The Victorian era is the period around 1837 to 1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria. The Victorians consider a room with minimal decor as lacking taste. They insist on clustering the interiors with decorative materials as a show of wealth and high family status. Following mass production, the cost of textiles and furniture became less expensive and this brought about an industrial revolution.
Victorian House Interior Design
The Victorian style is obsessed with personal privacy. Every member of the family had separate and designated rooms and every room was reserved for a particular purpose. Each room had different decorative patterns and accessories and the living room which was at the front of the house was reserved for the reception and entertainment of guests. The living room was strictly formal and was designed with textures and materials that evoked luxury, wealth, and status.
The rooms in Victorian Houses are so many and have a characteristic small size and this is why at first they were considered too classic and outdated for contemporary living and modern trends. However, it has been discovered that it is relatively easy to convert a Victorian home into a structure that would fit modern residency.
How to Create a Modern Victorian Style
A mix of Modern Style with Victorian style
This is also known as Modern Victorian. This design is made available for homeowners who own Victorian-themed interior decor but also want a flair or touch of what the modern interiors have to offer. This involves the careful mixture and combination of elements from both worlds.
- A Victorian house with an outward extension has a small bathroom and a narrow kitchen at the back of which both have no connections to the house itself. This structure can be transformed with the possible addition of a single-story building. This extension must have roof lights and lots of glass so that it does not block the in-flow of natural light. This renovation can only be achieved in areas where the planning laws permit it.
- Indulge in decorative patterns of styles.
- In your Victorian house interior design, avoid putting up multiple antique pieces. Mix up with modern textures and furniture.
- With modern textures and plain weaves, you can create a match by including wallpapers and traditionally printed fabrics.
- To hide the clutter of modern design, you can utilize the corners of your home as storage units.
- If you want to apply the Victorian style in your home, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be encountering a lot of patterns and colors. The Victorians were very practical with various designs and color shades and they applied them richly in their homes. You do not have to shy away from this. More so, companies are giving archived patterns a retouch by using different fabrics, new colors, and wallpaper scales.
- The idea is to blend this classic design with modern ones, so, add contemporary furniture that shares similarities with ancient ones. You can make use of fabric chairs with buttoned upholstery or exposed wooden parts.
- The use of modern lighting will create a contrast that will accent the architectural structure of your home.
- Use contrasting fabrics on your chair.
- Remodel the old dining table by redoing the cushions using graphic paint in both colors.
Addition of Craftsman Character
This decor does not necessarily require you to do any kind of remodeling or renovation. It simply involves the use of carved wood which serves an ornate purpose. This hand-carved or hand-crafted piece usually made with mahogany, oak and oak was something the Victorians didn’t miss out on including in their homes. The Victorians, as earlier mentioned, were too interested in the show of wealth and this appealed just right to their taste.
Below are ideas on how you can introduce the craftsman character into your interiors:
- Add carved art pieces anywhere and everywhere they fit; mirror frames, furniture, lamps, and picture frames.
- Marbles are a great addition to achieve this design. They evoke beauty, wealth, and luxury that Victorians were obsessed with. It could be a marble countertop or a statue carved out of marble.
- A fireplace mantel is another accessory you can include. Whether it is a new electric one or an old one purchased from a market, be sure it is the kind that imitates the style of an ancient burning wood type.
- Outline your doors, windows, and trims with textures that mimic the Victorian style.
- Use high-quality furniture. If you want to imitate the wealth of the Victorian style, you would need to use the best quality materials and furniture there is. It doesn’t matter whether you are mixing ancient and modern styles. If you must incorporate this decor into your home, you would need to choose furniture with the most quality, just like the Victorians did.
Creation of Color-themed Rooms
If there is one thing the Victorians excluded from their homes, it was simplicity, especially the kind with the use of neutral colors or neutrally themed aesthetics. Instead, hues of green, golden brown, blue and red were used. Blue, in particular, was most popularly used.
Although these colors are bright, only the dimmest shades were used as compared to the very bright shades employed in modern interiors. In a Victorian home, the boldest colors were only used in particular rooms like the dining room and library. Similarly, the lightest shades were used in the kitchen. Every room most likely had its designated color. Every Victorian home had a characteristic dramatic color theme.
If you are considering giving your home a Victorian color theme, here’s how you can achieve just that;
- Paint individual accent walls if your home has an open floor concept.
- If your home has a lot of rooms like Victorian homes, take advantage of that similarity and paint all different rooms with different color hues.
- If you don’t want a splash of colors on your walls or floors, you can do that with accessories, windows, and textiles. With this, you can easily use less dramatic colors on your walls.
The Victorian homes did everything richly. Every decoration was properly highlighted and well-detailed. The knick-knacks, textiles, furniture, and paintings were placed around excessively.
In your modern Victorian home, you can make use of oil paintings, Persian-style rugs layered on your floors, and windows trimmed in silk. The detailing patterns of a traditional Victorian home are the exact opposite of what modern home decor detailing looks like, but there are ways around it when it comes to blending in all the contrasts.
