Let’s be honest. I’m addicted to automobiles.
And anything related to automobiles.
Except oil and grime.
And gas prices.
Because I think it’s safe to assume we all hate those (especially my Euro friends who have to pay by the litre!).
So this morning when an email popped up from a company with close ties to the big orange bridge just north of San Fran, I couldn’t help but not delete it. I told you I couldn’t resist.
I was pleasantly surprised.
As we all know, industrial and Steampunk are all the rage. I knew what one was but it wasn’t until I spent a little time on Etsy that I figured out the other. And aside from the random goggles and Victorian garb made of metal, I’m all for it. Steampunk that is. But this isn’t Steampunk. This is more industrial meets automotive chic. Are you sufficiently confused yet? That’s what I get for writing at 12:30 am the morning of a long weekend vacation with the in-laws. At least there is no spelling typos. Yet.
So anyway, that hard part about using industrial components in an interior scheme is that it can start to feel a little overused. A little too “normal”. Look at the explosion we’ll call the Edison lamp. One restaurant in the back alleys of Portland attaches one to their bar and the next thing you know, half of the United States has lamps with carbon filaments. You get the point.
The point is that it’s generally tough to make an industrial inspired interior stand out from the others. Unless you’re a picker on TLC and wander into some guy’s barn with 100 year old signage. And a turbine.
Which is why I’m smitten by the Golden Gate Furniture Company.
The skinny is this – in 1993 a signifigant portion of the pedestrian handrail from the Golden Gate Bridge was replaced. 56 years of sea and salt had done its damage. Upon hearing (via radio no less) that the contractor chosen by the transportation department had not determined the end all for the removed sections, Richard Bulan (the founder and a Bay Area native) determined that a section needed to become his headboard. However, considering each section was nearly 12 feet in length, he ended up with not one, but four pieces of automotive art with a historical provenance. A long story made short, friends wanted one too and the Golden Gate Furniture Company was born.
But what I really dig is that Bulan has left the historical integrity of the removed steel sections intact. Rivets are left in place. Random details are utilized. And although the original finish has all but deteriorated, he continues to paint his furniture pieces in the original International Orange using the same methods and techniques used in 1937.
GGFC has a number of pieces, most notably the headboards that started it all, but my favorites are easily the tables. The occasional table is a monster of an accent with three very hefty legs and a 3/4″ glass top. My ultimate favorite? The club table with the super thick Claro walnut top. It’s a supreme blend of industrial meets mother nature. I guess you could say it’s a fabulous compliment considering Mother Nature is exactly where this whole thing was started.
And before I forget, every piece is limited and once the supply of steel has run out, that’s it.
Alright… I think it’s bed time. Or time to pack. Not sure which.
Golden Gate Furniture Company | www.ggbfurniture.com
If you’re interested in purchasing any of the items featured on the DCoop Sourcebook, shoot us an email.
DCoop was not compensated for this post. At least, no section of pedestrian railing has shown up at my house as of July 27th.