We love steampunk stuff. It is the perfect blend between future technology and an old word ‘steam powered’ genre. When we think steampunk, we think of wood and leather, copper pipes and gauges, and an age that is somewhat of a cross between the wild west, the victorian era and science fiction. If you want a steampunk man cave that is super cool, here are a few suggestions to get it looking spot on!
What is Steampunk?
Alright ‘grandad’, listen up.
Steampunk is a fusion of a few genres that has grown in popularity over the last few years. It represents a futuristic (and sometimes apocalyptic) world where there is a merging of new and old technologies.
It isn’t just about architecture or a design of a room. It has elements of fashion and culture embedded as part of its make-up. If you are a fan of science fiction or play games such as fallout 4 or BioShock, you’ll already understand its core elements.
Here’s a quick video that explains more
If you like this genre’s look, you will have to accessorize your room to match. Here are a few ideas to get you started….
Copper pipe? Check.
Vintage look? Check.
Steampunk level. Cranked off the scale.
We really like this. If you paired it up with a low wattage Eddison bulb, it would really set the scene in your steampunk lair. This lamp has a vintage antique look. The copper/bronze finish really sets the scene.
The lamp is electrically powered and gives a nice soft light, perfect for a desk or reading light next to your favourite chair.
The copper pipe theme looks really authentic. Just be sure to call an electrician and not a plumber if you are worried about it!
If you’ve seen our article on man cave lamps, you’ll already know how vital ambient lighting is in creating the right atmosphere.
We love this one because it looks fairly simple. Still, its distressed metal design would work really well with other vintage artefacts placed around it.
Again this is another to pair up with an Eddison bulb for the most eye-catching effect.
Let’s get away from lighting for a while, as it isn’t the only aspect you can add to make your room look all vintage and steam punk.
A few features are what give a room its character. A lamp here, a vintage handcrafted motorbike model there…
Yep, we said it. This gives the nod to all things steampunk. It has a copper effect finish, and each part of the motorcycle is made up of things that, at first glance, aren’t quite what they seem….
The wheels are bike chain, the body is made up of various nuts and bolts, and the thin bits are alum keys!
If you are a bike lover, this would be a great option. We really love that they are handmade, and while you might spot the odd imperfection, this is what makes it unique!
If you are thinking about lighting but want to go a bit bigger, this would be an excellent choice. You can install this as a standalone chandelier, but we’d suggest for a decent-sized room that you might want to consider a pair or even three.
The light shade of this chandelier has a brushed bronze effect that works really well with a soft and warm colour like reds, browns and ambers.
The chain by which it is hung also adds a touch of steampunk to your man cave too.
This is something a little different. Now, this might not be to everyone’s taste, but for those looking for something sure to be a talking point, it’s pretty sweet.
What is it?
Well, in the simplest terms, it looks like a sniper rifle made out of bits of pipe. Both the ‘scope’ and the muzzle of our pipe rifle can be fitted with bulbs, giving a sort of ‘ray gun’ effect.
We are going to say that this might be better in a younger chap’s man cave. Another great place to put it will be over the door if you have a pub style man cave.
Your choice of wall decoration can make or break your man cave. If you are familiar with the genre, there is a Victorian-cum-wild-west vibe underpinning the entire thing. Nothing says Victoriana more than a bowler hat and a nice handlebar moustache.
If only there was a way to make a piece of art encompassing these elements…
Here it is.
The poster’s background is designed to look like a vintage broadsheet newspaper (with dictionary text). This is fronted by a silhouette design featuring a prominent hat and an equally foreboding moustache.
Because of the design’s simplicity, you could mount this steampunk man cave themed poster in several ways. We think a trip to the charity shop to find a gilded frame might be in order, but for rooms with a clean, simple vibe, a clear Perspex poster holder would work equally well.
If you like the theme but not the design, then other options are available. We really like the idea of buying a few of these, getting them nicely mounted and having them in a line as a sort of gallery along the longest wall of your man cave.
Making a Steampunk Man Cave | Little Details Go a Long Way
If you are struggling for inspiration or aren’t sure what a Steampunk man cave is exactly, here are a few great examples.
Remember how we said it’s all about a vintage look combined with pipes and gauges? This is exactly what we are talking about.
This shelving unit would be great for placing rows of vintage books. It would also be an ideal place to put a steampunk style lamp.
For the DIY enthusiasts among you, this would be a great little project. You could make your shelves entirely unique and custom-fitted to your style of room. The best bit is that it is fairly cheap. A few planks, a pipe cutter and a few lengths of copper pipe and you are away.
For the valves and gauges, you could even raid your local scrap yard or tip.
Funky Drinks Optics
When we saw this, we had one word…. Wow!
This is an alternative to the old and slightly cliched ‘pub-style optics.
You’ll need to be handy with a pipe cutter and a wrench, but this creates a superb visual effect that is also practical. It’s like something genuinely out of a computer game or novel.
Granted, you cannot tell how much you have poured accurately, but we doubt you’ll care anyway after the first one!
This would be a great set-up if you had a pub style man cave or bar area.
Retro Light Switches
Overkill, or completely cool?
We can’t decide. Remember how we said that making your man cave theme authentic is all about the little touches? This is what we mean.
This switch aims to fit over your existing light switch, so no electrical knowledge is required (which looking at it, is probably a really good thing). When you throw the switch (literally), a small toggle at the rear presses a conventional light switch.
This would work beautifully with the vintage industrial chandelier mentioned above and give the room a great aesthetic.
Wood Effect Searchlights
If you’ve got a great feature in your man cave, you will want to draw attention to it.
How’s about using an actual spotlight to do it?
Something like this light would be ideal for many reasons. First, the aesthetic of the light is quite vintage. It has adjustable ‘easel’ style legs that look just like something out of a Victorian art studio.
The light itself looks pretty retro. It will give a fairly harsh direct light.
Our recommendation with something like this would be to use it as an uplighter or have it shining from one corner to the other. Pair it with a low wattage bulb to prevent it from being too intense.
You could also use it to act as a spotlight on a cool piece of artwork or perhaps have it shining towards a bookcase, perfect for bringing out those brass and copper notes
Steampunk can be a little hard to accurately pin down… And it is difficult to get right. That said, as long as you stick to a few common elements, you should be good. Anything vintage looking is a safe place to start. Throw in a Victorian element, plus a hint of retro coolness, and you are pretty much there. By adding a few bits to your steampunk man cave, you can create a really authentic vibe and feel. It is the little touches that count just as much as the big things.