By Jan Dowling August 19th, 2013. Comments Off on Eccentric, elegant and edgy: How to Steampunk your interior

Love industrial chic? Why not take it a step further and give Steampunk a try?

Steampunk has been bubbling away for many years now, originally as a science fiction genre featuring steam-powered technology. Then the design world got hold of it and the result is a retro-futuristic mash-up of Victoriana, sci-fi and industrial invention. On the catwalk, it comes to life with corsets, pocket watches, velvet and lace. In interiors, it’s all about a celebration of the inner workings of machinery – a blend of elegance and gritty industrial parts.

The best thing is you don’t need to steampunk your whole house to have a little fun with the latest trend. Here, we look at how you can bring a little steampunk to your interior.

This powder room shows the distinctive industrial style at its best – pipes, gauges and gears abound.


Balancing Tones and Textures
Metal, glass, leather, chain and raw woods – Steampunk is one of the few design styles where you can blissfully mix and match a whole variety of materials and textures together. The more variety the better, so don’t be afraid to combine elements together. Nothing says “Steampunk” like a raw hardwood tabletop with chunky metal legs surrounded by copper pipes and stencil wallpaper. Leaving a brick or concrete wall exposed is another simple way to incorporate history and character to your space. You can even use sheet metal on walls for a truly industrial backdrop. And don’t forget fabrics – sumptuous Victorian curtain and upholstery fabrics in rich colours, embellished rugs and stair
runner carpets.

Colour is important to the Steampunk aesthetic, but it is mostly incorporated using materials. Think copper, brass, bronze and steel merged with natural earth tones and an injection of vibrant colours.


Hunt and gather
Steampunk is all about the past reimagined into the future. Recycling, repurposing and reusing. In other words, you need to tap into your DIY side and find a way to give new life to old things. Scavenge your local second-hand and vintage stores for pieces from a bygone era. A couple of well-chosen items will give the room the look you want, whether it’s a filament lamp, a metal cabinet with heavy hinges and riveting, or a tired leather armchair.

Add a touch of drama
Imagine a classic Victorian train station. The dramatic steel structures with sophisticated and elaborate detailing. The combination of masculine construction and feminine decoration. Whether it’s your living room or your powder room, you need to recreate this sense of drama and intrigue. A simple and effective way to do this is to incorporate a focal point, whether it’s on the wall – displaying typographic signs, old maps, or medical and scientific charts – or by investing in one oversized piece of furniture or a grand fireplace.

Get creative with the details
With a little creativity, you can bring all the elements of your Steampunk design together using intricate accessories and clever detailing. Display plants in apothecary and specimen jars for some scientific mischief. Seek out some nostalgic kitchen hardware, knobs, and ornamental brass stair rods. Incorporate machine parts like sprockets and pipes. The possibilities are endless…


Mechanical wonders
Steampunk is a celebration of the industrial revolution, so your space needs to reveal and enjoy the inner workings of 19th century technologies. Pipes, gears, cogs, gauges…they bring a touch of eccentricity to your interior and encapsulate the Steampunk aesthetic. With the growing popularity of this gorgeous trend, some designers are now creating especially Steampunk-inspired wall clocks with aged gears of different colours and added embellishments.

Let there be light
If there’s one symbol of the industrial era, it’s the humble light bulb. You might say incandescence is the very icon of invention. Some of the best Steampunk interiors feature incredibly skillful and refined accent lighting, but if you’re working with a tighter budget, simply leave the light bulbs exposed.

Expect the unexpected
With Steampunk, there are no limits. Past, present, future – everything is imaginatively combined in one space. Don’t believe us? Well, consider the fact that there’s an iPad dock that’s in Steampunk style! Check it out on Etsy.


And on that note, we’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Remember, at the end of the day, Steampunk is an interior style you can really have some fun with. So get out there, be inspired and enjoy it!

We love good design and we know you do too, so we make it easy for you to have.

Talk to us about your building project – we’d love to help. Fill in an online request or phone Kym on 0409 829 871