How to Decorate a Victorian House

Updated November 21, 2016

The Victorian style began during the reign of Queen Victoria of England, from 1837 to 1901. During these years, people decorated their homes with lavish items and expensive, worldly details mostly all for show. Your Victorian era home would greatly benefit from a decor style to match the classic stairway, grand entryway and library that so many late 19th century homes have.

Utilise wallpaper in dark hues of red and green to emphasise greatness. During Victorian times, homeowners lived lavishly, and they decorated their homes to reflect such a lifestyle. Wallpaper was also a new trend in the mid-to-late 1800s, making it a necessity for any family with the ability to afford it. Accents of gold floral patterns or lace-style boarders make the wallpaper even more impressive.

Add heavy drapes to the windows and skirting to every table. The Victorians would place dark and typically sombre material on nearly every piece of furniture to accentuate details commonly overlooked. The wood grain of the dining chair would stand out more with an upholstered seat. The framework of windows and doors would appear more dramatic with heavy drapes in rich green tones. For the drapes, Victorians would also use gold-toned tassels and draw strings.

Place an oriental rug across your wood floor. Choose a rug that is heavy and thick, not one that will feel hard when walked upon with bare feet. Again, choose a colour scheme with red, green or gold. You may also want to find a rug that contains a worldly appearance. A pattern influenced by Egypt or France would complement the drapes you have chosen. As noted above, the Victorians mostly had wood floors. The notion of wood floors was gaining popularity in the Victorian era, therefore was seen as a luxury.

Purchase darkly toned wood furniture to decorate the bulk of your space. Mahogany was the prized wood for the era, though some people less fortunate would just stain a lighter, cheaper wood to achieve the appearance of mahogany. Chairs and sofas with wooden arms were immensely popular, however with seats upholstered in the colours of red or green. Accents for furniture was readily seen as well. Utilise golds and blues for side tables knick-knacks, candle holders, floral displays, etc.

Display a beloved collection in a place where guests may enjoy. Part of being Victorian was the ability to show off your successes. Whether a garage sale collection or a world travels collection, if it dear to your heart, put it on display. Set coins on book shelves and glass figures on tables. Hang portraits or paintings in a collective and well organised design.

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