6 Tips To Add Real Victorian Style To Your Home
Or, just what did the Victorians ever do for us?
Victorian style cues have never really gone out of fashion since their beguiling beginnings.
True, they may have slipped off the radar in some eras but they’ve never been kept hidden away in the home décor closet for long.
The late 19th century saw many developments in interior décor and Victorian style fits like a well-tailored silk ladies glove in both modern homes and ones which date from that era.
Perhaps that is why so many homeowners are looking over their shoulder to the Victorians for style ideas that work today.
Okay, few people are ripping out their central heating system and going back to individual fireplaces in each of their home’s rooms. But that said, there are plenty of stylish ideas that really do add a true Victorian touch in modern homes from the floor to the ceiling.
What are some of the best ones? Read on to find out.
Go for Luxurious Rich Hues
From deep purples to heavy gold-browns, Victorian-era people were never afraid to choose from a bold interior colour palette.
If you have whitewashed walls and you want an old-fashioned look, then it is time to get out your paintbrush! Although you can make good use of reds and blues – as many Victorians did – you need to bear in mind that the bright and reflective tones of modern paints were unavailable in the 19th century. As such, you will need to find paint suppliers who have the right sort of products, usually sold in heritage ranges.
Don’t be afraid to colour coordinate your rooms, either. A rich colour in one room can be replicated in your choice of artwork and soft furnishing upholstery.
This need not be repeated in other reception rooms, however. Go for something else entirely different but that is nonetheless superbly sumptuous.
If you have an open plan house, something that would have been unknown in Victorian times, then you can create distinct zones in each part of your living space by choosing bold colours for your sitting area, dining area, kitchen area, and so on.
Vivacious Victorian Floorings
The Victorian era saw floors as something a bit more than just the space beneath your feet.
From tessellating floor tiles to magnificent mosaics, the Victorian style was never so apparent as across the floor from outside to in. Porches and vestibules, garden paths and kitchens – anywhere that needed a durable surface to live up to daily footfall, Victorian flooring had the lot.
And still does. In fact, original floor tiles from the Victorian and Edwardian eras that are still in serviceable condition attract high prices as collectors’ items.
However, floor tiles always require grouting and are often not desirable in modern kitchens and bathrooms for flooring because they trap moisture and grime. They are also expensive to both source and install.
If you take inspiration from Victorian-style ideas but want a thoroughly modern material with all of the benefits they bring in terms of maintenance and cleanliness, then our Victorian patterned vinyl flooring could be the perfect solution.
With vinyl flooring, it can be usually fitted as a single piece without joins so it is child’s play to maintain.
However, you can get the same sort of tessellating patterns that were so loved during the Victorian period. In fact, if you find the perfect Victorian floor tile that you would like in your home but don’t have enough to cover your kitchen floor, then vinyl flooring can be manufactured that replicates it with accurate colour matches, pattern shape and style.
It is the contemporary way to get the Victorian flooring look.
Stained Glass That Sparkles
Ornate glazing was popular in the late Victorian era and continued to be widespread in the early 20th century.
If you have the budget to replace your glazing, then fitting casement windows which have clear glazing in the lower section and patterned, stained glass at the top, opening section adds a superb Victorian touch.
Of course, this sort of staining looks perfect in south-facing windows because the coloured glass will create a pattern in your interior which shifts around during the day as the sun passes by.
Remember that modern double-glazing manufacturers can produce windows of this type so you don’t need to go back to old-fashioned single-pane units.
Stained glass also looks divine in sash windows. However, if your budget does not extend to a complete set of new stained windows, then simply change your front door for one with a small section of patterned stained glass in it.
Luxurious Drapes For Wonderful Windows
Heavy draped curtains were a mainstay of Victorian interior design.
Velour is the perfect material to choose for curtains so long as it matches the chosen colour palette for the room concerned. Match your curtains with a pelmet and sash tie-backs to get the simply sumptuous look that was so loved by people at that time.
Curtains also look spectacular when made from damask or even silk. The ideal approach is to hang your curtains from a high position and to allow them to extend all the way to the floor. Do this even if your windows are not that large.
When decorating bedrooms, it is possible to go for a less opulent style and still achieve a great Victorian-era look. Cotton and muslin in lighter tones can capture the classic look but with a modern twist in bedrooms.
Wood For Feel & Look
Wood, especially tropical hardwoods, made a real statement in Victorian interior design.
These days, few people would advocate using teak or ebony in their homes because we understand just how rare these tropical hardwoods are. That said, it is perfectly possible to get the look of these types of wood from veneers and from staining.
Although wood is important in many ways for a 19th-century style code, you should try to avoid modern softwoods like pine.
When thinking about how and where you should use wood, then the answer is the more the better.
Wooden wall paneling is ideal to capture the style cues that developed around 150 years ago.
You don’t need to live in a baronial mansion in order to deck your home out with wooden wall panels because with a little thought, it can work anywhere.
However, if you are going to install it, then a hallway or corridor is best. For other rooms, opt for wooden picture rails and dado rails.
Don’t paint these period features but let them stand out in their own right. When hanging pictures, it is also important to actually use your picture rail rather than banging picture hooks into your wall!
Victorian style interior period furniture should also be made from wood. Even when opting for sofas and chairs that are more up-to-date and chosen for their extra comfort, pick a style where the feet are wooden to fit in with the look of the rest of your décor.
Ideally, there will be some ornate carving in any of the wood you have on display, whether this is from occasional tables, a dresser or a sideboard.
Think luxury, think opulence, think Victorian style! Let’s bring the glamour of the bygone age bang up to date – don’t forget, the 20s are coming back around the corner.
Victorian Style Bathroom Suites
There are few more distinctive looking rooms that evoke the Victorian period than bathrooms. Opt for a white three-piece suite with heavy-duty porcelain.
Even if your bathroom is relatively small, a free-standing bathtub is the perfect way to achieve the right look.
Victorians raised their baths on small feet, usually made from ironwork. Such bathtubs are widely available these days and some very cleverly integrate modern shower units so you get the best of both worlds without compromising on the Victorian look.
Although tiling was usually preferred for Victorian-era bathrooms, splashbacks did not tend to extend over every surface as they might so in a modern wetroom.
Instead, at least the upper half of your bathroom should be given a different sort of wall treatment. A William Morris-inspired wallpaper is perfect in bathrooms. Floral and paisley designs work very well but you could also take your style cues from the late Victorian, fin de siècle, period and opt for Japanese exoticism in your wallpaper – a great look in any bathroom which has a Victorian house interior style. Helpfully, modern water-resistant wallpapers are available today in such designs.
Well, what did we miss?
How is your home welcoming in the Victorian sensibilities and style?
Let us know on social media the look that makes your room more you.
So, whether your home had its foundations laid in the 1800s or perhaps a century or so later, there’s always a dash or two of Victorian style that can comfortably make its way into your space!
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