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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thankfully, the Steampunk aesthetic is not one of those looks you can find when you open up a home decorating magazine where everything is already prescribed. Steampunk home design and decor, like all aspects of Steampunk, is about incorporating one’s personal Steampunk aesthetic into the unifying look and personal preference for the aesthetic balance of Steam and Punk.
There are many bits and pieces that have been created to assist with the achievement of a particular look. If you aren’t an interior designer, but looking to do some remodeling, though, it can be somewhat difficult finding a place to start.
Fortunately, there is Kitchen Sync to the rescue. This blog by Kelly Morisseau, a CMKBD (Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer), and a CID (Certified Interior Designer) features some of the best in kitchen and bathroom designs. There’s lots of good stuff here on its own, but what makes Kitchen Sync special is that every Sunday she does a series called Steampunk Sundays.
Check out her latest post on various plumbing pieces to get an idea for what to expect from her posts.
So, if you’re thinking about redoing a room or an entire house into your version of the Steampunk aesthetic, do drop by the Kitchen Sync on Sundays for some great inspiration. Who knows, you might even find that perfect piece to complete the look you’ve been trying to achieve.
I’m always hunting for interesting pieces for those Steampunks out there who love the culture so much that they want to furnish their homes entirely with the Steampunk aesthetic. Finding the perfect blend of Victoriana and post-apocalyptic industrial beauty is something of a challenge. Thankfully, our look doesn’t come prepackaged from Rooms to Go, so its up to individual Steampunk artists to create furniture and decor that would suit the Steampunk home.
Mati Karmin is one of Estonia’s best sculptors and is crafting positively incredible pieces that are sure to please any Steampunk created from the hollowed out containers of old Soviet deep-see mines between the 1940’s and 50s. So, while the time period of the material places this is the Dieselpunk area, the look of these creations could easily fit into a Steampunk setting.
That’s a fireplace that’s sure to bring a touch of the apocalypse a la Victoriana to any living room.
And here’s an aquarium and a patio swing. It’s truly incredible what Mr. Karmin has been able to do with the remains of weapons of war. He’s recycled them into something peaceful and beautiful, and totally fitting for a Steampunk home!
To see more of Mr. Karmin’s incredible work, please visit his website and take a look at the full line of mine furniture.
The Instructables community has done it again! In a seemingly endless stream of Steampunk inspired projects, we have a new lesson on creating Mini Steampunk Lamps. This is an excellent project if you are wishing to add a bit more of a Steampunk flair into your home, but don’t have a budget for a full make over.
I’m not a fan of the excessive advertising that has found its way into Instructables (seriously, though, those put ups from the bottom of the screen that I get on occasion are hella annoying) but fortunately all of the information you will need to make your new lamp is there for the taking.
To get this project rolling, you will need:
- Various small copper pieces
- small LED
- small coated wire
- A small lamp shade
- hot glue
- tissue paper
For the full instructions for creating your lamp, please click here. Don’t forget that with a little creativity and modifications, you can make larger scale lamps as well.