How to Decorate Rooms in Geek Chic Style

Updated on August 30, 2011

Geek chic and nerd chic are so the thing right now. People are combining that lovely mixture of glamour and geekiness all over the place. I'm glad to see that the look is more appreciated these days, but I've always been a fan of this quirky decorating aesthetic.

Are you interested in giving your place some stylish but nerdy flare? Good. That means you have excellent taste. I'll give you some ideas and decorating tips to help you get started.

Let's start with the basics: the key to chic décor is timeless elegance, and if you want something to look timeless, you should opt for simple designs or objects and colors that have been relatively fashionable for many, many decades. The key to nerdy décor is inside references- preferably of the more obscure type. Combine these two things and you've got geek chic decor- an explosion of awesomeness that'll make you smile whenever you encounter it!

What Goes Where?

When combining nerdy and chic décor, you might find yourself asking: what goes where? Should the furniture be geeky? Should the lighting be nerdy? Should there be classic paintings encased in mock spaceship windows? Should I have French doors or mod my wall into a giant, hydraulic-powered sliding door that makes a proper whooshing sound whenever it shuts??

The answer to this is simple: whatever you do, you should be consistent, or the marriage of chic and geek will seem more like the result of a freak tornado. If you want to have nerdy furniture and lighting, put more chic accents around the room. If you wish to lounge about on timeless, elegant furniture, boost up the nerd factor through the art you put on your walls.

With my living room, I chose chic furniture, color, and lighting complimented by nerdy wall décor and accessories. I find this is the easiest way to go, since it's much easier and cheaper to obtain nerdy art and tchotchkes than it is to find truly nerdy fixtures and furnitures (they're out there- they just take forever to build or cost an arm and a leg). Chic furniture, on the other hand, is all over the place, plus very easy to find on good ol' Craigslist.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I'm a HUGE fan of my signed Star Wars bike collection by Mike Joos. Han Solo never looked better.R-2 and C-3PO!Gotta love the Scout Trooper on wheels.Vader and his rockin' Death Star bike!It's a traaaaap!
I'm a HUGE fan of my signed Star Wars bike collection by Mike Joos. Han Solo never looked better.
I'm a HUGE fan of my signed Star Wars bike collection by Mike Joos. Han Solo never looked better. | Source
R-2 and C-3PO!
R-2 and C-3PO!
Gotta love the Scout Trooper on wheels.
Gotta love the Scout Trooper on wheels.
Vader and his rockin' Death Star bike!
Vader and his rockin' Death Star bike!
It's a traaaaap!
It's a traaaaap!
Marie Antoinette and the Paris Metro
Marie Antoinette and the Paris Metro | Source

What About Art?

Choosing nerdy art for your geek chic room is going to be the most enjoyable part of the decorating process. Believe me. I took three weeks poking through Etsy and the personal websites of my favorite artists drooling over the various sketches, prints, and paintings I had to choose from.

If you're a proper nerd, chances are you already have several artists / prints / types of fan art that you'd like to have on your walls. Heck, you probably already own several prints and paintings! I bet many of them are signed, even!

If there is a particular piece that you own or really love, consider decorating a particular room with it (that is to say, its colors and aesthetic) as a theme. If you don't have a particular piece you'd like to decorate around, consider which sorts of colors you'd like to work with and choose art that jibes well with those colors.

I started off decorating my living room by choosing a pink and green color scheme, then I went online and picked out prints that went with my color scheme. I also decided to go with a theme, and got prints related to transit (Star Wars characters on bikes, silhouettes of royalty overlaid on metro maps of their respective capital cities, girls riding on a five-person bike...). Themes are fun, and a great way to tie different nerdy genres together, since no true nerd likes only one thing.

