The Victorian Concept
During the Industrial Revolution, the middle classes were able to increase their prosperity and for the first time invest in the decor and design of their homes. The period between 1837 and 1901, the reign of Queen Victoria, saw the cheap mass-production of countless household items, making them accessible to people who could never have afforded them before.
They immediately began to emulate the aristocracy and filled their homes to bursting point with accessories, furnishings and fabrics, all designed to showcase their new wealth and status. A bare room was considered to show a lack of taste and so Victorian interiors appeared to be very cluttered compared to modern minimalist ideas. Here we look at ways to bring touches of Victorian nostalgia to your modern home without the need for costly remodeling.
A cluttered room was the order of the day, so accessories, soft furnishings and decorations should be prominently displayed. Ideally, to copy the Victorian design style, every surface should be covered in framed photographs and pictures, china, flowers in vases and souvenirs.
Lace was very popular and would be found on seat backs, tables and on mantelpieces in Victorian period decor. Stained glass is a particularly attractive Victorian feature which creates appeal in a modern home. Victorian furniture itself was extremely ornate although it ranged from heavy to delicate in style.
Button backed chairs, ottomans and chaise-longs are ideal to replicate Victorian furnishings and carved mahogany, walnut or oak furniture was also popular at that time. As well as expensive hand-carved furniture to showcase their newly earned wealth, the Victorians were keen on carved mirrors, picture frames and lamps.
If you are copying this look, aim to purchase the most expensive pieces you can afford – a cheap, mass-produced item will ruin the effect.
Look out for old architectural features that you can buy and incorporate into your rooms. If you don’t have the time to trail around flea markets, simply search online and you will find antique trims, doors and windows that you can use to replace your modern home features and bring an edge of Victoriana to a newer property.
None of the ideas in this article require you to invest the time, energy and money in an extensive remodeling project for your home. However, should you wish to do so, there are many renovations that you could look into that would all bring a more authentic Victorian era interior design look to your property.
Adding dado rails, cornices, wainscoting, paneling and crown molding are all more complicated to achieve but will bring an added something to your theme.
It may sound difficult to blend modern and Victorian styles together to create an exciting living environment, but you can mix and match to find out what appeals to you and create a Victorian inspired interior. If you start slowly by adding Victorian touches to your up-to-date room, you can begin to find out what works in harmony.
Perhaps you could try re-upholstering antique furniture with modern fabrics, or changing your wall coverings to a Victorian style. Whatever you choose to do, eventually, you will develop the ideal blend of 19th century and 21st century, creating a vibrant modern Victorian home.