Victorian Organ Command Desk and Steampunk Home Tour

Jake Von Slatt seems to discover the coolest items in the world of Steampunk. Like this Victorian Organ Command Desk created by the people who run ModVic Home Restoration, Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum:

That’s a salvaged antique organ that has been turned into a computer desk. Amazing work from the Rosenbaums. This piece announces their offshoot company, Steampuffin, described by the Rosenbaums as “a website being developed that will offer unique ‘Steampunk’-inspired architectural salvage and antique items, project ideas and modified Steampunk Victorian modern appliances and inventions to high-end Steampunk enthusiasts, home restorers and designers.”

If that doesn’t get you excited, I simply don’t know what will.

But if you are like me and are thrilled to pieces at the sight of this Command Desk and remember my old post about the Rosenbaum’s Steampunk inspired home, you will be thrilled to know that they are opening it up for a pubic viewing on Sunday, May 2 from 1 to 4 PM. The house is in Sharon, MA, so if you live on the east coast (or your life will be incomplete without viewing this home) I sincerely recommend paying the paltry 20 dollars to see this house in person.

Advance order tickets can be purchased at the Museum, 16 High St. Sharon, MA 02067.  Checks should be made payable to the “Sharon Historical Society.” On the day of the tour, tickets will be available at all five of the homes, and at the Museum. You can call the Society at 781-784-9966 or Gary Sullivan at 617-974-1141 for more information.

A Steampunk Home

Designing an entire home around the Steampunk aesthetic can be both an artistic and financial challenge. Making today’s modern conveniences fit into a Neo-Victorian/Steampunk style is certainly a challenge. Jake von Slatt’s recent visit to an entirely Steampunk home is inspirational for any person considering redecorating their home or restoring an old home to its past beauty.

The following is just a few of the many photos of the house taken by von Slatt. You can see the entire compilation on von Slatt’s website.

*sigh* I wish I could tell you that these were all pictures of the inside of my house, but unfortunately, they are not. This house is expertly restored to reflect the Steampunk influence. I love it!

It is also worth mentioning that Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum, the people who own this house, run a home restoration business that focuses specifically on the Steampunk aesthetic!  ModVic was started in June of 2007 and they are very clearly amazing at their work. Just take a look at some of the restoration work they have done if you still harbor reason to doubt me.

Home Decor 101

Decorating a Steampunk House can certainly be a challenge. There’s a lot of cheap and poorly made materials which, if just thrown willy-nilly into a house can give the impression that Steampunk is a gaudy aesthetic, and we all know that simply isn’t true.

Steampunk isn’t about just going to Wal-mart and buying anything with brass or leather on it. As I stated in a previous post, I’m a big advocate for supporting artisans practicing their craft, and using their personal talents to equip a wardrobe and a home will be good both for presentation and the conscience. The numerous do-it-yourself tutorials are posted here in the hope that you will find use out of everyday items to reinvent your world into a Steampunk haven.

A few tips for Steampunk decorating:

  • Be conscious of the materials you are using, the more natural, the better. Think wood, brass, copper, leather and bronze. Try to purchase unique pieces rather than something mass produced. Places like Etsy, thrift stores, estate sales, and antique shops will help tremendously.
  • Consider revamping your wall decorations. Many family photos can be changed to black and white, or sepia tones with the click of a button in a good photo editing program to give them an older appearance. If you have the budget for it, there are many artists online that will paint portraits from your pictures. Here’s an example called Paint Your Life. Fair warning, though… I’ve had no personal experience with these guys, so don’t blame me if the picture turns out terrible. I do like that you only pay 20% up front and that you have the chance to review the artwork before it comes to your door, which hopefully avoids the previously stated problem.
  • Bug collections, skeletons from specimens, fossils, and astronomy charts are good ideas for a Steampunk presentation that focuses on the scientific aspects of Steampunk. Globes, old maps, and photos of exotic locations (in period, of course!) would be a great foundation for an exploration theme. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas and themes. How about a time travel theme? Or a Gothic Steampunk slant? Or a submarine theme inspired by Captain Nemo and the Nautilus? The nice thing about Steampunk is that the conventions are flexible and reward creativity.
  • Get exposed. Steampunk loves to explore how things work, so this is an excellent opportunity to expose the inter-workings of a gadget. Brass pipes under sinks and the gearwork on clocks are fashionable when a subculture is obsessed with how things work.

These a just a few tips to start those brains working. If you are seriously thinking about redecorating a room, or an entire house, I would highly recommend reading The Steampunk Home, a blog that focuses on Steampunk decorating. You’ll find all sorts of unique items there. Plus, all of the posts are nicely cataloged so that you can look through past posts if you need something specific. There’s so much good stuff here, you’d be positively mad to redecorate without consulting it!