A Victorian home can be a showcase for the classic styles that made the era’s furniture and architecture so popular. However, there are a few different approaches you can take when you need Victorian house decorating ideas, depending upon your living space needs, budget and level of investment in the project. You can add a Victorian ambiance with beautiful tableaux, or do a full-home makeover with finishes, furnishings and landscaping in the Victorian style.
Victorian House Decorating Ideas: Styles
Classic Victorian Style – The classic Victorian style features architecture elements such as columns, bead board, prominent mantels, wainscoting, hardwood floors and window seats. The palette features darkly stained wooden furniture and wallpaper in ornate floral, vines or paisley. Upholstered chairs, oriental carpets, canopy beds, claw foot tubs and elaborately framed paintings are typical design elements. Picture windows and French doors afford views of the typical English garden, less manicured and with trellises, and walls or gazebos as frames for vines and wildflowers.
Shabby Chic – The shabby chic decor trend has been enormously popular for over a decade. This approach to decorating a Victorian home is more affordable and casual. Vintage pieces, distressed finishes and eclectic, non-matching elements are common. A collection of chipped floral teacups look perfect on a corner cupboard. A faded chintz or paisley couch is at home next to an elaborate rug and a round white coffee table. Colors are light, almost faded, to give a timeworn look. Icy pink, pistachio green, cornflower blue and pale lavender are common hues, but the most common shade is antique white. Small tables, cabinets, baskets and other flea market finds fit the shabby chic look when painted with antiquing kits or a thin coat of whitewash.
Bohemian Modern – For a look with more drama, the popular Bohemian modern look is ideal in a Victorian home. In this decor, arts, crafts and vintage pieces are key. Prop a large painting against a wall as a focal point, and set up mismatched upholstered armchairs for viewing it. Fill shelves, bookcases and cabinets with collectibles and oddities, mixing old with new and artisan with kitschy. For example, you might surround a family heirloom vase with a collection of sea glass, or create a gallery of black velvet paintings along the stairwell. Dark blues, greens and reds create a moody vibe, accentuated with lanterns, wall sconces or candles stuck into wine bottles.
Victorian house decorating ideas consisted of classic colors, floral patterns, and elegant candles and wall decor. Though the Victorian era ended more than a century ago, you can still use the colors and styles of the era to add a vintage touch to your home decor. There are four decorating conventions commonly associated with the Victorian era: specific colors, floral wallpaper, gold and wood picture frames, and velvet fabrics.