Putting On The Victorian Style
Category : Interior Design
A decision to adopt Victorian style in your home offers the most wonderful opportunity for decorating. The abundance of Victorian properties and the profusion of artifacts from the period make decorating in the fertile Victorian style an easy and enjoyable task.
Moreover, you have so many different Victorian decor themes from which to choose.
If a cluttered, busy interior is not to your taste, simply embody the period by bringing together single items of furniture and decorative objects and placing them sparingly against a background of typical colors.
Victorian style is a particularly apt style of decoration for studies, dining rooms, hallways and conservatories.
Plaster architectural details are a strong feature of Victorian decor and design. Buy reproductions made from original moulds and surface-mount ceiling roses, corbels/brackets (supporting a shelf, decorative item or arch), picture and dado rails and cornices (particularly with acanthus-leaf and Gothic decorations). A narrow shelf, supported by brackets, could be added at picture-rail height for displaying china of the period.
Create a Scottish baronial study by introducing tartan fabrics and/or carpeting, leather upholstery and dark woodwork. The addition of wall-mounted antlers, armory and (guns, prints and so on) will complete the theme.
You might consider exchanging your fitted carpet for one that leaves a margin around it, which was a popular fixture in a Victorian home. Alternatively oriental rugs laid over an existing carpet or hard flooring will reflect the look. On the stairs a runner carpet, held in place by brass stair rods, would be perfectly in keeping. The margin of exposed wood should then be stained.
A harlequin (mixed) set of balloon-back chairs could be fun to assemble and will look far more interesting than a matching set in your dining room.
Many a Victorian afternoon was whiled away partaking of tea. Reflect this by including in your living room a small round tea table with a chenille under cloth topped by one of lace to provide a useful surface for the display of period china and silverware.
Victorian home rooms were full of drapes. Trimmed velvet pelmets over mantelpieces, tasseled shawls draped across the backs of upholstered furniture, velvet portieres at the doors – these will all help to evoke the period.
Lace was widely used Victorian style homes. Add a layer to your window dressing, place anti-macassars on chair headrests and edge shelves with lengths of lace trimming. A lace ‘skirt’ can be made for a plain lampshade from shallow lace cafe-curtaining by threading ribbon through the ready-made slots and tying this in a bow so that your new lace shade rests over the original one.
Light your rooms with reference to whichever date within the Victorian era is your preference. Candles are wonderful for giving rooms that desirable soft glow and electrified versions of oil and paraffin lamps are widely available.
A magnificent crystal chandelier will look splendid in your dining or drawing room and a lantern of the period is perfect for a hallway. The use of tinted (especially peach) bulbs will increase the period feel.
Displays of pictures, hung from a picture rail in the traditional manner, should virtually obliterate your wall covering. Look out especially for portraits in oils, prints depicting hunting, rural scenes or romantic themes, watercolor landscapes and silhouettes in black frames.
Compiling collections from the period can provide many a happy hour at antique fairs and car boot/garage sales. Look out for: papier-mache trays, shell frames, tortoiseshell boxes, ivory fans, dome-top display cases containing natural subjects, blackamoors, majolica ware, colored glass and ceramic figurines.
The craft of decoupage is enjoying a revival. Apply motifs of the period (perhaps taken from old cards and calendars) to a traditional screen (or a new one constructed from MDF).
Place potted plants, particularly ferns and palms, at random. Mounted on a Victorian plant stand, such an arrangement will instantly conjure up the period mood in a Victorian style home.