The Victorian Furniture Company

Long time readers will know that earlier this year, I moved from Dallas, Texas to Seattle Washington with naught but two suitcases and a plane ticket. Everything that couldn’t fit in those cases had to be sold or donated, so it should be of little surprise that when I did finally land my own (gorgeous) apartment, it was, um, kind of empty.

Not that that’s a problem. I don’t mind sitting on cushions on the floor, but I feel bad for expecting my guests to be cool with it too. It’s definitely not the comfiest seating arrangement possible.

I’ve been looking for furniture for my living room that’s both well-made and sufficiently retro to fit with the aesthetic of my home. And it hasn’t been easy. Most vintage and retro furniture that’s around nowadays isn’t from the right time period or is exorbitantly expensive and found at antique stores. Look, I love antiques just as much as the next retrofuturist, but if a 2,000 dollar couch needs re-stuffing and reupholstering before I can think of using it for what it was intended, I’m going to hesitate before I shell out for it.

Fortunately, I recently discovered the Victorian Furniture Company, a website dealing in reproduction home furnishings. They have a lot of really beautiful offerings that are customizable with regards to finishes and fabrics, so you’ll get exactly what you need/want for the room you’re redesigning, or in my case, furnishing for the first time. Head on over and check out their designs.

I particularly like that they list where all their woods come from, so you won’t have to wonder where it’s coming from. All their wood selections come from the USA, and they even denote what state in the drop-down selections. Neat!

New York Steampunk Apartment

Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely love living in Seattle. It’s a town that has so many unique and special qualities and people that I seriously can’t think of anywhere else I’d like to live. And that’s saying something, because I’ve been to and seen a lot of places around the world. Seattle’s charms have me completely enamored.

But, if by some crazy series of events involving my disenchantment with Seattle and falling into more money than I could ever imagine what to do with, an impressive Steampunk inspired apartment for precisely that occasion has come up for sale in New York City.

Recently posted to Yahoo Real Estate, this two bedroom, two bath condo is a gorgeous visual representation of Steampunk in the modern home decor, but at well over 1.5 million, is not quite within the typical Steampunk’s price range. Gorgeous, and unfortunately prefabricated. There’s not much room in the condo for the DIY spirit when everything has already been done for you.

The Victorian Trading Co

There’s a website I recently discovered that is sure to be of interest for Steampunks looking to outfit their abodes with a Victorian flair.  The Victorian Trading Company has all manner of goods inspired by Victoiriana.

The Victorian Trading Co was started in 1987 by Melissa and Randy Rolston in Dallas, Texas and now operates as a small company based out of Lenexa, Kansas outside of Kansas City.

From antique reproductions and fashion to outdoor living and accessories, The Victorian Trading Company is a great resource for finding items to match your Steampunk decor.  They even have free e-cards for you Steampunks wanting to send a message to your equally steamy friends. You can check them out here.

Custom Wood Clocks

We’ve all seen a Steampunked clock or two, but today’s piece gets extra points for cool because almost the entire thing is made from wood, gears and all.

Hand crafted by Gary Johnson of Custom Wood Clocks this time piece would be an impressive addition to any home. If you are looking spend a few thousand on a custom clock, be sure to check out Mr. Johnson’s portfolio. You can purchase one of his current stock or request a custom order by getting in touch with him via Custom Made.

And when you’re finished browsing Custom Wood Clocks, be sure to check out the rest of Custom Made, a website dedicated to connecting buyers with individual makers, with a particular focus on fine custom home furnishings and personalized items with the skilled artisans who create them. It’s like Etsy, but focused more on home decor, which is awesome, as I always found Etsy lacking in this regard.

Custom Made has two shopping options: either shop in the ReadyNow store or browse their galleries to team up with a local custom maker and design your next Steampunk project from scratch.

Gear Clocks

If there’s one thing that’s true about Steampunks, it’s true that we, as a subculture, love to stick gears on just about anything. It makes absolutely no difference whether said gears serve any sort of purpose; the more gears, the better.

An easy transition from gears is to the item in which we usually find them: clocks. Many an antique clock has been destroyed for its innards to be repurposed into fancy Steampunk gear. The Steampunk fascination with gears and other whirligigs found within an antique clocks is one of the main reasons why Clockpunk is often viewed as a subset of Steampunk.

And when the two are recombined, it makes for some excellent Steampunk decorating opportunities. The mainstream is catching on to our obsession for clocks and gears. When I was looking around for a new housewarming piece for my home in Seattle, I found this gear clock:

And this one:

And this one:

Wow. I honestly don’t know what to think of this. That’s a lot of different results for essentially the same thing. On the plus side, buying these would cover a lot of blank wall space with some Steampunk goodness that is pretty much on the mark with respect to the Steampunk aesthetic.

Bear Chair

What do you do if you passed a six legged grizzly bear in 1865?

You shoot it, make it into a chair, and give it to the president.

The photo above in in equal parts bizarre and sad. While it wasn’t actually a six legged grizzly, but the components of two different bears, that still doesn’t stop this char from bring completely bizarre, and totally real. It was given to President Andrew Jackson on September 8, 1865 by a hunter by the name of Seth Kinman.

That’s Seth above sitting in the chair. He looks everything like what you might expect a professional hunter to look. Apparently he also made a fiddle out of the skull of his favorite mule and gave it to Abraham Lincoln. Weird.

And we wonder why so much of our wildlife is on the verge of extinction. Fortunately, this sort of taxidermic decorating has been regulated to the history books, but it’s still really weird to look at.

Spare Parts

As I was flipping through the New York Times the other day, I happened across an ad in the paper for their online store. The historian in me always finds their offerings of interest, but this time, I saw an old timey print that’s sure to fit in with the decor of any Steampunk’s home.

That’s one of two prints of spare parts for the Jacquard looms at the Scalamandre silk mill in Long Island City, Queens, in July of 2004. Both are visually impressive and sufficiently steamy for anyone hoping to add a bit of vintage flair to their walls. The prints are of exhibition quality, printed on the highest quality fiber-based Hahnemuehle archival paper that has been tested to withstand normal home lighting conditions for more than 100 years.

Both Spare Parts images can be purchased at the New York Times Store.