The Art of Darkness

Steampunk Decorating

May 15th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Steampunk LampWriter Richard Morgan was commissioned by the New York Times to write a piece on steampunk culture, which was then cut for reasons unknown. He’s put the article online, and it has some lovely ideas for adding steampunk elements to the home.

Her living room features a chemical flask as a vase, a brass steamship clock (a wedding gift), a three-foot-tall 1930s-era radio she found at a garage sale, an ornate brass lamp with red glass she bought at a bazaar in Istanbul, thick red velvet curtains, dark wood flooring, a dulcimer handmade by her husband’s grandfather and distressed Victorian floorlamps with frosted bowls. For a few dollars a pound, she scrounged a salvage yard for a sack of gears that she is using to replace the knobs on her bedside tables. Her bed itself is lit with a brass swing-arm lamp she bought at a thrift store for $10. Her pride and joy is a self-made sun jar in her kitchen, a shredded $6 solar light she put in a frosted hermetic jar to use as a nightlight (it charges during the day and glows at night).

I’ve long admired the steampunk ideal of “retro-futurism,” and love the vibe of mass-produced mixed with one-off craftsmanship. This piece has a lot of ideas for making simple design changes that have a big impact, such as replacing drawer knobs with old gears.

Link (via BoingBoing)

(Incidentally, the Times eventually ran its own piece on steampunk, which includes some interesting links.)

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