Lyn Peterson is a decorator, a general contractor – and an expert in steam-punk design.
She’s even got a catalog dedicated to the concept, strictly for designers and architects.
And she knows how to trace its history.
“It’s industrial style – an anachronistic technology,” she says. “It started 30 years ago with the early loss of factories in SoHo – all the spaces were first populated by artists.”
So warehouses, along with small manufacturing spaces like shirt-makers and printers, were turned into studios. They went from utilitarian to artist lofts with exposed brick walls and block window frames. And the fixtures and furnishings inside became hip.
“There were the Edison light bulbs with exposed filament,” she says. “All of a sudden they were expressing content.”
And Steam Punk was born – a bohemian style. Now it’s trickled down to suburbia – to black-iron, framed chairs.
And the enterprising Peterson saw an opportunity – and hopped on it with her Motif Design Catalog. “When I started to do curated collection to the trades, I went to manufacturers and said: ‘I want to select certain items for a catalog and send it out to the trade,’” she says.
After persevering, she was able to knock down a few doors. “I could get some of this and some of that, and I added a concierge service so if you’re looking for a 30-inch round table I can come back with options,” she says.
Her catalog contains about 500 items – chairs, beds, tables, mirrors, furnishings and light fixtures. “It’s a full spectrum and an edited collection,” she says. “There are many price points but always a good value.”
It’s all about utility and information, because she thinks the customers contained in her 2,000 national accounts want to be informed. “It’s a great tool for designers,” she says.
In a style that’s definitely all its own.
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