Steampunk style is based on Victorian science fiction of the mid 1800's that usually involves steam powered machines. Think of it as what people in the 19th century imagined the future would be like, also called retro-futurism. Many of the inventions mentioned in books by H. G. Wells and Jules Verne are in a steampunk style.
Steampunk style has expanded to become an interior design style. Items in a steampunk style look as if they were created 100 years ago but still in perfect condition. Characteristics that are often seen in steampunk style include beautifully finished glossy wood, polished brass, iron, steel, copper, glass, brown leather, and many intricate details including rivets, gears, cogs, roman numerals, buckles, and gauges. These are typically not mass produced items but items created by a craftsman. Steampunk style often carries as sense of travel and adventure.
Many people wanting a steampunk style will take their current technology and purposely change the aesthetics to make it look old. There is no plastic visible and everything looks very industrial. Most steampunk items are one of a kind and made by artists. Such steampunk modifications might include making a computer keyboard look like an old typewriter, glasses made to look like old leather and brass aviator goggles, a cell phone case that looks like a glossy wooden box with roman numerals, or a clock whose outside is made to look like the inside of an old watch.
Here are some ideas on how to decorate your home in a steampunk style.
Use common steampunk materials as mentioned above. You can have a traditional styled brown leather sofa, exposed copper pipe, glass apothecary jars, and glossy wood countertops.
Instead of using traditional light bulbs, use exposed Edison bulbs. You typically can't find these at a big box store, but you can get them at specialty lighting stores and online for $8 to $15 each.
You can decorate your home in a steampunk style by using industrial elements, such as large gears or pulleys.
Add a few Victorian details to your home. Victorian homes typically used dark colors, such as burgundy, and used items such as oriental rugs, velvet drapes, vintage hardback books, and traditional crystal chandeliers.
Travel and Adventure
To incorporate the steampunk travel and adventure side, you can decorate with vintage travel posters, globes, and vintage suitcases.
Avoid Modern Products
Keep all modern products out of sight, especially those made of plastic. Try to modify everyday items, such as your telephone and television, to appear more retro futuristic.