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Steampunk Interior Design 101

Ride the Steampunk Train

Steampunk is the style that happens at the crossroads of the Victorian era and industrialism. Think steam-powered technology and mechanical inner workings meets the elegance and prestige of the Victorians and you’ll be on the right track.

Though a slightly obscure interior design idea, steampunk falls into a similar line of thinking as many other popular design styles today. Steampunk interior design embraces the same mix of rustic elegance as modern farmhouse or mid-century modern styles.

There are a few signature elements that you must have if you’re going to include steampunk design in your space. Here’s what you need to know.


Commercial bathroom with tin tile on the walls and exposed pipes in the steampunk style for the sink.American Tin Ceilings, Pattern #36, Custom Color


The colors of steampunk keep in the same zone as Victorian styles: rich, dark, and warm. In particular, creams, browns, sepia, dark green, and burgundy are excellent choices for steampunk interior design. Metallics are also a necessity, especially in aged colors like antique bronze, aged tin, and iron.

You can also incorporate other colors for a refreshing accent. Stick to warmer colors and colors mixed with black or brown, like burnt orange, eggplant, or steel blue.


Living room in the steampunk style with fireplace, antiques, and moody dark colors.


The materials you use in steampunk interior design are critical. They are the element that really sets it apart from other styles. A heavy use of metal, leather, rustic wood, and brick define steampunk spaces.

Metals are probably the most important of the steampunk materials. Repurposed metals make a nice touch. Bare pipes, cogs, wrought iron, and antique technology are great ways to work some steampunk into the design.

Opt for chandeliers with a rustic iron-looking metal rather than glass or polished metals. The elegance of the chandelier combined with the industrial style offers a perfect steampunk vibe.


Restaurant space in a steampunk style with tin tile on the walls and mechanical style sconce lighting.American Tin Ceilings, Pattern #21, Artisan Silver Washed Pewter

Victorian Influence

Steampunk hails from the Victorian era and wouldn’t be complete without a dash of the ornate. Adding any Victorian element to historic technology blends remarkably well. Try a dramatic rug, elegant woodwork, or stained glass alongside those bare pipes and cogs.

Tin ceiling tile introduces the Victorian aesthetic perfectly and offers the opportunity to bring in a material that is an idyllic Victorian steampunk addition. For steampunk ceiling tiles, opt for a distressed finish from our Artisan colors line. Or go for a dark metallic like Old Bronze to get the right feel.

More Victorian Trends

Travel Vibe

Steampunk is named for the time of steam-powered engines. A greater ability to travel is directly related to this era in history. All things travel make great accessories to add to your space.

A steamer trunk (antique or reproduction) makes a perfect end table. Framed sepia tone maps or map-inspired wallpaper on the walls provides some ambiance. Exotic trinkets or souvenirs from another time and place make great accent pieces.

Mechanical Flair

As previously mentioned, mechanical items and their components make great decor for a steampunk vibe. Look for items made from repurposed gears and cogs or use train lanterns for accent lighting.

Any technology of the era used as decor is great too. A late 19th century telephone hung on the wall or a clock that reveals its inner workings builds the ambiance. Get creative by repurposing parts to create art, stack antique luggage to make a table, or turn a series of pulleys into pendant lights.

We hope we inspired you to jump on the steampunk interior design train with a few of these Victorian meets industrial ideas (including steampunk ceiling tiles). Want more eclectic retro-mod design ideas? Read on!

 Explore More Old-Meets-New Home Design Trends

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