Office Renovation
August 18, 2010 4:48 PM   Subscribe

I've a lovely office at work and I want to redecorate. The result should be a cross between a Victorian scholar's study and Captain Nemo's cabin. Suggestions and sources appreciated!
posted by alaaarm to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite will come in handy, I'm sure. Also, American Science & Surplus, especially their tools section, with a variety of magnifying lenses, compasses, and easily-decorated orb type things.
posted by Mizu at 5:10 PM on August 18, 2010

Because We Can did this. Because they could.
posted by gnutron at 5:27 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I give you: The Steampunk Home.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:27 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Definitely get a globe, either actual antique or historical reproduction. Getting a second celestial one would be pretty cool too.

And various cultural knicknacks, bonus points if they're from places you've actually been. My Secret Quonsar got me this awesome metal 40-year calendar thing from Ten Thousand Villages, which seems like a neat place to get random cultural decorative elements. The key here is going elegant and understated, because you could easily go overboard with these and have it look like a multicultural mess.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:33 PM on August 18, 2010

What is your price range? Check out Northeast Auctions, auction coming up this weekend, plenty of items in the $500 - $750 range. Eldred's also has items in the same price range.
posted by mlis at 6:38 PM on August 18, 2010

Response by poster: My price range is fairly modest, but I'm willing to splurge on a couple of showpiece items. No TJ Maxx stores here in Vancouver, I'm afraid.

Thanks for the tips so far -- they're very helpful!
posted by alaaarm at 6:44 PM on August 18, 2010

Search Craigslist for "curio cabinet". Enjoy.
posted by amtho at 7:01 PM on August 18, 2010

Some large potted plants, like an areca palm or rubber plant.
posted by martianna at 7:18 PM on August 18, 2010

TJ Maxx is the same as Winners in Canada. HomeSense is Winners' decorating arm. There are many of those in Vancouver.

Also, that office in gnutron's link? Every bit as awesome as it looks in the pictures.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:57 PM on August 18, 2010

Right away this made me think of designs from Myst, but I can't seem to find a suitable pic. Maybe you or someone else can.
posted by kch at 7:58 PM on August 18, 2010

I guess Captain Nemo had a submarine and not a boat-boat, but deck prisms always strike me as sort-of Victorian and exploration-y.

You can buy reproduction ones starting at about $15, and they're interesting conversation pieces.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 PM on August 18, 2010

Also excellent paperweights. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 PM on August 18, 2010

Just wanted to add sometimes the items at auction sell for much less than the estimates, down to $50 - $100 range.
posted by mlis at 10:51 PM on August 18, 2010

Best answer: Definitely head to HomeSense. They usually have lots of tchotchke type stuff that will fill the bill.

Appropriate items:
wingback chairs
oriental rugs
dark wood floors
lawyer bookcases
old framed maps and/or prints/etchings of exotic places
a large-ish antiquity (broken off marble column or statue - fake is fine)
umbrella stand and/or coat rack
use brass as your accent metal, not white metal
posted by deborah at 10:58 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

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