I have loved Victorian interiors pretty much all my life. Dark woods, brass, copper, stain glass, lace, floral touches, sumptuous fabrics and deep lush colours. What stands out for me in particular is the feeling of comfort it gives…like the feeling of being wrapped up in a cashmere blanket or home-made quilt. Yet at the same time, Victoriana can also evoke grandeur and glamour and I find that the best way to add a Victorian feel to your home is to up-date the look so it’s new and fresh rather than old and sombre like walking into an Antique shop.
The beauty of this ‘powder room’ is down to the beautiful stained glass window, the elegant ceiling light and the gold sheen wallpaper. The curve basin with brass taps is a Victorian look but the stained glass is modern and the room is bright.
This pretty little nook with the lace tablecloth and porcelain plates and trays adorning the wall makes one think of a much loved grandmother or a young bride who has had some special objects passed to her from loving relatives. it is sweet but I think it would be better with a few modern elements and one or two quirky bits.
This gorgeous chinoiserie is in the guestroom of a manor house. Love the way the curtains drape behind the tie backs.
Beautiful Victorian inspired nursery for twins! Notice the abundance of fabric used for the bed skirts? The generous use of fabric is also a Victorian trait yet the chandelier is more modern.
The ruffle-y bed linens, lace curtains and metal bed has a Victorian feel but the room is light, and modern otherwise.
Another element of Victorian design is having clothes on display. I love the design of the bedroom below that does this in a quirky fashion and matches up the old with the new by throwing in an industrial type stool in the mix. Canopies are also used quite a lot in Victorian bedrooms but I have never seen this done quite like this. The whole room captures the Victorian spirit but manages to add fun as well.
So here are some tips to remember if you want to add a bit of a Victorian feel to your home:
- Lace. Add touches of lace to either curtains, bed linens or table-cloth. Just don’t go overboard or it will look like you live with your great-grandmother. My special tip would be to find a beautiful piece of antique lace which you then mount and frame and either display on a table or hang on a wall.
- Gilding-brass was the commonly used metal in Victorian times or you can use gold, silver or copper. Don’t be afraid to mix metals in a room. Mixing metals is a current trend.
- Flowers-display either fresh or well-made silk flowers, wreaths or potpourri.
- Colour-Victorians liked it dark. If this appeals to you, then you need to downplay other Victorian elements. Mix it up with some quirky, modern elements like in the image below. You can get away with more Victorian objects if you use light colours.
- Fabric–think sumptious! Don’t skint on this. Curtains and bed skirts should puddle on the floor. Window treatments should be lush. Try a multi-layered effect.
- Mix it up with other trends. Keep it light and trendy. Mix it up with modern, country, oriental (although this was a Victorian trend as well) or boho.
- Above all, if this is your home then think Design Affinity. Make it personal to you! 🙂