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The Victorian Design Style

The Victorian Design Style, which was popular in the Victorian era, has experienced a comeback among homeowners in recent years. Many homeowners used this prominent mid-1800s home design style to show off their wealth. It merges classic architecture with modern decorations to create exquisite houses and apartments that are functional, elegant, and comfortable. Victorian homes can be a perfect option if you desire to showcase your uniqueness by blending different design choices. Here are some top key elements of this style. 

Victorian Style Architecture

Victorian architecture emphasizes ornate design and dramatic flourishes, with various unique styles that combine both traditional building techniques and newly-invented methods. These methods allow for the quick construction of large, extravagant buildings, unlike in the previous eras. While many specific elements define Victorian homes and buildings, the most common ones include:

  • Stick-style or Eastlake ornamentation

  • Arched entries

  • Bay windows 

  • Turrets

  • Mansard roofs

  • Ornate gables

  • Polychromatic paint schemes

  • Stained glass windows

  • Geometric patterns 

  • High ceilings

Victorian Materials

Using brick, stone, and plaster, Victorian home builders in ancient times tried to convey a sense of strength and durability. This was part of an overall design philosophy that encouraged ornamentation to build character among masons. Brick is one construction material that has proven its ability to withstand time and continues to be a common choice for building Victorian homes today.

  • Wood siding (pine or oak)

  • Iron railings 

  • Ornate wrought iron railings

  • Limestone and granite stone

  • Slate roofing and flooring

  • Hardwood floors

  • Plaster on walls, ceilings, and fireplaces

Victorian Colors and Finishes

Victorian homeowners preferred glossy, lacquered finishes, often with a gilded look. Think of red walls and gold trim or black-and-white checkered floors. To recreate that opulent feel today, they use dark-colored wallpaper and dark furniture pieces for interior design. For example, you can pair a burgundy patterned wallpapered room with mahogany-stained furniture. 

  • Darker tones such as navy blue, burgundy, and forest green

  • Brighter hues and pastels for some modern designs

  • Decorative wallpapers

  • Natural colors such as emerald green and lemon yellow 

Victorian Furniture and Decor

The delicate, detailed furniture designs found in Victorian homes represent varied styles, including Chippendale, French Rococo, and Queen Anne. Ornate and often elaborate, these pieces reflected the high status and wealth of their owners. Note that lavish furniture could be found on every floor of a typical Victorian home, including parlors, sitting rooms, and dining rooms. Each piece of furniture in a Victorian home is unique to match the owner's tastes and preferences. 

  • Walnut tables

  • Mahogany wardrobes and dining tables

  • Heavy luxurious fabrics

  • Ornate carvings

  • Decorative cabinets with lots of shelving space

  • Dark wood furniture

Victorian Lighting

Victorian lighting is typically very decorative in comparison to other forms of modern lighting. Chandeliers were often large and intricate to suit such a grandiose space. Other lights were created for reading and decorative purposes. Candles were also a regular way of providing light in Victorian homes. 

  • Traditional chandeliers

  • Wall sconces

  • Table and floor lamps 

  • Contemporary pendants 

Give Your Home a Victorian Lighting Update

The Victorians were known for their elaborate and ornate style. If you're trying to recapture that feel, contact us today to learn more about our selection of Victorian-style lighting fixtures.