Thursday, May 20, 2010

Home is Where the Steampunk Heart Is


I came home the other day after a morning at the restaurant, only to find that my husband decided to be proactive on the bathroom renovation we'd discussed by demo-ing my tub surround.  Now, there's a reason it was in the discussion stage, with the most important reason being that it is the ONLY bathroom in the whole house.  There are no pretty little powder rooms, nor is there a jacuzzi tucked away in the master, since there is NO master.  This is a 1200 square foot 1960's ranch, with no bells or whistles unless the girls manage to find the instruments I've hidden away. 

So, if we take our bathroom apart, we better be prepared to put in a new one quick.  Which brings us to the other reason I hadn't tackled the bathroom before this-- plumbing is not something I have a ton of experience with.  Neither does my husband.  Don't get me wrong.  We've done a ton of stuff around the house, and I'll happily lay the new tile and put in the new lighting and cabinets.  Even the plumbing fixtures and the toilet won't be a major issue, but I've got to admit the tub-thang is scaring me just a little.  Anyway, at least the current tub still works, and with the addition of several shower curtains, the shower is still usable as long as you don't mind being attacked by multiple swirling sheets of vinyl sticking to your naked body.  Yeah.  Needless to say, the bathroom reno has been bumped up on the to-do list. 

Now, it'd be incredibly tempting to steampunk my bathroom-- get an amazingly deep tub and all sorts of cool plumbing and lighting fixtures.  I'm amazed at just how much is already out there that could pass as steampunk in it's aesthetic value.  With classical yet modern designs being an easy way for homeowners to update their home without dating it, the selection is quite good.

One of the finest examples of steampunk incorporated into everyday life is the steampunk home of Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum of  ModVic Home Restoration in Sharon, MA. I've included several sites that have pictures, because it is truly that remarkable. Be sure to check out the 360 degree views available of some of the rooms here--

By blending natural elements, such as wood, copper, brass, and iron, with more decorative and whimsical touches reminiscent of the Victorian period, a steampunk feel starts to emerge.  If you keep in mind certain aspects of steampunk, such as exploration and technology, and blend it with the Victorian aspects of nature and discovery, you'll start to capture the feel of it. Personally, I love anything that looks like it would belong in a turn of the century apothecary.  Also, joints and moving parts, tend to be reminiscent of the mechanical and industrial aspect of steampunk. And though so much of it can be created if you're good with your hands and are so inclined, there is also a fair amount that can be readily purchased. 

Restoration Hardware has some great pieces if you can afford them.  This is a curious looking chair, and though it's not blatantly steampunk, it does remind me of a hot air balloon or dirigible. 

They also have these great looking gears.

And who can say no this knob from Anthropologie of a Kracken pulling down a ship, or this chronograph knob.  Love it!!

And though I'm not one for knick knacks, I can't resist this mechanical raven.
I must say I also have a soft spot for fixtures, since I think they always have such a huge impact on the aesthetic feel of a room. Conant Metal and Light have an amazing site loaded with original and reproduction lighting (amongst other cool and interesting things), like this carriage house harp light.  And once again, back to Restoration Hardware for this industrial double pulley pendant.

If you're at all interested in steampunk design for your home, then you must also check out The Steampunk Home blog.  They always find the most amazing things. 

As for my bathroom, I'm afraid I'll be limited to something basic and modern for my tub and surround, since I don't want any major plumbing issues.  However for the rest, I most certainly hope to steampunk the room, even if it is just a little.  I'll be sure to post pics if it's ever completed.


Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! Nothing worse than the attack of the swirling vinyl in the shower! Hope you can get it all fixed up soon.

Those are awesome photos and sites, Calista! Love the look of the kitchen and the gears always make me smile - love it!

Luce said...

Cali, these are such great photos, and I LOVE the idea of steampunk in the bathroom. Have as much fun as possible with the renovation!

Cali MacKay said...

Thanks guys! Glad you like the photos. There's so much out there, it's always so hard to pick and choose. I'm going to try posting more things as I come across them.

With luck, the bathroom renovation won't be too horrid. It'll be fairly neutral (with dark wood and travertine tile), though I think the fixtures will have a definite steampunk lean to them. I'll be sure to post pics when we get it done. : )

Anonymous said...

I am in love with the look of your blog!

Cali MacKay said...

Thanks so much, Amanda!! I'm flattered!

Anonymous said...

Nice pics. Now I want a steampunk bathroom.

Anonymous said...

That kitchen is to die for. I would love something like that for my home. Don't think it will fit my rambler, however. Maybe someday I will have an office I can totally punk out!

Cali MacKay said...

Medeia, you should go for it! At least a bathroom is a small enough room to start with. : )

Cat, I've got the same problem. Steampunking my 60's ranch just seems silly. That kitchen is most definitely gorgeous, though.

Michelle Scott said...

I just found your blog, and I'm glad I did. I loved this post so much that I blogged about it on my own blog. Hope you don't mind I used the picture, too! Now I know what my dream home should look like ; )

Cali MacKay said...

Michelle, I'm so glad you liked it! And thanks for the link! Awesome. : )