Another easy way to tie different prints together is through matching frames. I got my frames made to order on, and they were REALLY inexpensive. They come in a bunch of different colors on the site- I highly recommend them, since I found that frames can get pretty pricey!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Serving plates + geeky objects = cute! Again, using kitchen objects to display your tchotchkes is a great way to showcase nerdy objects in a slightly classier manner.Don't leave your old costumes in the closet! Put them to work work as playful accents!Don't be afraid to make your place look slightly ridiculous.  That's half the fun.
Serving plates + geeky objects = cute!
Serving plates + geeky objects = cute!
Again, using kitchen objects to display your tchotchkes is a great way to showcase nerdy objects in a slightly classier manner.
Again, using kitchen objects to display your tchotchkes is a great way to showcase nerdy objects in a slightly classier manner.
Don't leave your old costumes in the closet! Put them to work work as playful accents!
Don't leave your old costumes in the closet! Put them to work work as playful accents!
Don't be afraid to make your place look slightly ridiculous.  That's half the fun.
Don't be afraid to make your place look slightly ridiculous. That's half the fun.

Additional Decorating Tips

Going for the geek chic look is not very hard- surely you already get the gist. For good measure, however, here are some additional pointers:

  • All geeky art should be properly displayed in chic frames: Just tacking a poster to a wall is not chic. Don't ruin the look. Besides, your mint condition "Revenge of the Jedi" poster deserves more protection than that!
  • Avoid clutter: While many a nerdy abode is packed to the brim with AWESOME stuff, there is nothing chic about hoarding. Though you might feel tempted to have every single geeky object you own on display, it is better to properly store the majority of your treasures and exhibit them throughout your home on a rotating basis. Think of your rooms as galleries that enjoy seasonal shifts.
  • Keep it clean: Another (perhaps unfair) association folks have with nerdy decorating is that it gets kind of gross. Grossness is yet another aspect that will obliterate your chances of coming across as chic. Vacuum regularly. Dust regularly. Discard pizza boxes after use. Wash dishes daily. It might seem like hard work, but it is worth the effort.

Feel free to use old keychains and cell phone charms as small adornments on handles and lamps. Just don't create a fire hazard!
Feel free to use old keychains and cell phone charms as small adornments on handles and lamps. Just don't create a fire hazard!
  • Display more than just wall art and figurines: If you're a true geek, you might have some fun costume elements- perhaps a Daft Punk helmet that you built from scratch, or some fantastic steampunk goggles. These costume pieces, when casually hung on a coat rack or by a door, can add a fun theatrical mood to your room, so don't leave them in the closet!
  • Put your key rings to use: There are so many cool, nerdy keychains and cell phone charms out there; why not display some in your collection by hanging them off of the odd handle, hook, or lamp?
  • Have fun with serving platters and stands: One fabulous way to combine chic and geeky aesthetics is to place geeky objects on chic food platters. The fun thing about collecting the odd vintage cake stand serving platter is that they come in handy for parties and group meals.
  • Don't be afraid to be fanciful: I'm not going to lie... I definitely added a canopy to my living room. It's a bit childish, I'll admit, but sometimes it's fun to take the chic look a bit farther when combining it with nerdy flourishes, since it accentuates an overall playful tone.

Some awesome Pokémon and Azumanga Daioh-inspired art created by Amy Liu
Some awesome Pokémon and Azumanga Daioh-inspired art created by Amy Liu
Kotobukiya Star Wars: Lightsaber Chopsticks Set: Yoda and Vader
Kotobukiya Star Wars: Lightsaber Chopsticks Set: Yoda and Vader
I ADORE mine. You'll never USE THE FORKS again!

The Kitchen: An Intermediate Option

If you like the general premise of geek chic design but don't want to re-do an entire room, consider starting with your kitchen! You can augment your kitchen with various fun, stylish-but-nerdy accents without making much effort or spending much money.

You might, for example, put some fun nerdy prints on your fridge and rotate them out every now and then so they don't become invisible to you. While we're on the subject of refrigerators, there really cannot be enough said about geeky magnets. They're easy to come by and are typically much more interactive and fun than most of the art that ends up on vertical surfaces. Just make sure things don't get dingy, dirty, or cluttered, and make sure you keep mixing things up.

You can also improve the geek factor in your kitchen by utilizing nerdy kitchen implements! One may, for example, utilize light saber chopsticks, have a Starship Enterprise pizza cutter, rock Star Wars-themed aprons, cookie cutters, pancake molds, and spatulas, and serve pi-shaped ice. Believe me. There is an endless supply of geeky kitchen accessories you can choose from if you want to jack up your kitchen's awesome quotient.

