1890's canvas covered flat top steamer trunk.


There's a tremendous power to naming ideas and concepts. If you have a word for something, you can think about it, you can agree or disagree with it.

Sarah Susanka, Creating the Not So Big House

Feydeau is basically eclectic, but that's a pretty general term. The blog Carolina Eclectic serves as a good exmaple of where Feydeau is in the eclectic design slipstream.

For a more concise term I'm using Steamtrunk where I earlier used "Egalitarian Craftsman" and "Gadget Craftsman". Steamtrunk is less pretentious and still adequate as a description of Feydeau's style. If you like the look of steamer trunks with the mixing of wood, canvas, brass and iron you'll probably also like the look of Feydeau.

Tenets of Steamtrunk

Over the course of planning and building Feydeau 1.0 I spent a lot of time trying to find a clear path of where I was heading. I came up with these four tenets which I could use to keep me on track. Without some kind of track it's too easy to get lost, waste time, and end up with a disjointed home.

  1. Conscious Choice
  2. Take a serious self reflective look at each aspect of our home, each object, no matter how small. Each item has to improve our lives. Once an item makes its case I can invest the time needed to fulfill its potential.

  3. Vanity has No Value
  4. We won't be building a McMansion.

  5. Beauty in Everyday Things
  6. The things we use everyday is where beauty and richness will be most often appreciated.

  7. Nature and Simple Lines
  8. American Craftsman is the base of Feydeau's design.

The Experiment

I consided Feydeau to be an experiment by definition since I wanted something unique. Plus I had little experience so pretty much everything would be an "experiment". So I assumed most everything would have to be redone. This would give me some expereince and the excuse to do pretty much anything. Experiments would also fit the diverse palette of materials I'd acquired from Craiglist, they actually forced experimentation.

I was very surpised that many experiments turned out very well. Only one large experiment, Kitchen Venetian plaster failed, and even that I did keep one wall. I kept saying "it's only temporary". But as things worked I put more effort in and temporary things became permanent. The entire project went much like a painting. I'd work on one component enough to bring it into focus and switch to another room or component. So all the rooms, all the components, came to completion together. By accident this helped pull all the rooms together in a uniforming style that wasn't defined until it was almost done.