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The Steampunk Design Style

Steampunk is a decoration style inspired by clockwork mechanisms and the dashing ornate style of the 1800s Victorian era. Top hats, copper gears, and mechanical spiders are all hallmarks of decorating in the Steampunk style. This elegant yet inherently busy look can bring any living room, bedroom, or even your kitchen to life with the whir, click, and mixed metals of steam-powered style.

If you are dreaming of a steampunk renovation, we've got a few helpful tips and inspirations.

Steampunk Style Architecture

Steampunk architecture is a cross between Industrial and Neo-Victorian. This could seem a little strange, but that is part of the purpose of steampunk - to defy the normal and imagine a world that took a different technological turn - one of bronze and steam instead of wires and digital. Mixed-metal grunge and ornate Victorian features are arranged artistically side-by-side.

  • Exposed metal beams and ornate wallpaper

  • Rich wood panels and polished concrete floors

  • Vintage light fixtures and ornate bronze switch covers

  • Built-in artistic pieces featuring clockwork or airships

  • Hints of nautical design

Steampunk Materials

Steampunk makes use of a wide range of polished materials. While steampunk touches on the industrial, it has the polished nautical feel of a well-cared-for submarine or ship of the line. Steampunk favors heavy polished wood furniture and built-in features, polished concrete, and exposed metal. Mixed metals are a signature of steampunk, favoring the warm hues ranging from bright copper to antiqued brass.

  • Polished heavy wood with a dark, rich stain

  • Mixed metals in warm hues

  • Polished concrete with a warm stain color

  • Amber carpets and drapes

  • Vivid splashes color in fabrics

Steampunk Colors and Finishes

Steampunk tends to look warm and busy, like the workshop of an old airship captain or an absentminded archaeologist. It recalls the combination of luxury and activity. The dominant colors are amber, chestnut, and bronze created with fabric, wood, and metals in an even mix. Furniture tends to be wooden or lushly upholstered in the neo-Victorian style offering vivid splashes of color like cherry red and royal blue. Finishes tend to be warm, favoring an oil-rubbed appearance with touches of tarnish. Chrome is out, and aged brass is in. Stains tend to be warm to complement the hue of the woods and metals.

  • Amber, brown, copper, caramel, and bronze palette

  • Splashes of vivid fabric color to personal preference

  • Warm mixed-metal finishes

  • Warm and deep red stain for wood and concrete

  • Mixed medium and dark hues

Steampunk Furniture and Decor

Decoration is really where the steampunk style shines. While most people won't be building themselves a neo-Victorian library study to decorate, you can transform your living room, bedroom, even your outdoor deck with the right decor pieces. Bring in heavy curtains, antique or Victorian-style furniture in warm hues, and complimentary amber rugs. Most importantly, however, are your metals. The best steampunk decor is mechanical - embracing the core of the design theme. Large gears and scrap metal sculptures in warm finishes are perfect for wall decor. Decorate your tabletops with mechanical spiders and other robot-like creatures. Exposed gears and lightly tarnished bronze look amazing when blended into a steampunk style.

  • Neo-Victorian furniture

  • Bronze, brass, and copper gears

  • Clocks with and without exposed gears

  • Nautical rounded and riveted style

  • Mechanical toys and exposed-gear sculptures

  • Antique wood furniture

  • Heavy drapes and carpets

  • Vintage decor pieces for personality

  • Eclectic and global design elements

Steampunk Lighting

There are three directions you can take your steampunk lighting. The easiest way to get started is with amber-hued vintage-style light fixtures. Heavy glass shades and warm metal finishes make vintage light fixtures feel right at home. Lanterns are a great way to bring that neo-Victorian style into any room. You can embrace the mechanical aspect with metal sculpture-style pendants and chandeliers to illuminate your glowing metal artwork. Or you can have something special and fanciful made to represent the alternate future that steampunk imagines.

  • Vintage amber glass light fixtures with warm metal finish

  • Polished brass lanterns

  • Metal sculpture light fixtures

  • Cages and Geometric

  • Scrap Metal Sculpture

  • Custom steampunk fixtures

Urban Ambiance is your partner in all things lighting, and we can help you choose the best light fixtures for your Steampunk inspired home. Contact us today for more information.