A universe of stylish items bring a spacey vibe down to earth
By Kim Cook
Published: Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
Stars, moons and planets have long been inspiration for designers. For aficionados and anyone who appreciates the artistry to be found in astronomy, there is a galaxy of beautiful items for the home.
• Oscar Tusquets Blanca designed his Luna rug in 2010, and it's an amazingly realistic recreation of the moon in its waxing phase. (www.yliving.com, $2,580)
• Megan Lee in Tampa, Fla., makes ethereal prints of the planets that have a haunting, lovely quality. “In the past couple of years, I became extremely interested in astronomy, and wanted to pay tribute to our own solar system,” she says.
She hopes people will display the prints remembering “what we've discovered, and how much more we have to explore.” A grouping would be a wonderful feature wall, but even one of them would make a statement. Lee also offers a print of all the planets together. (www.meganleestudio.etsy.com )
• Artisan and designer Asher Israelow makes walnut tables inlaid with brass dots that map out the constellations. You supply a specific date and he researches what the sky looked like on that night, then makes a custom table depicting the star map. He's done them as wedding and birthday gifts. (www.asherisraelow.com)
• Another Brooklyn-based designer, Palo Samko, crafts tables out of claro walnut and blackened steel evoking the Northern Hemisphere sky map with Southern Cross detail. (www.palosamko.com)
• Urban Outfitters has a neat lamp stamped with a constellation that looks lovely when lit. Find here too a cool glow-in-the-dark moon clock that stays lit for half an hour after you turn off the switch — a great night light for a kids' room, it would also work well as an unexpected light for an entryway foyer. The retailer also has Los Angeles-based artist Claire Oring's Star Catcher wall art, a conceptual print of a young woman reaching up to grasp a handful of nebulae. (www.urbanoutfitters.com, constellation lamp, $49; moon clock, $49; Star Catcher, $39)
• Another neat clock features a mashup of 65 of astronomy photographer Norbert Rosing's moon photographs. It's also luminescent, for up to two hours. (www.coolstuffexpress.com, $32.97)
• Pillars of Creation, in Portland, Ore., offers a striking digital print featuring the phrase, “We Are All Made of Stars.” The words are composed of space images. The studio also offers an interesting pillow cover printed with Hubble telescope images of stars and galaxies. (www.esty.com/shop/pillarsofcreation, print, $18; pillow cover, $38)
• Bring the night sky indoors in a big way with an 8- or 12-foot glow-in-the-dark stencil kit, great for a media room. (www.coolstuffexpress.com, kit, $27.95)
• Artifactory has produced a conversation starter: When the Voyager 1 and 2 missions were launched, they carried golden records similar to LPs. Engraved into these were sounds and images from Earth, chosen by a NASA team led by cosmologist and astronomer Carl Sagan. Included on each disc was a detailed diagram giving the finder instructions on how to play it. Artifactory's 12-inch gold metal alloy replica comes mounted and ready to hang. (www.thespacestore.com, Night Sky stencil kit, $27.95; Voyager wall plaque, $149.)
Kim Cook is a staff writer for the Associated Press.
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