Wherein we redecorate out humble abode YET again, turning it from a Moroccan grotto to a Firefly and steampunk-inspired dwelling.

Butterscotch walls with faux tile around all the burnt orange doorframes, strong tones of cobalt, teal and red as accent

So you get the general flavor of the change, here’s a picture of the living room before.

We spent hours on this back in 2006, especially the area of the door frames, with the faux tile put on square by square with paint.

Chinese/Oriental influence readily apparent.

And now, a little different, right?

A much cleaner look. The skeleton clock has the exposed gears of steampunk mode. On the cabinet is a set of magnifying glasses with butterflies, very much in the Victorian tradition. The new coffee table is an old steam trunk we found at a thrift store for FIVE DOLLARS. Filled with stuff we sold at a yard sale and paid for it multiple times over. The Chinese cabinet is incredible; it comes from an Asheville antique store on Swannanoa Road. Here’s a few closeups of the detail:

It seems to be all hand carved and inlaid. The gilt trim looks original. Eventually our new TV will go in here, along with the entertainment equipment.

Here's one panel close up

Incredible. The Cabana Boy and I both fell in love as soon as we saw this.

Continuing the steampunk mode, we transformed our kitchen clock:

From this sweet little fruit and floral creation in the kitchen


A Robot Chicken??

The kitchen, previous to this, was a sweet, outdoorsy look with plants hanging everywhere, bright colored flowers in pots screwed to the wall, and this mural:

We’d seen a black/brown/white version of this figure on the interior walls of a hotel in Akron, Ohio, that used to be an old Quaker Oats silo back in the day. Since I don’t do black and white, as a rule, of course, we had to make it color!

The ceiling was replaced (long overdue!) with wood panels, making it look like a shipboard hallway. So we decided on a travel layout.

Postcards from all over, including a moose just for B!

Maps from around the world and beyond, as you see the travel poster for Canton. Don’t you want to go to the crappy town where Jayne is a hero?? Or maybe Bellerophon?

An old record player and antique table picked up for less than $20 apiece complete that wall.

Then to the right, where we’ve traditionally had a mural, whether it was Mexican bean pickers at the cantina, a copy of the Oceans graphic from EPCOT or several others, we’ve gone completely different:

Since we entertain in the kitchen so often, we installed a seating area for guests to be comfortable over their coffee. The lamp is amazing, a huge blue ball with tan decoration. Something you might find in Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, home of the ugly lamps. But here it just seemed to work.

We spruced up a number of pieces we already had to match. Even the office got a spruce-up:

I love these blinds. They’re less dense than they look in the photo, and you can see the trees outside through them, even when they’re closed. But when they’re open, we have the whole outdoors practically inside with us!

All in all, several coats of paint, several antique shop runs, garage sales, and the best lessons from the HGTV fix-it-up shows, brought us a whole new look, much less cluttered, for less than $1,000, with the ceiling and the cabinet taking up most of that.

We continue to keep an eye out for Chinoiserie and Firefly memorabilia to add; picked some up at the Can’t Stop the Serenity event in Pittsburgh this month. Shiny, right?

For more information and some great examples of steampunk decor, check out The Steampunk Workshop, The Steampunk Home, and info at Suite 101.

8 thoughts on “Steampunkery!

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  1. Wow, what a differnce! Looks like you guys really worked hard to make a great change. Maybe I’ll get to PA someday to see in the flesh.

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