Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Minimalist Steampunk?

There's a design style called minimalism that is based on an the philosophy of removing extraneous things -- too many objects, colors, details -- in order to have a calm and simple house where everything is well thought out and carefully placed -- or removed.

To a certain extent I agree with it -- I do believe that less is more, and better is better -- that you should focus on winnowing out the things that don't bring you pleasure every time you look at them, and be willing to slowly build a home that reflects your style and values, without all the extraneous goods pushed on us by the relentless pressures of our consumer society.

So the question is: Can you have a minimalist steampunk home?

I ran across this old Anderson Windows ad yesterday, shortly after reading Zen Habit's Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home, which started me down this road.

It's a pretty minimalistic steampunk (with a lean towards the Gothic) room. It's obviously designed to show off the window (lovely, indeed), but I think there's a lesson here as to what works. Small amounts of beautiful furniture, sparse accent pieces, along with "good bones" like the window can evoke a style without having to go overboard.

While ruminating on this, I was reminded of this picture of Jake Von Slatt's monitor & keyboard -- the pieces of craftsmanship are left mostly alone to garner attention.

Then I was reminded of Mr. Watter's Steampunk Dorm Room, which manages to do a lot with very little.

The styles that steampunk inherits from are generally not minimal, but the wonderful artwork and objects that are being created in the steampunk style deserve to be highlighted, on their own -- imagine a Klockwerks clock sitting in the center of the mantel, with not much else around it; a mad scientist light alone on a side table, garnering admiring glances and comments from guests; a Datamancer keyboard sitting on a clean desk, bringing you pleasure every time you use it or look at it.

So what do you think? Is minimalist steampunk a possibility or an intrinsic oxymoron?


Unknown said...

I love the steampunk life, but I also embrase minimalistic style. I have a hard time combining the two, so... I really haven't tried. Mostly, my house looks like a workshop! The ideas you've come across and thought of are good - I'm going to try them.


william malo said...

kinda nice to find something putting minimalism and steampunk together, I would actually define my style as minimalist steampunk. But I've never seen it before.


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