The Wonderous World of Steampunk Decor: Old-Fashioned Wall Art and Industrial Design

In the world of decor and home interior design, many things have changed over the years. Gone are the days of wooden cabinets filled with ornamental dishes and porcelain details. Now it’s all about finding the minimalist inside you and owning as less as possible.

However, there’s one type of decor that is still as popular as before: steampunk decor. On the surface, it’s a type of decor that aims to please the science fiction fan inside us. But in its very core is the ability to transform any space into a work of brass art, filled with detailing worth of any Victorian lady or gentleman’s time and money.

Elements of steampunk decor

When one first comes across a lavishly steampunk decorated room, their eyes first land on the many ornaments found on the walls. Indeed, steampunk decor draws its inspiration from industrialism. Thus, one may expect to find all sorts of things used to bring that old-fashioned retro vibe to the home, such as:

  • Chimneys
  • Spinning wheels
  • Clocks
  • Giant electrical coils
  • Moving pumps.

In essence, just like steampunk in general, the steampunk decor also entails combining something old and something new. However, that doesn’t mean we have to fill our homes with as many decor items as possible.

On the contrary, to adapt our living to the modern outlook on interior design, we can actually incorporate some steampunk into our minimalist way of living.

Instead of a regular lamp, we can use a giant bulb. We can replace our standard clock with something that sort of looks like a Doctor Who set piece — gears and all. Moreover, we can also include steam-inspired wall art and pictures to give our loft or house a retro vibe.

Turning our home into an industrial heaven

One of the most frequently used elements of steampunk decor is the bare brick wall. Indeed, we may find such walls in most cafés nowadays, and even some clubs.

It’s obvious why bare brick walls are popular — with the technological revolution, our lives have become rather digitalized. Hence, everyone aims to achieve a very plastic look, both when it comes to the lifestyles we lead and to our homes.

However, by having a few exposed brick walls here and there, we can actually have a more steampunk interior that doesn’t look too perfect. Perfection is the 21st-century affliction, whereas the Victorian Era thrived on simple materials, details that have meaning and a homey feel.

So which materials could we use if we were to turn our home into a steampunk paradise?

The most obvious choice is, of course, copper. We’ve witnessed a huge surge in popularity in copper, possibly because most people nowadays are already bored with the plastic looks of their homes and clothing. Thus, copper is a natural choice, as it gives a home warmth and an old-fashioned look.

Another material we should pay attention to is leather. Although most people shy away from this material, as it’s not very appropriate to have it in our homes nowadays, we can still use artificial leather to get the same feel. For the perfect steampunk home, leather furniture is the right choice. Leather sofas, as well as armchairs large enough to fit two people at a time, will complement the copper hues and bare walls perfectly.

Finally, steampunks love to use exposed pipes as ornaments. Most of them expose their pipes to create a sort of an industrial look in their living area. However, we don’t have to stop there.

Since brass is yet another material that’s incredible when combined with other steampunk decor pieces, brass lighting fixtures are then a must. When attached to the exposed pipes, they will make any room feel completely Victorian yet still modern enough for the 21st century.

Tips and tricks on decorating your home in a steampunk fashion

Avoid new furniture

Since steampunk is a wonderful mixture of both old and new, it’s better to avoid buying completely new furniture. If we do need a new sofa or a new table, it would be best to look into what some antique stores have to offer and go from there. Wooden tables with brass, copper or steel structure, as well as old leather sofas that can be refurbished — these are the gold standard.

Look for unconventional storage solutions

Almost every steampunk hero has an old chest that they use for storage. Thus, we should try to find those chests too.

Wooden chests or trunks with metal detailing will add a touch of industrialism to our living room, for example. We could use one of these both as a coffee table and as a storage solution as well. Moreover, such chests can be used in the bathroom too, instead of modern cabinets.

When in doubt, fake it

This goes for the bare walls feature found in most steampunk homes. Some homeowners, especially those who are renting out their apartments, won’t want to create bare walls. However, there’s a simple solution to this issue. All we have to do is put up a brick wallpaper.

The effect will be the same, and most people won’t even notice that it’s wallpaper. What’s more, if one day we get tired of living in a steampunk-inspired space, we can easily change up our interior again!

Avoid vibrant colors — pick muted shades instead

Lastly, in order to decorate our homes in a steampunk fashion, we should stay away from very vibrant colors. Instead of painting some walls in a true red shade, we ought to pick a deep burgundy. Moreover, furniture, as well as appliances, should come in brown, cream, dark red and dark green colors. That way, the overall look of the entire space will be a bit mysterious, industrial and above all, Victorian-like.

This is just the tip of the iceberg

Steampunk decor is not that difficult to emulate if we know where to look. For that instant surge of inspiration, we can play around with some colors and brass fixtures just to see what we’ll get. And of course, when in doubt, we can draw some inspiration from many steampunk movies and clothing pieces available today!