Victorian Home Decor
Victorian home decor and English Country are the two primary themes that come out of England's storied past throughout the last several centuries.
It is no wonder that we surrender to the Old World elegance of English decor adorning our homes.
The Victorian style, like the queen herself, rose to prominence in 1837 and continued through to the early 1900s, and is characterized by an eclectic decorative excess with nostalgic renderings of Baroque,Gothic, Oriental and Renaissance design styles.
A lavishly abundant and formal style, Victorian home decor is typified by elaborately carved ornamentation and moldings, strong and dark colors, varnished woodwork, Persian rugs and floral patterns.
The minimalist approach in this crowded style definitely does not apply.
Victorian home decor leans toward dark and strong colors with mauve, egg shell and deep red shades dominating.
Leathery browns, lighter shaded creams, rich blues and olive green are also included in Victorian home decor, and are represented in fresh flowers and plants, wall colors, carpets, window dressing, bedding and upholstery.
Darker colors are typically reserved for the larger, more formal dining rooms or evening rooms, while lighter shades are used for daytime rooms where less formal is preferred.
For assistance selecting your theme colors, try these free online tools, the color wheel calculator (from Sessions School of Design) and the color visualizer (from Sherwin Williams).
The Victorian age brought with it a refreshing change to homeowners, namely, more attention to the ordinary comfort that closely resembles what we are accustomed to today.
Leather buttoned and cushioned upholstery on furniture constructed from woods such as mahogany, oak and rosewood, can be stained either black or dark green, and exhibit a simple straight-lined build representing the gothic period, or the more ornate neoclassical look with intricate wood carvings.
Furniture with exposed carved wood trim and legs along with colorful upholstery and pillows will give the room an 18th century look of Old World design. Pieces that have this look can include arm chairs, armoires (for TV and stereo equipment), sofas, dining room sets, ottomans and bedroom sets.
Marble topped or solid wood end tables and dressers with collections of photographs and other heirlooms will round out the look in this style.
Lush fabrics are used for wall hangings, bed dressings, furniture upholstery and window dressings, and can consist of embroidered crewelwork, chintz, velvet, satin, brocade, silk and damask.
Lighter textured linens and lace can be used for such things as place mats, canopies, table cloths, table runners and the inner layer of window dressings.
Victorian Home Decor Accessories
Like many other themes on this site, Victorian home decor has provided for us over the last several centuries a rich array of material to choose from when decorating your home.
English styles are known for densely grouping pictures, photographs and other memorabilia on walls, so ...
An important thing to keep in mind when decorating in this theme is that walls are typically broken into three sections. The lower section, known as the dado, is roughly 2.5 feet high and incorporates the base board up to the chair railing. The mid-section, or field area, is the main part of the wall located between the chair railing and the top section, and is where portraits, pictures and other wall hangings are placed. The top few inches of the wall, where the cornice (ceiling molding) is located, can be a simple or highly complex plaster or wood carved molding.
Below are some more ideas to get you started in this motif.
- Aristocratic shields or coats-of-arms and swords displayed on walls
- An antique grandfather clock
- Layers of photographs, antiques and heirlooms, displayed on tables and chests or hung in groupings (usually by subject matter) on walls
- Porcelain dishes, vases and bowls placed on laced white linens or doilies
- Persian or Oriental rugs
- Heavy tasseled drapes and shawls over windows, furniture and doorways
- Darkly wooded shelving to hold old books, family photos and other memorabilia
- Damask patterned wallpaper
- Highly decorated gold framed pictures (oil paintings and ancestral portraits) and mirrors
- Delicate pillows and cushions for beds, couches and chairs
- Antique table and wall locks
- Sterling silver flatware and crystal glassware
- Houseplants in period piece vases and pots
- Oriental figurines, ceramics, carpets and dishware
- Wooden trays inlaid with gold or mother-of-pearl
- Victorian-era or antique China dishware displayed on walls
- Ceramic statues, figurines and dolls
- Antique tea sets on display made of china or silver
- Plaster statues and sculptures
- English garden decor, terracotta flower pots, weather vanes, bird houses, water fountains, wind chimes and gargoyle statues
- Potted plants (such as ferns) spread throughout the room
- Leather-bound hardback books of poetry and classics
- Plaster ceiling medallions and wall molding
- Freshly cut or dried flower bouquets
Lighting in Victorian home decor includes period reproduction pieces such as crystal or ironchandeliers, standing or table lamps with a variety of different fabric shades and stained glass. Peach colored bulbs will add to the aged effect of turn-of-the-century type lighting.
The primary source for lighting up until electricity was commonplace came from candles and lanterns. So, candlestick holders made of brass, pewter or crystal, oil lanterns made of crystal or brass, and wall sconces, with lower light levels and flickering flames, all add a certain ageless intimacy to the room.
See Also ...
French Home Decor
Return to European Decorating from here
A Full-Featured Victorian Home Decor Collection, including Curtain Laces, Wall Hangings, Tapestries, Tea Collections and More