Reviving the Victorian Style in Your Modern Home
The Victorian Era was a period of great transformation for the British. Victorians were known to be refined people and so this was a time when advancements in science were being made and some of the most enduring, influential works of art and literature were being developed.
Not only did this period bring significant cultural change, it also paved the way for economic growth. The Victorian Era took place during the onset of the Industrial Revolution. For the middle class, this meant prosperity and the ability to afford the kind of furniture only aristocrats could previously get their hands on.
A Brief History on the Victorian Era
What exactly is the Victorian Era? This era is what people call the period of time Queen Victoria from the time she was crowned (1837) to when she passed away (1901). It was over half a century’s worth of rapid development and change that led to England’s transformation from an agricultural country to an urban one.
England also enjoyed massive population growth, the expansion of the British Empire, and social reforms (such as legislation on child labor, safety in mines and factories, public health, education, and the end of slavery in the British Empire)
Reimagining a Victorian Home
During this era, society abided by a strict set of guidelines on decorum and etiquette. This means there were people who wrote books on proper home management and decoration.
Having a bland, bare room (like how most modern interiors are nowadays) was considered to be a lack of taste by these authors, which means that having a house cluttered with Victorian furniture was the desired outcome back then. Thankfully, you don’t have to hop onto a time machine to know how to decorate the Victorian way; we have compiled some pointers on how to make your home as authentic as possible:
Rooms back in the Victorian Era were crowded with furniture. Get some button-backed chairs to start off. Find a nice, comfortable rug and pair it with a beautifully-carved wooden table in the middle. Fill empty surfaces with framed photographs and flower vases. You can also add a centerpiece if you really want to make a statement. We suggest going for oak or walnut furniture as these were all the rage then. One Victorian detail you can add to your list is stained glass. This can quickly turn your themed interiors from ‘nice’ to ‘special’, especially when light begins to leak through it.
Patterns and Colors
Another striking feature of the Victorian interior aesthetic is the way the fabrics serve as accents that help set the tone of the room. The most common fabrics used were silk or velvet curtains. Pillows and cushions, on the other hand, were usually made out of toile and chintz and decorated in eye-catching floral patterns.
Wallpaper and Paint
Victorians were big fans of patterns and put it everywhere from curtains, vintage rugs to wallpapers. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution and a surge in wallpaper production, the interest in this item grew significantly. If you aren’t too keen on the patterned look, you can also try painting soft and subdued colors on your walls. This gives your eyes somewhere to rest on amid the organized clutter.
One of the first things that greet you when entering a themed home is the flooring. You can get tiles with traditional Edwardian or Victorian designs. These are perfect for halls, much like something you would see from cathedrals. You can also opt for polished or stained pine floorboards, especially for the living room or bedroom for a warm, homey feel.
Of course, it’s impossible to visualize Victorian Era interiors without imagining two things: an impressive chandelier overlooking the whole room and a fireplace spreading warmth with its glow. You can also add decorative table lamps, floor lamps, chandeliers, sconces and candle stands to give the room soft, warm light and contribute to the ambiance. This will add that level of grandeur that completes your interior.
Merging Modern and Victorian Interior Design
Owning a Victorian-style home can be very alluring thanks to the character it exudes. But sometimes, achieving this look can be a bit costly for some. That is why it may be a good idea to go for a Victorian Era interior with a modern twist instead. This can be done both ways: adding a Victorian flair to a modern home, or adding a modern twist to slightly tone down those Victorian whimsies. Steel-framed glass tables surrounded by button-backed chairs can be that perfect mix between modern and Victorian. These are just some of the combinations you can do to bring the style to the 21st century.
It’s important to note that one needs to exert a considerable amount of care when it comes to merging the two styles–you don’t want to have a clashing combination. Go for as much carved wooden furniture as is pleasing to the eye. Wooden floors work wonders too. Decorate walls with
classical oil paintings as opposed to modern framed wall art, photographs, lithographs, or giglee art prints.
The Victorian Era Can Live On Inside Your Home
Decorating your home in this style is something that’s simple but quite the task if you have zero prior knowledge of the Victorian aesthetic. It’s highly recommended that you strictly follow a certain set of principles to properly replicate, revive, or re imagine this look. For example, including a cheap, mass-produced item will be an eyesore. Thankfully, you’ll find this to be part of the fun of it all. It will also be especially rewarding when you do complete your project and start living in a home that Victorians would applaud.