How to Steampunk Your Office

Written by charlotte kirkwood
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How to Steampunk Your Office
Old gears can help steampunk a variety of objects. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A combination of Victorian aesthetic and Jules Verne-type science fiction, steampunk is the art of modifying everyday items to look like outdated technology. It uses repurposed items, such as gears from old clocks, to transform mundane modern objects into whimsical evocations of the past. From steam power to cathode tubes, many objects that feel nostalgic or outdated can be used to transform an office into a steampunk room that fits personal taste.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Decorate with Victorian or Victorian-inspired furniture. Parlour chairs and a chaise, or a period rug or desk can set the stage for steampunk designs. Antique shops or second-hand stores and flea markets are good places to look for furniture.

  2. 2

    Use brass. A lot of steampunk gear features brass. Brass furniture is one option. Brass items such as old keys and junk metal can be used either as decorations or to modify furniture. Clock innards and other spare parts make excellent steampunk materials.

  3. 3

    Modify office equipment, like the computer, into steampunk equipment. Pop the keys off the keyboard and replace them with old typewriter keys. Paint the monitor casing bronze or brass. Distress furniture with sandpaper or a sand blaster to look older and well-used. Use a dark stain on wooden furniture. Attach clock parts or bits of old machinery to make the items look as if they run off gears or outdated power sources, such as cathode tubes.

  4. 4

    Use antique decorative touches to round out the room. Such items as magnifying glasses, old telephones and bell jars give the office a finished look. Evoke adventure in the pre-World War I era. For instance, a Venus Flytrap, maps and antique telescope make people think of a world traveller in a pith helmet, whereas goggles, a flight cap and pictures or models of zeppelins call to mind an airship pilot.

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