begins.

The house -- actually a 5th Avenue apartent in New York City -- was designed by architect Eric Clough for a family of 6. After the father requested a poem he had written be hidden somewhere in the house, Clough went on a puzzle building spree intended to "spark a child's mind."

In any case, the finale involved, in part, removing decorative door knockers from two hallway panels, which fit together to make a crank, which in turn opened hidden panels in a credenza in the dining room, which displayed multiple keys and keyholes, which, when the correct ones were used, yielded drawers containing acrylic letters and a table-size cloth imprinted with the beginnings of a crossword puzzle, the answers to which led to one of the rectangular panels lining the tiny den, which concealed a chamfered magnetic cube, which could be used to open the 24 remaining panels, revealing, in large type, the poem written by Mr. Klinsky.

Read about the whole thing here, with many pictures at the New York Times.

Hat tip to Malsperanza, commenting on Holly Black's LiveJournal.


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