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Science Fiction Home Furnishings

Earlier this week I was working on a list of science fiction-inspired furniture when I became distracted by a number of creative science fiction quilts. When I returned to the matter at hand, I found quite a few ways to take your home "out of this world."

1. TARDIS Murphy Bed

An unnamed craftsman in New Zealand built a very special bed for his son. By day, it’s a life-size TARDIS (the time machine from Doctor Who) disguised as a police box. By night, it’s a fold-down bed! It has a working police light, pulsing LEDs, and a talking telephone. It made news when it went up for sale at Trade Me, but for one reason or another it didn't sell.

2. Y-wing Elevated Bed

Another home-crafted project that has been lost to time is this elevated Y-wing Bed, like those of the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars. It was spotted in a real estate listing a couple of years ago that has since been deleted, so we may never know who actually built it.

3. Millennium Falcon Bed

Kayla Kromer, who gained fame for the Hamburger Bed, also designed and built the Millennium Falcon Bed. It is a one-of-a-kind. Image by Heather Leah Kennedy.

4. and 5. AT-AT Beds

Instructables member BykManDan says he is not a carpenter, yet his constructed this AT-AT Imperial Walker loft bed for his son and captured the imagination and envy of Star Wars fans worldwide.

Jonathon used the same idea for his son's bunk bed, but made his AT-AT (seen in the film The Empire Strikes Back) a three-level bunk bed! You can see more details at YouTube. The child presumably has no trouble getting friends to sleep over.

6. Shuttle Bed

Custom space beds are wonderful, but if you don't have the skills or time, you can buy a Space Shuttle Bunk Bed. It has the NASA decals, but more closely resembles a shuttlecraft from the original Star Trek series.

7. Captain Kirk's Chair

The one piece of furniture that will most make you feel like part of another world is Captain Kirk's Chair (NYT link). And even better, you'll be in total control of that world! There were once several outlets that sold replicas of the original captain's chair, including Hammacher Schlemmer, but all seem to have discontinued the item. However, if you take a good look, you'll see that the various captain's chairs used in the different Star Trek series and movies often resemble high quality but readily available office chairs modified to sit on a stable base, such as this one used by Captain Picard in several movies. Image by Susan Seubert for The New York Times.

8. The Galactic Throne

The Galactic Throne from Tom Spina Designs puts you in control, whether you're the Emperor, Darth Vader, or some other evil overlord in a spaceship. Or just a person watching them in your home theater.

9. H. R. Giger Furniture

If you are looking for furniture that evokes the creepiness of the movie Alien, you are in luck, because the Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger,who designed the alien queen, also does furniture. However, you will have to contact the his agent for prices, so don't expect a bargain.

10. Alien Table

There was a company that made tables and chairs incorporating the Alien queen a few years back, but the manufacturer seem to have disappeared.

11. Predator Table

However, you can find a glass top table held up by the alien from the Predator movies. Pro Mech Racing has them in several styles.

12. Han Solo Table

R-9 Studios brings us the Han Solo in Carbonite Coffee Table as well as the Millennium Falcon Coffee Table. Your guests probably already know your favorite films, but they'll still be impressed one way or another.

See also: Gifts for the Geek Home and 10 Ways to Game Up Your Home.

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Live Smarter
Your Dresser Is a Serious Tipping Hazard. Here's How to Fix It
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iStock

When it comes to household safety, we’re used to potentially hazardous items being clearly labeled. Hair dryers come with warnings not to use them in the shower; volatile cleaning products implore us not to drink them. But some of the most significant items carrying actual mortality rates are largely ignored: common living room or bedroom furniture.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 30,000 people were treated in emergency rooms from 2014 to 2016 as a result of furniture tipping over on them. Children are at particular risk of being injured or worse when they attempt to climb a dresser or TV stand. As Consumer Reports points out, these items do not have to conform to any universal manufacturing standard and can easily become unstable regardless of their weight, cost, the child’s weight, or other variables. Injuries are also seen when children tug on the furniture or attempt to climb inside the drawers. Since dressers are often in a child's bedroom where they can play unsupervised, the potential for an accident is high.

In testing performed by Consumer Reports, no one brand or style stood out as being inherently safer than the others. So what can consumers do?

An illustration of a child climbing a dresser
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One easy solution is to avoid putting televisions on top of these dressers, since they pose a high risk of falling on top of a child when the dresser is moved. More importantly, child safety advocacy groups advise that adults use anchoring systems for furniture in danger of tipping over. These kits are available via mail order or in retail stores and come with straps that are connected between the furniture and two wall brackets. If weight is applied to the front of the dresser, the straps will keep it from falling over.

Some furniture comes with these kits, or with L-shaped angle brackets. Both are effective, but included straps can often be plastic that degrades over time—they should be nylon or steel. If not, you should opt for a third-party kit.

Advocacy groups have found that a lot of consumers are either unaware these kits exist or find them difficult to install. But it's a relatively easy procedure so long as you secure the anchor into a wall stud and not into drywall, where it will be too loose to stand up to a weight-bearing load. For brick or masonry walls, it’s best to hire a professional. If you’re renting and have been told not to drill into the wall, consult your landlord—it’s likely they’ll agree to waive any restrictions to make for a safer living space.

[h/t NPR]

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Courtesy of Studio Segers
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Design
These Unique Benches Are Made From Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bags
Courtesy of Studio Segers
Courtesy of Studio Segers

When sent to a landfill, some plastic waste will sit there for centuries before breaking down. The Belgian design firm Studio Segers has found an alternative use for the plastic containers some people throw away by re-purposing them into innovative outdoor seating. This modular bench spotted by design milk is made from used yogurt cups, butter tubs, and plastic bags and is 100 percent recyclable.

Commissioned by the recycling company ECO-oh!, the H-bench consists of slender, plastic components. They come with or without backrests and are available in dark gray, medium gray, light gray, pastel green, pastel blue, and beige. Snap three of them together and you have a chair. Keep adding pieces to build a snug love-seat or a bench long enough to fit a crowd.

Recycled bench.
Courtesy of Studio Segers

The seat is designed to be customized to suit the user’s taste. Chair backs can face one way or alternating directions; the bench can feature multi-colored stripes or a uniform shade; one side can have seat backs while the opposite end is built for laying down.

The makers didn’t skimp on quality to make their product sustainable: The H-bench is made from plastics called polyolefins, which means it's durable enough to stay strong and vibrant even in harsh outdoor conditions. Get a closer look at the smart design in the video below.

[h/t design milk]

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