Victorian architecture refers to the architectural design that was in vogue in Great Britain and the former British colonies during the reign of Queen Victoria, namely the years between 1837 and 1901. It coincided with the Industrial Revolution, during which en masse migrations of people from the countryside to urban areas resulted in the construction of millions of Victorian homes around the world.
Today many of these houses still stand. Loaded with history and character, these beautiful structures come in all shapes and sizes, from medium-sized row houses to stand-alone homes that exhibit the Gothic Revival style in the grandest ways possible.
If you live in one of these, then lucky you. However, for the rest of us who can only imagine having a Victorian residence to call our own, we have to realize our dreams in more imaginative ways. In this article, we’ll introduce you to a few quintessential Victorian design elements that you can incorporate in your home today.
A Multi-Tier Fountain
Out in your yard, you can install a multi-tier garden fountain which approximates the look of ornate water features gracing the yards of Victorian homes and mansions. A fountain is a very good addition to any home because it improves a house’s curb appeal. It makes the front of any house more desirable while also providing it with a welcoming centerpiece that will impress any guess.
Stained glass panels are a cornerstone element of Victorian and even Edwardian architecture, adorning the entrance doors and windows of many homes built during those periods. Rich, colorful stained glass designs featuring floral or geometric patterns can instantly make your home look more striking and more interesting.
Sash windows are also important defining features of Victorian architecture, so they’re a great element to consider when you’re trying to emulate the look of a Victorian-era home. As their name suggests, sash windows comprise sash frames that can be slid vertically or horizontally. These frames are made up of individual panels of glass called lights, which are held together in a grid by a series of horizontal and vertical bars.
Ceiling Medallions or Ceiling Roses
Ceiling medallions or ceiling roses are also found in many original Victorian homes. Typically round in shape and featuring elaborate ornamental designs such as flower and leaf patterns, ceiling medallions are a type of plasterwork that are affixed to the ceiling. From their center, a chandelier or light fixture is typically suspended, creating a dramatic effect especially when the lights are turned on.
Rich Jewel-Tone Walls
Victorian homes are not known for bright or pastel-colored walls. In their stead, rich, jewel-tone colors like burgundy, deep blues, ruby reds, emerald greens, purples, amber, and even black were often used. You can paint some of your walls in these deep, bold colors, while painting others in white or off-white to create a striking but beautiful contrast.
Elaborate Molding and cornices
Like ceiling medallions, plasterwork molding during the Victorian era were ornate and flamboyant. Incorporating them today in your home is a great way to add character to your interiors, especially if they are juxtaposed against dark-colored walls.
Opulent Fabrics and Textiles
When recreating Victorian style, it’s important to pay attention to the fabrics and textiles you use in your home. During those times, even household textiles were elaborate and sumptuous, imbuing residences with an air of opulence. Heavy, rich fabrics like damask and velvet, as well as ornate silk and sheer were favored as material for draperies. Heavy, patterned fabrics were also used for upholstery, carpeting, and tapestries, creating an atmosphere of warmth and coziness within indoor environments.
Intricately Designed Ornaments
You’ve guessed it. Even when it comes to ornaments, Victorian style calls for pieces with elaborate designs. From ornate frames, decorative boxes, and beautiful Persian rugs to artistic lamps, delicate rose china, and lace doilies, there are so many decorative pieces that you can incorporate in your home to give it that Victorian flair.
Victorian design is bold, flamboyant, and timeless. If you love the aesthetics from this period, you don’t have to own an actual Victorian home. Consider the tips we’ve provided above, and you can easily turn even a new house into a modern Victorian residence that’s worthy of a magazine feature.