Botanical prints from the 1800s are all the rage right now. They have rich colors and exquisite detailing. Plus, they're usually very affordable. Framing multiple prints is a great way to cover a wall. I'm particularly drawn to those with black backgrounds.
I am seriously wowed by ceramicist Heather Knight's collection of pieces inspired by botanical forms and marine life. Her work reflects the details you might see under a microscope. These are called Scallop Bowls, and you can see the shape of this creature clearly defined. I love the ocean-colored glaze too. I could happily find a home for her entire collection.
When I was a child, I remember a family friend who had a vast museum-worthy collection of butterflies. I was stunned by how beautiful these creatures were up close. I would never have a real butterfly framed, but these paper versions, made from vintage magazines, are a lovely alternative.
Moving on to geology, these coasters look like slices of stone. They're actually ceramic tile, but the effect is quite spectacular.
If you're a geology fan, these pieces of meteorite, which apparently fell to earth 4,000 years ago, will pique your interest. Whether you'd recognize them as objects from space or not, they make great mini sculptures. Be sure to check that any samples are legally obtained, as these are.
We've all seen maps used as wallpaper, but blackout maps bring a new twist to an old favorite. Rendered in blue or black so that streets and other details stand out, I think these are a wonderful fusion of modern and vintage. No doubt these will soon be as popular as the ubiquitous black bus signs.
If you're into stargazing, you need one of these. A telescope does the same thing for a room as a grand piano. It tells visitors that this is no ordinary home — no TV dinners here, only great conversation and exciting company.
Space travel itself had a huge influence on interior design. The Satellite Chandelier was inspired by Sputnik, which was launched in 1957. There are numerous designs based on this shape, but this one is still my favorite.
Geometry is, of course, a fundamental aspect of interior design. Every few seasons, geometric shapes make another comeback and appear on everything from bed linens to vases. For more enduring style, how about these early 20th century wood blocks used for teaching geometry in schools?
Phrenology is the study of the brain, and phrenologist heads have been a big hit in recent years. This one by Roost is a particular favorite. The butterfly motif softens the look and makes it a pretty talking point for any mantelpiece.
These vintage lab stools would add scientific cool to a kitchen. I can imagine them complementing open shelves made with reclaimed wood and a display of medicine bottles. What a great way to encourage culinary experiments.
These jar pendant lights look like they came from a chemistry lab, and they would look great in the kitchen — perhaps over a scrubbed wood table?
Moving on again, this time from chemistry to biology. This chandelier looks like clustered cells. It has sparkle and form, and I imagine it would cast an other-worldly light on any dining table.
And now, on to medicine. Did you know that Charles and Ray Eames perfected the molded plywood technique (the one that led to their iconic chairs) by making WWII splints? A few of these splints have been made available for purchase, and Eames fans are displaying them as wall art and sculpture. These splints are not for the faint-hearted, but they do make a striking display.
Leaping forward to today, think about the influence that computer science has had on design. Well, that is probably the subject of another ideabook entirely, but I'll leave you with these pillows that are designed to resemble a pixelated image. Pixels are to design today what atoms were in the Atomic Age: a source of inspiration and wonder and a vital part of popular culture.
More: Science Meets Design
More: Science Meets Design