- Add layers for details but with fewer restraints and avoid covering the floor, walls, and ceilings in detail.
- Use fresh flowers or floral fabrics to introduce romance. Your throw pillows can be in floral patterns while sitting right on your modern chair.
- Pair modern cork with a Persian rug.
- Using a modern cabinet, you can display your old porcelain collection or simply place them on a steel table.
- Use floor-to-ceiling curtains with modern prints.
Victorian Sitting Room
In today’s world, the living room is the central part of the home designated for family activities and relaxation. In the Victorian era, this was not the case. At first, this room which was called the death room was reserved for the arrangements of dead family members before the last visits.
In the 1900s this practice slowly faded away as mortuaries were used for this purpose instead of the living room.
The renaming of this room from “death room” to ” living room” happened before the end of the nineteenth century.
Characteristic features of Victorian living rooms include:
- Gold ornamentals: the Victorian living room decor has obsessive gold and gold-tinted details. Sometimes, yellow hues are added to highlight the gold accessories.
- The walls are made of stone or painted in dark hues or both. Hand-carved pieces made of stone or wood are stationed in different areas of the living room.
- Bold detailing objects like candlesticks on a fireplace mantel, brass lamps, velvet fabrics, and rugs with oriental patterns were usually used.
Victorian House Colors
The color palette of traditional Victorian homes was chosen to blend with the surrounding environment. Hues of beige-brown, ochre, taupe, russet, and ecru are regarded as Victorian colors. These colors were chosen because they are closely related to nature. Also, this choice was influenced by the fact that brightly pigmented colors were different to produce, unlike the others that were obtained by grinding rock, plant, and tree bark although some Victorian homes still utilized bright colors.
Most Victorian homes reflected good fortune and riches towards decorative materials; some materials and rooms had characteristic colors.
- The hallways were usually in neutral paint with shades of gray and tan.
- The wallpapers often had floral and vibrant patterns.
- Tassels, tablecloths, and chairs were found in multiple colors.
- Draperies and upholstery had rich red colors, blue, purple, brown, and mauves.
- Lace tablecloths and curtains were mostly white
- Stained glass found over the staircases and door panels had brilliant colors.
Victorian Gothic-inspired Decor
Unlike the Modern Victorian, the Victorian gothic-inspired decor brings in a stronger character and might require a lot of remodeling to achieve. This would take time and a lot of planning but it is absolutely practical and achievable. Here’s how;
- Installation or use of lancet windows: surrounded by heavy moldings and made of stained glass, a lancet window is a tall narrow window with a pointed arch. They are mostly used in churches and middle-aged homes. While remodeling your windows to fit this is a great idea, you can as well include this without having to do a remodel. All you have to do is add the architectural shape of a lancet window on walls by the windows or hang a reclaimed stained glass window on your walls as artwork.
- Moldings: these thick molding lines with crown shapes are mostly found on the edges of the ceiling. You can achieve this by either going DIY or by hiring a contractor to get the job done.
- Inclusion of boss architecture: bosses are ornately carved decorations that are found or situated in vaulted ceilings. The use of face and animal carvings can be used to achieve this. This element can also be added on shelves or just by the entrance of your home.
- Candlestick lighting: if you want to go full Victorian style, you have to exclude the use of modern light bulbs and LED lights. The old-fashioned way involved the use of candlesticks for lighting and this was very practical for the Victorians. These candlelights can be suspended with Chandeliers made with huge wrought iron. If you do not intend on using candlesticks you can opt for light bulbs that mimic the lighting of a candlestick.
- Victorian-gothic accessories: these gothic accessories have characteristic huge wrought irons, stone, metal, and wood. These items include heavy area rugs, scones carved out of wood, pottery bowls, lamps with wrought iron, and carved stone statues.
- Victorian drapery design: the draperies in Victorian homes were both decorative and practical. They were used as dividers and as frames on doorways.
- Statement fabrics: fabrics like satin, silk, and velvet have a kind of boldness, elegance, and drama especially in bold textures, colors, and patterns.
- Dramatic colors: the Victorians barely used any ordinary color, they opted for the most unusual hues like deep burgundy, ruby red, emerald green, and dark ocean blue. These colors were mostly colors of gems and precious stones and since wealth is what the Victorians portrayed, they were amongst the best options.
- Earth elements: terra-cotta, wood, brick, and stone were mostly used for the floors.
- Damask or brocade wallpapers: amongst the various options available, this particular wallpaper type brings out the true traditional gothic style. You can also use wallpapers with velvet textures.
Victorian Style Furniture
Victorian Style Furniture is an antique style of furniture made during the Victorian era (during the reign of Queen Victoria). This furniture is usually adoptive to stylish motifs. The furniture has significant elegance and opulence.
Rosewood and mahogany were some of the materials used to make this furniture style.
