Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Some Quick Steampunk Home Decor Projects

So last weekend my husband and I added a couple of new steampunky decor elements to our living room.  These didn't cost us anything to do, and have added a lot to the increasing steampunk vibe to this room.

My husband and I are starting to do some serious furniture rearranging in our home.  I'm working on turning a desktop PC workspace that I never use into a sewing area.  To do this, we needed to shuffle some bookcases around.

We ended up moving a short bookcase from our guest room to the living room.  It's now right in front of our boarded up fireplace, sitting on the hearth.  The reason our fireplace is boarded up is that we were getting wasps in our house, coming through cracks in the chimney and through the vents in the glass fireplace screen.  There was no way to keep them out other than either duct tape or boarding it up.  So we've decided that a wasp-free house is more valuable to us than a fire a couple of times a year.

Which left us with something of a dead space where there is only a boarded up fireplace.  Since we always need more storage, I advocated for putting shelves in that area.  Moving this small bookshelf is the first step.  I'd like to add a couple more, but don't know if I can find matching ones.

But what to PUT on this bookshelf that is suddenly in a focal point of the living room?  It pretty much needed to be books because even though we took 2 large boxes of books to Half Price Books to resell, we still are desperate for book space.  So I decided to put all my prettiest and most decorative books on this shelf.

Luckily I inherited my father's (massive) book collection after his death and I kept all the gilt, leatherbound editions of books I had read and enjoyed.  Or ones I really intend to read.  Added to these were some of my own leather and pretty editions of things like The Lord of The Rings.  My Ultimate Sandmans went on the bottom shelf, along with the Annotated Sherlock Holmes, and some art books.  The middle shelf was tricky because I couldn't adjust the position.  The top shelf doesn't adjust and the bottom shelf couldn't go lower.  So by default, as the only books that would fit and look at all decent, the Harry Potter books went there.

I added a couple of steampunky art pieces I've recently framed to the top, and a sextant and compass to the shelves, and I'm pretty pleased with the overall effect.  It's a very pleasant thing to look at.

The second thing we did was to reframe a steampunk art print.  I am a huge fan of Brian Kesinger's art, especially his Otto and Victoria paintings.  I bought a poster of his print "Walkies" quiet a while ago from We Love Fine.  (I also have a T-shirt of one of his prints, and I adore it.)  I had it framed in a plain wooden frame I got for free at a yard sale and repainted.

But some of you may remember that I bought two framed and matted antique map prints for $1 each at a yard sale recently.  I realized that one of the fancy mats would be perfect for the "Walkies" print, so I took the map out (to maybe use later in another project) and put the print in.  I think it looks really good.  So I now have what appears to be an expensive, professionally matted and framed piece that cost me $1 to do.   This is a perfect reason to buy nicely framed art at yard sales when you can, even if you won't hang it up as is.

Pardon my poor photography.  Taking a decent picture of something under glass is a nightmare.  Also the books were difficult as well because all the gilt reflected light like crazy.  It was not a good photography day for me.  

So hopefully that gives some inspiration for adding small steamy touches to your home.


  1. Use faux stamped tin tiles, cut & stick-on, over the boards covering up your fireplace. In faux copper or brass they would look antique of not Steampunk. I've seen some at Lowes & Home Depot in Waco. Or here's a link to on on-line dealer http://www.surfacingsolution.com/TinCeilings.htm?gclid=CL_y-ISA57cCFVBp7AoduTAAFQ
    Boringlibrarian in Waco

    1. Thanks! That's actually a really good idea. We originally talked about putting a painting of a fire there, but it's never come to fruition.