The Victorian era is named after Queen Victoria, the Queen of England from 1837-1901. Decor for inside Victorian houses reflects the tastes and styles of this era. According to Creative Home Decorating Room by Room, the Victorian period “was an era of ornate and excessive decoration in all things,” which was preceded and followed by simpler times. In addition to the ornate, lighter Victorian decor often favored by bed and breakfasts, the Victorian era also had a more masculine side, and often used dark furniture and animal trophy accessories throughout the home. If you own a Victorian home and are selling your property, adding a bit of Victorian flair may enhance and accentuate the historic value of your home. San Francisco in particular is home to several thriving Victorian home districts, such as Pacific Heights and the Western Addition.
Steps to Decor for Inside Victorian Houses
Purchase antiques from the Victorian era. Search local antique shops, particularly any stores that may specialize in Victorian antiques. Antique shops can be pricey, so also look at thrift stores, which may offer additional antiques for lower prices.
Replace plain light fixtures with ornate Victorian pieces. Look for chandeliers, beaded lampshades, and cast iron lanterns. For a truly authentic feel, use Victorian candle holders and candelabras to provide dim lighting in your formal dining or living room.
Replace drapes and blinds with Victorian window treatments. The Victorian era tended to use lush, ornate fabrics such as velvet and silk, with rich color tones. As noted at From Times Past, one telltale sign of a Victorian era home is stained glass windows, which can be purchased at home improvement stores or found in antique shops.
Accessorize with decorative vases and bold floral arrangements, animal trophies, needlepoint pillowcases, Grecian busts and vases, and a wide variety of knick-knacks and miniatures. As noted at The New Homemaker, you may also want to invest in display cases and box-style frames to prevent breaking and minimize dusting.
To complete the decor for inside Victorian houses, you can hang Victorian wall art, such as antique mirrors, needlework, portraits and nature pieces. Use ornate frames to accentuate artwork and portraits.
The interior design and decor of inside Victorian houses were truly special with an emphasis on richness and timeless elegance, which finished off what were often considered stately homes. The colors of the wallpaper and fabrics — burgundies, magentas, and rich greens and blues — were dark and dramatic, including a considerable use of velvet and damask with decorative fringe, tassels, and dizzy designs. There was considerable deep, dark woodwork highlights around doorframes, skirting boards, and ceilings. Wallpaper was a real favorite, covering all the walls in nearly every room of a house. Some residences had Victorian interiors where some attempted to be different with white space and muted colors. However, these were often offset with large paintings, gilded frames, and heavy, embellished furniture and draperies. Overall, the design was busy and rooms had many combinations of patterns and colors – some today might refer to it as a cluttered style.