By Anna Gladue
I've recently discovered Steampunk isn't just Hollywood. The style has been on my radar for years, but I always thought of it as something the movies did to give the Victorian age a make over. Netflix cured me of that delusion! I'm no expert, but I want to share what I learn, so here begins my online diary of discovering Steampunk.
The first thing I noticed are the colors. They're usually faded, hushed or a deep dark shade. Any color can be faded, but the hushed tones are usually varying shades of brown and gray. The dark shades run through red, black and green. When I get up the gumption to create my own stuff I'll be adding dark blue to the list. I've also noticed a few people have created a wonderful Steampunk look with one bright color in the mix.
The second thing I noticed was gears! Oddly enough, this is what a lot of people notice first. Either that, or they think Steampunk is creepy looking, but I don't find it creepy at all.
From there I noticed things in no particular order. Brass/copper, wood, leather, pipes, tubes, lace and stripes all collide into symmetrical creations.
At first I didn't get the goggle obsession. Goggles aren't really my thing. However, a few folks pointed out that goggles were started as a practical part of the style. The environment in a Steampunk setting is usually hazardous to our health. Goggles are very different from the gas masks, though. For reasons I won't get into gas masks are a huge no for me. I wouldn't call it a phobia, exactly, since I can be around them and I can look at them and touch them. It's just... nope.
One of the big things I adore are the machines! The moving parts, the retro-future designs, and the fact we can actually see things working. I have no luck with moving art. Folks that can do that have my utmost respect.
I gleaned through some sites, and pulled together what I thought was great decor ideas. Some of it is obvious. Some of it I would never have thought of.
On ceiling: Panels, metal plating.
On walls: Victorian pattern wallpaper, old maps, sepia pictures (old photos or your own), framed herbariums/technical/anatomical drawings, stenciled hot-air balloons/dirigibles, "hidden" cat running tubes for exposed "pipes", metal plating.
For shelves: Pipes, "exposed" jutting out bricks, and small furniture (like chairs) on the walls.
Furniture/decor: Victorian era furniture, steam-trunks, elegant hats, antique items, antique canes, small wood boxes, antique wood burning stoves.
Lighting: exposed lightbulbs (dimmed), or lampshades with Victorian themed images.
My favorite part of Steampunk is the imagination. We can take everyday items and with a bit of elbow grease - boom! Something old and new.
All written works on in this journal and in this profile are copyright Anna Gladue unless otherwise stated.