How to Subtly Incorporate Steampunk Style into Your Home

Love the cool, industrial look of Steampunk but don’t want to overdo it?  You can still make your home science fiction fab!

By Kathleen Wolak


The genre of Steampunk is a rich and interesting one. Shiny, anachronistic designs topped with historical science fiction flair is a decorating treasure trove, and with the right touch can look great in any home. Read on for ways to gently incorporate Steampunk-inspired design into your home and get your Lovecraft on!


The Dream Scheme

The color palette for Steampunk consists of a lot of industrial bronze, gold, red, black, and brown. Since we are only trying to bring touches of the genre into your home, you have a lot to work with around these colors. (There is no need to try to get your house to look like it’s about to go 20,000 leagues under the sea.)




These colors and themes are such attention grabbers by themselves that simply incorporating them around other colors makes for a cool homage to the genre, while not overtaking your home.  This allows for an easier decorating experience. 




Paintings and pictures that have splashes of these colors are a perfect way to start on your Steampunk journey. I recommend going with epoxy-centric art. These types of pieces usually have industrial flavor built right in because of their mixed-media design and shine. For décor, hit the thrift shop! An old typewriter or antique phone makes for the perfect accent piece when spray painted bronze.     





Unattended, exposed pipes can be a real eyesore. They jut out at odd angles, and because they are so hard to clean, they become filthy quite easily. Flip the script on these annoying features with a little bit of paint and a lot of imagination. Turn the chipped pipes into the inner workings of a far-out flying machine with bronze or gold paint.




This looks especially cool against white walls and gives off a clean, artful, effect. Remember, exposed gears and pipes are as much a part of the Steampunk aesthetic as leather top hats and goggles. With a little love, you can turn your old eyesore into your room’s centerpiece.



A modern take on the Steampunk trend can be found in creative lighting. Piping, bottles, and even skateboards can be used as Steampunk-inspired light fixtures that double as insanely awesome art pieces. These can easily be located online if you don’t want to go to the trouble of creating your own. Pairing these with Edison bulbs will truly pull the whole piece together, but we give you bonus points if you can obtain a Tesla coil.  





Steampunk design doesn’t begin and end with steam-powered flying machines and leather corsets. Woodcuts are an even subtler way to pay tribute to this genre. Woodcut and photo transfer art fit comfortably into Steampunk design and they are an easy, mobile way to show off your love for the future…and the past.




Grainy wood with fantastical designs are a great option if you aren’t committed to the industrial look of Steampunk but still want a hint of the genre in your home. The best part is, they are a cinch to make yourself if you have spare wood, a little time, and inspiring source images.


There is no denying the utterly cool effect a touch of Steampunk can give a room. Somehow both artful and industrial, Steampunk can be worked around existing décor to give a room a whole new personality. If you want to see how far your imagination can go, take a journey to the center of the Internet and check out our 3D interior design tools and click around our Virtual Rooms! 




Images used with permission, courtesy of Kathleen Wolak and

Next: Everything You Should Know Before Decorating with Chalkboard Paint