Steampunk is a fashion style sometimes described as "futuristic retro." Although there are different subgenres within steampunk, in general it might be viewed as depicting how the world would be if steam, cogs and gears ran everything, instead of electricity and silicone chips. A room decorated in steampunk style emphasizes these aspects -- along with Victorian styling, fanciful airship paintings and the use of brass and wood accents.
Things You'll Need
- Pictures and accents
Paint your room a neutral color such as cream, burgundy or beige. Although the style is known as "steampunk," it's not like other trends that use the word "punk" as part of the description. Avoid harsh colors -- or too much in the way of dark colors. Paint just the trim in the room with a darker, contrasting color.
Hang curtains that showcase the Victorian styling behind much of the steampunk movement. For girls, lacy or brocade curtains work well. In a boy’s room use heavier curtains with simple lines. Brown, burgundy or white are all good choices for curtain colors. Trim or tassels in a metallic finish help to highlight the steampunk theme.
Use either Victorian-style furniture or pieces with simple, clean lines. Many steampunk enthusiasts prefer a bed with a brass headboard. Dark wooden furniture with brass drawer pulls is a good choice for boys, while many girls like the frilly look of a white dresser highlighted in gold leaf.
Put up pictures of imaginative airships, as the theme of lighter-than-air flight is central to much of the steampunk movement. Movie posters from steampunk-type movies such as “The Golden Compass” or “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” also make good decorations usually relatively easy to find. Use old-style frames.
Place a hat rack with leather aviator’s cap hanging on it in one corner of the room. A top hat or other Victorian-style headgear can also be used to accent the area.
Feature one or two pairs of steampunk-style goggles in a prominent place in the room. Hang them from brass hooks on either side of an old-fashioned mirror for best results. Goggles are essential for all steampunk enthusiasts, but they come in many different styles. Ensure the ones you select are appropriate for a steampunk fan. Avoid those designed for use in raves and similar situations.
Accent the room with such things as wind-up clocks, old-fashioned brass and wood sculptures and other steampunk touches. Use wooden plates over wall switches and plugs. Add old-style brass lamps to provide lighting. If the room must have any modern touches, such as a digital clock, place it where it's hard to see, so as not to spoil the overall effect.
Tips & Warnings
- Many steampunk enthusiasts find good accent pieces at second-hand stores and flea markets.
- Although the Victorian era used candles for lighting, do not try to duplicate this in a steampunk room due to risk of fire. Instead, use replicas of old-fashioned light bulbs and fixtures.
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