I believe that Steampunk is more than just brass and watchparts. It's finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetic pleasing yet still punkish way. It's living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It's taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things. Join me as I search for items for my house that combine the scientific romanticism of the Victorians with our real present and imagined future.
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, December 19, 2008
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
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
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
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
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?
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.
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
Panoramas of The Edison
More of the Edison Bar
Interview with Andrew Meieran of the Edison Bar
Edison Bar Analyzed
Monday, November 3, 2008
Puzzling Home Design
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.