Brianna Silva’s fashionably nerdy apartment

Happen to have a collection of Victorian top hats, vintage ray guns and industrial bird sculptures? If so, you’re in luck. Second-semester interior design student Brianna Silva has created a space to display steampunk art and artifacts in a renovated New York City apartment. Her choice of furniture is in keeping with steampunk ethos.  Steampunk takes Victorian design elements and applies them to modern and semi-modern devices.  For instance, the Victorians didn’t really have ray guns, but if they did they would probably be steam-powered.

“For my unique second-semester project for our interior design studio course, I created a retro-futuristic apartment fit for a fashionably nerdy client,” says Silva. “I pulled inspiration from films like ‘Hugo,’ ‘Howl’s Moving Castle,’ and ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.'”

Collection of steampunk artifacts

The assignment, given by Prof. Shannon Leddy, was to combine two apartments in New York City. “We were to imagine our clients’ personalities, histories and needs and design the space accordingly,” says Silva.

“I am interested in designing for the less-considered types.  When you think of designing for a client, the more nerdy-inclined doesn’t come to mind as often as the upscale client with refined tastes surrounded by luxury. I can relate more toward that side, having attended the rather nerdy high school, A-Tech in Las Vegas.” 

Brianna’s rendered interior perspective of an apartment fit for fashionably nerdy clients

The interior is a “mixture of the ornamental and the hard-lined, which still feeling very cohesive through the color palate of rich browns, orange, reds and blues set in a more industrial enclosure,” says Silva.

“Brianna actually taught me something by introducing me to the SteamPunk genre,”  says Professor Leddy. “She challenged herself from the beginning of this project and the return on her efforts is an exciting, contrasting yet harmonious solution. The photos are great here in this post, and indicate how Brianna has grown with less than a year under her belt in this program. Her work ethic certainly shines through.”

Victorian, Victorian-inspired and industrial furniture for the retro-futuristic apartment


“In retrospect, I am glad with the way my design came together,” says Silva. “I was worried about the outcome of mixing these styles, but it all came together into one cohesive piece.”

Come to think of it, we all could use a good ray gun to shoot down those angry mechanical birds.


photos: Brianna Silva

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