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Victorian Era Decorating: Interior Design For Victorian Homes — Victorian homes are fabulously unique, full of character and open to a wonderful array of interior design opportunities. If you’re lucky enough to own a Victorian cottage or terraced house, you might be looking for ways to refurbish or modernize your interiors.
Victorian Era Decorating: Interior Design For Victorian Homes
Let’s explore Victorian homes and ways to decorate them so that they can become just as grand on the inside as they are on the outside.
Is your Home a Victorian?
A house with Victorian architecture is named such because of the time period in which it was built or modeled after. This era roughly corresponds to the time when Queen Victoria reigned in Britain, 1837 to 1901. During this time, industrialization created numerous innovations in architecture. Victorian era decorating / Victorian styles are wide in variety, but each one has distinctive characteristics.
- Steeply pitched roof of irregular shape, usually with a dominant front-facing gable
- Textured shingles (or other devices) to avoid a smooth-walled appearance
- Partial or full-width asymmetrical porch, commonly one story high and extends along one or both side walls
- Asymmetrical (lopsided) exterior
This era was marked by peace and prosperity in England, which inspired a new wave of engineering and design. In fact, the influence was felt far and wide, including the USA. You can still see evidence of Victorian era architecture in cities like San Francisco, where ornate details and color are key.
Victorian homes tend to have well-proportioned rooms and high ceilings. With so much room, you might not know where to start. Maybe some information will help, let’s dive into decorating.
Color Schemes: Victorian Era Decorating
Are you wanting to incorporate a more modern feel inside your home? With the asymmetrical, unsmooth exterior you might need a chic relaxing vibe for the interior. Choosing colors for the walls, floors and even ceilings are a great place to start.
Victorian homes have fantastic floor to ceiling height and it’s an excellent feature to accentuate. Try using a light shade of grey or brown to make walls more sleek. A color like this will give you plenty of wiggle room when it comes to decorating, but it also helps decide on colors of other wall ornaments like caving and ceiling roses which are often present in Victorian homes. Using a white shade on these accessories will make them stand out and the walls fade into the background.
If you’re thinking of something even more light and bright, you could paint everything white, including the floorboards. This often gives a nice airy feel and offers numerous ways to approach the next step of designing your home, like furniture choices. If you’d rather stick to the 19th century appeal, try a emerald green color or a pattern on the walls, such as flocked wallpaper.
Painting something the same color as the walls, like bookshelves, will extend the eye upwards and keeps a room looking more open without losing any functionality. The idea is to unify and define a space within a room, which is key for spacious Victorian properties.
This method also works for stand-alone furniture. Painting units or shelves the same color as the wall creates the illusion of built-in shelves, which is also great if you’re looking for an affordable option or renting.
Fabric Options: Victorian Era decorating
To make your Victorian home go back in time, try out some antique materials. Among the most important characteristics in Victorian decor are fabrics. Using anything with lace, ribbon and embroidery in a white or natural hue would fit well in your home. To offset your wall colors, depending on your choices, you could use brighter color fabrics as well.
You can utilize these materials on decorative pillows, tablecloths and curtains. If you have a plethora of fabric, put it to use as upholstery for any furniture that needs attending to. Victorian homes were often elaborately decorated, so if your goal is to bring back the old days, place some extra doilies and lace over the arms of your chairs and tables. The reasoning behind this in the past was to help reflect the rich status of the homeowner and showed off their style and taste.
Don’t forget rugs. Have you ever glimpsed a Victorian home without the accent of a good traditional rug? Probably not, and with good cause. Victorian rooms are often large and airy, and a rug adds comfort and the feel of home. Without it, you’ll be wishing your feet weren’t so cold.
When wanting to save time and money, older or antique linens can be picked up at thrift stores, yard sales or online. Discount stores are a good source of inexpensive embroidered items also.
Rooms at a Glance
You have some ideas of what colors to use and fabrics to include, but let’s look at some room ideas in detail to see what all can be done with so much space!
Let’s assume your bathtub is in the center of your bathroom. You have hardwood floors and beautiful high ceilings. Painting this room a darker shade, like midnight blue, would create a more up-to-date feel. But by incorporating traditional rugs around the bath, you will give a nod towards the travels and collections a wealthy Victorian might have had.
When decorating a bedroom, you want to feel at ease. It’s where you sleep, where you dress and you need comfort in this space. Sticking to a color scheme and seeing it through will relieve any unwanted chaos in a bedroom design. If you’ve chosen dark grey, paint everything that color. Choose linens that are white or of a similar hue as the walls. By choosing grey for the walls, lighting, cupboards and such, any contrasting pieces will pop out as things to admire rather than things that clash.
For a sophisticated dining experience, you could spruce up your home with a luxurious space that mirrors the key elements of the time period. An elegant and extra-long sideboard to display arrangements and food, cream-colored wall coverings, ornate gold trim, rich flocked-patterned fabrics and crystal lighting set this dining room scene off right.
Victorian era decorating / decorating your Victorian house can be grand and marvelous. So many options await, all you have to do is decide your color scheme and you’re on your way to a newly decorated home.