Victorian Style Furniture includes;
- Chair-back settee
- Chesterfield sofa
- Windsor settee
- Boueuse sofas
- Camelback sofa
- Canapè à confidante sofa
- Indiscreet sofa
- Fainting couch
- Rècamier daybed
This is a daybed that can also be used as a sofa. The headboards are curved and scrolled and the footboards are short. It originally did not have a backrest but more recent versions have low backrests.
It was developed in 1970 by a Parisian hostess, Madame Rècamier.
This seating style is popular and has an arched back that rises prominently in the middle and slightly at the sides as well. It is sometimes described and referred to as the “humpback” sofa.
This seat has two chairs that share a common back. The sitters of this seat face the opposite direction. The word boules is a french word that translates to “sulky”. It was developed in the nineteenth century and was sometimes referred to as the loveseat.
The headrest and footrest of this furniture are connected by the length of the piece. It also can be utilized as both a daybed and a sofa. Both headrests and footrests are scrolled. The legs often vary in shape. New versions of this furniture have open ends.
This seating is a long bench with backrests made of multiple spindles often taking the shape of a saddle and has six legs inserted into holes and connected with stretchers making it form the letter H. These spindles sunk into holes found at the base of the seat.
The spindled back seat has various shapes with the straight low-backs being the most common.
This couch type is upholstered. It is capable of seating three people at the same time and was developed in the middle of the nineteenth century. This sofa has two forms; the circular sofa which has three sections and a tall center in the back.
The later version has three sections that share a center and a tall back. Both had ornate carvings.
Upholstered sofa which has rolled arms and similar heights traditionally made with buttoned leather or fabrics. It is associated with the Victorian style of the mid-nineteenth century.
The distinct frames of this seating are multiple with a common seat. It was much more used in the seventeenth century up until the nineteenth century. It has back chairs which are usually open.
Canapè à confidante sofa
This sofa is long and each end has seating that faces outward from right angles. It was developed in the eighteenth century.
This seating is made by the conjoining of two seats positioned in a way that two people occupying the seats face opposite directions while sitting closely by each other. It was developed in the nineteenth century.
Antique Furniture Foot Styles
These old seatings have different foot patterns that were characteristic features of ancient furniture. These foot patterns not only help you identify antique furniture but also help you determine around the time they were developed.
The foot styles include;
- Arrow foot
- Ball foot
- Block foot
- Toupie foot
- Cylindrical foot
- Hoof foot
- Ball and claw foot
- Bracket foot
- Bun foot
- Dolphin foot
- French foot
Arrow foot: the shape of this furniture foot style is a cylinder. A turned ring separates the leg. The result is a blunt arrow. It gained popularity in the middle of the eighteenth century.
Ball foot: this footing furniture style is one of the most basic ones and developed earlier than some others dating back to the 1600s. The footing has the shape of a sphere and is mostly found on sideboards, chests, and secretaries.
Block foot: this footing style takes the shape of a cube or a square. Its existence dates back from the 1600s to the 1800s but it did not gain recognition until the middle of the eighteenth century. Sometimes, it is called the Marlborough foot.
Ball and claw foot: if you can picture the grip of a bird over a ball, then you have a clear representation of what this furniture footing is shaped to. It was introduced in the 1700s.
Dolphin foot: this furniture foot style is carved to form the shape of a fish head. In some cases, a motif design is added to the extent of the legs and the base of the piece. Other pieces have varied designs that could include the arms and feet of a dolphin. The use of this footing on chairs and tables began in the middle of 1700.
Bracket foot: the look of furniture foot style is responsible for its name. It usually has corners finished at a 45-degree angle. It is oftentimes called the console leg. Types include ogee bracket foot, plain bracket foot, and scrolled bracket foot.
Hoof foot: this footing is carved in resemblance to an animal hoof. Typically, the hoof of a deer was mostly represented. It came into existence in the seventeenth century.
Toupie foot: looks like a round saucer at the top with a large middle and a narrowed end. Existence dates back to the second half of the seventeenth century.
Bun foot: the shape is spherical or disc-like. It is a version of the ball foot that has a flat top and wider bottoms. Although developed in the 1600s it was not popular until later in the 1800s.
Cylindrical foot: this furniture foot style is cylindrical like the name suggests, is separated from the leg by a ring, swells out, then thins down towards the ends. The development was between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
French foot: this has a concave bracket shape that spreads outwardly. It was developed in the eighteenth century.
Other furniture foot styles include onion, trifid, trestle, turnip, whorl, spade, pad, and monopodium.
Victorian Furniture Purchase
These pieces are on Amazon. The exact prices depend on size, color, and type of fabric used.
Amazon has gained recognition as the world’s largest online market known for prioritizing customer satisfaction and convenience. The leverage of several distribution centers across the globe enables them to quickly and efficiently ship products to customers.
Gone are the days when people considered the Victorian style outrageous, ancient and outdated. With modernization, interior decoration has developed, and accepting influence from different eras and cultures around the world and adapting to various styles and patterns is the only way to continue with the dynamics of interior decor.