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Steampunk Style In Your Home

By Sophie Hardy, 29th November, 2017

Steampunk style has been up and coming in design and décor for the past few years. Many people have never heard of it, and those that have often assume it’s just another word for industrial style. However, there’s more to it than that, which we will explain in this article and also offer suggestions to get the look.

Steampunk is described as a genre of science fiction, in a world in which the Victorians might have imagined the future to be. So you may recognise the style from time travel films and sci-fi television shows. Featuring retro-futuristic designs, it looks to the past and the future at the same time, combining the best of Victorian craftsmanship with modern practicality. Steam-power was at the forefront of technology in the 19th century, so this style often includes pieces inspired by steam-powered machinery, hence steam-punk. But it also keeps the ornate and exquisite details you typically associate with the Victorian Era.

Steampunk Inspired Fashion And Decor

Where Did Steampunk Come From?

The term steampunk actually originated in the 1980’s. American writer K. W. Jeter invented the word to describe his science fiction stories, which were set in an idealised version of Victorian London. Science fiction stories dating back to the 50’s and 60’s have since been characterised as steampunk. In the past decade the term and the themes within its fictional world have risen in popularity and now extend into fashion, culture, art, film, architectural style, and décor.


Steampunk Style Industrial Warehouse

What Makes a Steampunk Interior?

Contrasting designs and textures are a distinctive characteristic, as elaborate Victorian style meets rustic industrial. Think plush velvet curtains and an ornately carved mirror hung against a bare brick wall with exposed incandescent bulb lighting. Focus on vintage metals, like gold, brass, and copper, in the kitchen this might be shining copper cookware or brass taps and cabinet handles. You could choose a dark wood dining table with elaborate turned legs and pair it with robust cast iron stools, or vice versa with a textured light wood table and grand velvet or real leather chairs. The key is to create a juxtaposed setting but maintain a common vintage feel throughout. Here are some suggestions to get the look in your interior:


Victorian Steampunk Interior

Whimsical Interior Accessories

Focus on themes and ideas that Victorians were interested in, this includes invention and discovery, but also travel and exploration. Maps are an obvious choice, you could cover an entire wall with a sepia map, or go simple with an antiqued globe. Vintage-style suitcases can also make a great focal point, stack them up to create a statement on their own or choose a large one that can double as a coffee table. Use other navigational equipment, like an old-fashioned compass, telescope, or pair of binoculars, as extra whimsical details.

Aviation and flying-machines were also a fascination in the 19th century, moving on from hot air balloons to airships and later even the concept of the airplane began to take off (no pun intended). So with that in mind, you could display a model air balloon or some vintage aviator goggles, or even use a model airship as a lampshade. As demonstrated in the image below, even the plainest of rooms can become steampunk with the right accessories and furnishings.


Steampunk Interior Accessories


With a strong emphasis on gadgets and mechanisms, you can’t go wrong by featuring gears, pipes, spools, and cogs in your décor. Steampunk relies on the recycled look, with enthusiasts choosing to create their own items. But if you’re not into DIY, readymade pieces are becoming readily available on the high street. This includes shelving made from industrial piping and metal gears turned into clocks – remember timepieces are a great reference to retro-futurism and time travel.

Moody Colour Scheme

Given the era it revolves around, a steampunk colour scheme tends to be made up of darker and richer shades. With a heavy emphasis on worn metals, there should be plenty of warm orange colours from the copper and brass. Black and grey are also prominent, along with dark browns coming through in the wood and leather elements. Sepia will work well to tie in any old photographs or maps on display, but if you’re looking for more variety in colour deep reds and greens are ideal. Below, you can see a great example of these shades in a real steampunk setting.


Steampunk Wall With Pipes


The image above looks as though the piping spans an entire wall, but it actually occupies the space beneath a bar – as seen in the image below. This goes to show that you can create a steampunk aesthetic even in the most unexpected of places, just use a little imagination. One alteration that would enhance this bar is swapping those wooden leather stools for some with more of a steampunk theme.


Steampunk Themed Bar

Repurposed Or Regal Furniture

For your furniture, you can opt for the repurposed look with warehouse-style pieces, or you can go for lavish and luxurious designs – but you’ll get the best results if you mix and match!

Wood and metal designs are ideal for factory-style, especially models with a quirky recycled look like our Vintage Swivel Stool Light Wood. Our Hydrant Stool (below) is also a fantastic play on the steampunk idea, as its four legs are fashioned to look like pipes. Plus, these unique designs keep with the whimsical theme too. Take a look at our steampunk style stools below, or check out our entire industrial bar stool collection.

You can add some refinement and comfort by choosing classic Victorian-inspired dining chairs. Opt for grand dark wood pieces with velvet upholstery and button detail – the more imposing the better. Or, if you’re not a fan of velvet, leather chairs like the Ascot Dining Chair Black Leather will have an equally impressive effect. We have picked out our most ideal dining chairs below, two of which also have matching bar stools.

Steampunk is a really unique décor trend that has a striking impact. It’s ideal for those who love the quirky industrial look, but also appreciate luxury and detail. Why not give it a go in your interior?

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