Victorian homes are packed full of character with high ceilings and well proportioned rooms boasting beautiful detailing that oozes period charm. It’s important to make the most of your space, creating a period home that’s functional and practical for modern use as well as rich with personality. Take a look at our tips for creating a beautiful Victorian home.
Boost your Assets
If you can, restoring original architectural features is a must – work with what you’ve got and enhance details like elaborate plaster moulding, ceiling roses, deep skirting boards, doors and even radiators. It’s worth thinking about installing dado and picture rails if these aren’t already present too. These seemingly small individual details work together to create a look that’s fresh, authentic and refined.
A fabulous fireplace is a beautiful focal point in any room, so make the most of yours and create a feature of it. A mantelpiece is the perfect spot for a beautiful picture or gorgeous gilt mirror, so don’t be shy and dress to impress.
Flooring is so important in an interior scheme and this is no different when it comes to creating the perfect Victorian home. In grander rooms and hallways, the Victorians favoured beautiful parquet and in rooms with heavy traffic like a kitchen or bathroom it’s worth investing in some tiles. The Victorians loved pattern, so go bold and try to pick ones with colours that tie in with your colour scheme for a pulled together look.
Utilise the Space
Victorian rooms have ample ceiling height. Make the most of your space and use the full height of the walls to your advantage. A floor to ceiling bookcase is a great idea for avid readers, not only enabling you to showcase your reading collection, but acting as a visible marker in your room that implies depth and creates intrigue.
Here the bespoke shelves have been fitted in the high alcoves, taking account the sloping ceilings to create a rich and resplendent scene by the fireplace. Just add a roaring fire and a glass of wine for the perfect place to sink down with a book during a cold winter’s eve.
Alcoves are a great way to add in extra storage, so in a Victorian home, which doesn’t tend to be open plan, work with what you’ve got and extra shelves in those interesting nooks and crannies.
When choosing your furnishings I would always follow the advice: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” And in a dreamy Victorian home, you can afford to indulge – imagine opulent chandeliers, roll top baths and lavish drapes. For furniture, keep an eclectic mix of styles and opt for rich upholstery like velvets and linens. Again take inspiration from William Morris by choosing a floral print with large blowsy flowers, or ones with birds and animals. Button-back armchairs and ottomans are staples and rooms should be filled with furniture as well as odds and ends – think of your whole house as a cabinet of curiosities.
Remember to use quality woods and pair this with marble finishes and brass, iron or pewter light fittings for a look that’s rich and luxurious, yet still modern and contemporary.
Victorian house plans and layouts tend to involve more rooms as opposed to the more modern open-plan living that we’re used to. But more rooms, means more colour options! If you dare, be liberal with your choices and use a variety of schemes in one home. Imagine the fun of a pink rococo style bedroom next to a regal looking green bathroom complete with roll-top – simply divine! If you prefer a modest style and the open plan feel of a modern home then it’s a good idea to stick with a light and bright neutral on every wall and introduce pops of colour in furniture, fixtures and fittings.
Dark interiors are having a moment and luckily this look will go hand in hand the gothic glamour embraced in modern Victorian schemes. Think inky blues, rich burgundies and forest greens – deep colour palettes for a moody look that’s so on trend. For a more modern look try painting your walls teal, but if you’re daunted by strong themes and colours then you could try using pale pinks and lilacs for a sweet and sugary look that will complement and highlight subtle features.
One of the best things about a Victorian scheme is that you have the freedom to mix and match what you like and be bold with your choices. Our advice is to go eclectic and indulge in all the beauty and character of the period and bring some personality into your home.
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All photos courtesy of respective brands.