Oh, frack it. Just have fun!

Ultimately, geek chic decorating is whatever you make of it. Be chic. Be geeky. Don't worry too much (half of being chic is about executing a look effortlessly, after all). So long as you fill your rooms with colors, furniture, images, objects (and technology, obviously) that you love, your place will be perfect.

I hope you enjoy adding nerdy, classy flourishes to your rooms as much as I did. If you have any additional tips or thoughts on geek chic décor, feel free to share them in the comments!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Did you ever try out a moveing picture frame ?

      Its so cool when your guests realise after a few hours, that your picture is actually moveing :)

    • cabmgmnt profile image


      8 years ago from Northfield, MA

      I like nerdy flare and the plates with nerd knick knacks is super dooper inspiring. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh no, Brainy Bunny!!! Well... I bet they'll calm down eventually!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      8 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I'm jealous! When I lived alone, I was too young and broke to decorate anything. Now that I can afford to have some nice things, I have rambunctious kids and a husband who doesn't share my taste in decorating. Waah!

    • LisaKoski profile image


      8 years ago from WA

      Great ideas. I've never heard of geek chic but I definitely want to give it a try.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Hehee, then I must say you have EXCELLENT taste, kittythedreamer!! I honestly think Geek Chic is THE way to go... at least for chic geeks!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      8 years ago from Summerland

      Too cool! I've always loved this type of décor. I can't imagine you decorating your house in any other way. :)

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      They're real things, Will Apse. I adore them. I eat with them daily. Screw The Forks!

      And I LOVE the idea of some pink and green ugly dolls in my room! They'd look great, and serve as excellent pillows. I'll have to get my hands on some! Thanks for the flattering compliment and excellent suggestion.

    • alphagirl profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Very funny approach to interiors. I love interiors ! May I add to your nerd /greek room?

      I think you need some ugly dolls in pink and green. Use them as pillows on your chairs.It would be cool and the irony is so there with the classic chic lines you have! Your feng shui is deliberate and fun!

    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 

      8 years ago

      I liked the idea of the 'light saber chopsticks'.

      In fact, I guffawed!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks so much for the kind words, vocalcoach!!! I do hope you got some fun new ideas from the Hub.

      As for taking photos- the more you take, the better they get!

      The music decorating theme you've got going sounds fantastic! And Oh. My. Gawd. A SIGNED BIG BIRD PHOTO??? Just when I don't think you can get any cooler!!! Having such different art on your walls might not be bad at all- they all have a theme, right? And if you have the pieces in coordinated frames, those can act as an additional aesthetic element that ties them together.

      That said, I SO want to fly off to Nashville and see this! The veggie burger and sweet potato fries sound pretty good right about now. And my gosh... I am SO jealous of your Big Bird photo!!! I bet there's an awesome story behind that!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Simone - Your hub is an answer to my prayer. I have to be the worlds geekiest geek and am always searching for new and clever ideas. I found them right here in your hubalicious article! I would love to take a tour through your crib. No doubt I would be "oooooing" and "ahhhhhing".

      I see by your photos, that you are also handy with a camera. Wish I were...sigh.

      My theme is, of course,is music. I have some one-of- a kind pictures on the walls which house my grand piano. One is a 13th century scroll of music, mounted on leather and framed with a hand designed antique frame.

      Then, a huge opposite, is a chromed framed hand drawn picture of big bird sitting on my piano in Hawaii, drawn and autographed for me by The Big Bird himself.

      And yet other wall art is a large mounted print in black of Beethoven, and the contrasting wall shares framed photos of Frank Sinatra. Adding to this are my framed Degrees, Certificates etc and a photo of a grand piano sitting in snow from a Jazz Festival. Help!!!!!!!!

      If I fly you to Nashville and treat you to a veggie burger with sweet potatoe fries - will you help me?

      Obviously, I need it:) Rated up and across the board on this one.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Your "stuff room" sounds amazing, 50! You really must write a Hub about it!

      I'm actually with you on minimalism, Hyphenbird. All the other rooms in my apartment are sparsely furnished and undecorated.

      They're a match made in heaven, anglnwu! I would SO dig giving your place a geek chic makeover, hehee!

