Ring in the steampunk decor to pimp up your home

Posted by Nelson Torphy on January 19, 2019

A steampunk composition in your interiors works the best when the furniture, accessories and lighting are in harmony with the decor pieces and the palette. An easy to achieve DIY style, steampunk has some tacit rules to get the perfect look. Choosing among the muted neutral shades of brown, cream, dark red, black and dark green, metallic colors or color combinations of the said tones, as per the room, works really well.

Old refurbished furniture is a proven way to add oodles of special charm to any home. If you wish to create a steampunk style at home, it is better not to buy new furniture unless it is specific to the Victorian era. Although variations are available, all pieces of quintessential steampunk furniture boast of a rather raw, rough edge typical to the industrial style, with plenty of metallic insertions, strange unconventional shapes and up-cycling ideas, old gears & belts. Another key aspect of steampunk decor is old chests that can be easily transformed into graceful coffee tables, side tables or no-frills storage solutions. Old trunks and vintage suitcases oftentimes have a sentimental value, due to which their vintage appeal is generally incorporated into steampunk decor.

If the structure of the building does not allow for an exposed brick wall, wallpaper depicting bricks is a good idea. Further, wallpaper, decals or wall murals can be conveniently created using old maps- simply frame and hang them on the walls. Another great idea is to decorate the lampshades with old maps. Remember: the older, the better! Wallpapers or self-painted motifs with a Victorian pattern/ classical old-world book characters are not bad either.

Items with a characteristic Victorian essence like an old & used terrestrial globe, classy top-hats or bowler hats, canes or a Victorian dress for the mudroom wall hooks, antique sewing tables, old steamer trunk to be used as a living room table, exposed framed herbariums for the hallway, sepia photos for the walls, technical & anatomical drawings/ sketches and antique barometers, telescopes or typewriters are wonderful examples of decor items for steampunk style. Displaying old hard-covered books and old notebooks with leather covers can also make a mighty style statement if arranged tastefully. Creating a metal pipe bookshelf is a smashing idea to display the old books in an elementary industrial style that is quite easy to handle as well. 

Textural contrasts by combining a hard material like leather with a soft one like lace goes a long way in achieving the typical steampunk design idea. So, it is safe to say that a good deal of the visual appeal of steampunk comes from the juxtaposition of conventionally feminine & masculine elements.

Gears are important items in the steampunk style, and a gear wall clock is a nice way to unleash some creativity. Decorating the walls with gear wall clocks is another of DIY steampunk design elements. An old clock with exposed gears conveys an honest design and can be the focal point on an otherwise blank wall. Old gears can also be used to create & display numerous industrial art decor pieces that fit perfectly into the aspired style.

Last but not the least, artificial light is a key feature to go with the steampunk style of decor. After all, one cannot appreciate the beauty of a rust red room with dark leather furniture & a multitude of old touches in the absence of light. Warm lighting transforms the space, softening edges, molding surfaces, adding powerful contrasts & delicate shadows and thereby making the room much more welcoming. Steampunk design tends to drift onto the rough zone and this is where artificial lighting comes in to balance the look. A chandelier is a good idea if you have high ceilings. Candelabra chandeliers are a great option as they bring in Victorian hints of luxury and comfort too.

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