      Stephanie Henkel, your rock and shell collection sounds amazing- and how lovely that each object has a memory attached! That's how it is with the things I've decided to hold on to as well. Memories make for the best decorations!

      Oooh, I hope you mix a little geek into your decorating from now on, Emma Harvey!

      You're so right, Chatkath. Thanks for the compliment, too!

      A Hightower, I'm going to add a link to the etsy artist who makes those prints to this Hub. They're super reasonably priced, and the seller is lovely!

    • A Hightower profile image

      Alexis in Brooklyn 

      8 years ago from New York, NY

      I am loving this Hub! I need to make another cup of coffee and read slowly, again. Also, I MUST have the Marie Antoinette Paris Metro art (and the framing tips are perfect, thx). Too fabulous for words. Go Geek Chic. Thanks Simone!

    • Chatkath profile image


      8 years ago from California

      What an absolutely fun hub Simone, one's home should reflect things that they love, memories, experiences and décor that welcome you home every day. And I couldn't agree more, decorating is what you make it! Thanks for sharing your fabulous geek chic place with us - it is adorable, I especially like the frame tip, yours look great! The matching frames make a huge difference...

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 

      8 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Love this hub - I am so inspired!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      I love your geeky chick decorating ideas! Best of all, I love the idea of decorating your home with things you love. My house has random rocks and shells -- in bowls and jars and here and there on bookcases and shelves. It may seem weird to the casual observer, but they remind me of places I love and wonderful experiences.

    • anglnwu profile image


      8 years ago

      Geek and chic can go together after all. Love your examples--the geeky objects on serving plates look fun and wacky. Maybe, you should come over to my place and help me with a house makeover. Fabulous.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      It all does look like great fun. Alas, as a minimalist, I love less. But I really adore virtual window shopping ( I think a Hub is in there) and mentally just purchased about $1,000!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      I enjoyed the pictures and believe were I to walk in I could look around for a good while, I am no decorator by any means but I do have 1 single room 24x24 with 14 foot ceiling that became the come and sit a while room as the walls are completed with many artifacts of southwestern lore. Folks like it more than I and just wall to wall move and stare asking questions about everything. That tells me by mistake I did something right. I've pondered a hub on my "stuff room".

      Great hub and inspiration, 50

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks so much QudsiaP1 and VENZKHVAM! Geek chic style pretty much speaks for itself, eh?

      And you, nikki_m, are my hero. Will you PLEASE make a Hub about these throw blankets???? THEY SOUND AMAZING!!!!! AAAARGHH!!PWOEJGSPOFSJBOPESJR:!!!

      YESSS! POWER TO THE GEEK GIRLS!! I know you're going to have a ball picking out nerdy art for your apartment, applecsmith. There is a huge amount of golden stuff out there, and it's all so reasonably priced!!

      Your place sounds charming, FloraBreenRobison! And hey- you've still got a touch of geek added to the mix with those Star Trek model dolls though. Nice one!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing photos of your home. My walls are covered with Mom's artwork and photographs of my cat. My walls are off white so that I can move paintings around so that I don't have to colour match. Most of my furniture has neutral colours for the same reason. I don't really fit nerd or geek quite in the level where I have any costumes or anything like that. But the knowledge I have of classic Hollywood trivia-long before I was born and full of famous nameless faces whose face I can name-it does surprise people. I do have a couple of Star Trek model dolls, though-of Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk.

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This. is. Fabulous. Simone Smith FTW! I love your geek chic ideas and can't wait to find some great nerdy type art I can use in my apartment. Geek (girls) UNITE! I'm especially going to use your "explosion of awesomeness" theory. Thanks for sharing this fantastic post. Voted up - funny and awesome.

    • nikki_m profile image


      8 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri

      This entire Hub is win.

      My current project is making granny-square 8-bit Mario character throw blankets for my couch! Lots of work but they're pretty much perfect for my own geeky abode.

      Awesome Hub, loving the geek love

    • VENZKHVAM profile image


      8 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

      yeah i really loved it Simon you have real good way of explaining the things with lots of information i like it keep writing more. iam following you with your permissiveness

    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      8 years ago

      LOve It... Love it... LOVE IT!

      Did I emphasise enough? :P


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)