Styling Victorian Homes

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As the name suggests, Victorian homes showcase the architectural styles that were popular during Queen Victoria’s reign. The design features of a Victorian home today encompass an eclectic interpretation of older architectural movements, such as Romanesque and Medieval Gothic. Although these traditional design features are still very much embraced, the interior make-up of such homes can vary from dark and traditional, to contemporary and minimalist.  We interviewed (virtually) some of our favourite Instagram Victorian home accounts, to get insight on how they came to buy and style their Victorian home. 

Embracing the dark side

Traditional Victorian interiors were dark and ornate, and dominated by rich inky colours such as forest green and cool navy, symbolising wealth and opulence. Interestingly, a bold colour palette has since re-emerged, and has certainly been a popular trend during 2020. It is therefore no surprise that these colours are being used in Victorian homes today.

Look no further for all your dark interior inspiration than @didsburyterrace on Instagram. Following a virtual chat, they shared with us how they embraced the moodiness of the Victorian era using dark colours on the walls.

If you're looking for a simple yet effective lamp with style and size to match, you've found it in the Laurin table lampIf you're looking for a simple yet effective lamp with style and size to match, you've found it in the Laurin table lamp

“We moved into our 120-year-old Victorian terraced home in 2017. The house was stripped of most of its character after enduring a period as an unloved house share. But luckily, many of the original features, including fireplaces, wooden floors and cornicing, remained intact. We decided to embrace the moody Victorian era by using dark paint colours on the wall. We knocked through from the kitchen to the dining room to give an open plan space to entertain, but unlike many in the area, we decided to keep the Victorian front room as a separate cosy space. We opted for more modern accessories, including lighting and bespoke wooden furniture to warm up the rooms.”

A quirky modern twist

Wanting to put your own unique stamp on your home? Meet @casaoldcorn, an Instagram account run by Lauren and Mark. Since moving into their Victorian house, they have styled their home dark, but with a modern and quirky twist.

“Our Victorian home is a huge mish-mash of traditional meets quirky. We love all the traditional features, but we love adding our own twist to it, from deep dark colours, to adding quirky accessories. We feel that lighting is important to finish off any room. We opted for huge pendants, as this better fills the high Victorian ceilings. I can honestly say we don’t have one boring light in this house! We love lights that are a bit extra, and we’re partial to a bit of neon too.”

Mid-century modern

If you’re looking for a timeless, clean style, mid-century modern could be for you. Characterised by muted, earthy colours, exaggerated clean lines and streamlined forms. The simplicity of this design is far from the heavily decorated traditional Victorian style. Over the years, the interior trends have shifted from ‘more is more’ to ‘less is more’. What this does mean, is that rooms appear airier and more spacious, particularly with the Victorian style high ceilings.

We spoke to the wonderful Roxanne, who runs the Instagram account @ourgreyhaven, showcasing her beautiful Victorian, Mid-century modern home. She gushed “I have always loved Victorian houses; I love the character they have, and the story that they tell. I love the variations of Minton tiles to the ceiling roses and cornices. I am also a huge fan of Victorian doors, internal and external… the panelling on them is just so beautiful”.

When it comes to lighting, it’s the bigger the better for Roxanne, “I’m very much into large statement lights or pendants. I like to have white bulbs in our ceiling lights to mimic daylight, and then I always have warm bulbs in table and floor lamps to set a cosy mood for the evenings”.

Contemporary

Last but not least, we spoke to Jess, who runs the account @thisvictorianhome who talked us through the purchase of her Victorian home, and how she made it her own by using statement light fixtures, and even a home cinema (not jealous, at all!)

“Back in December 2019, our dreams came true when we became the owners of our very own Victorian Home. Although in need of some TLC, we couldn’t wait to get started designing and renovating the entire house. 

 

Victorian homes are special to us, each containing their own unique and, in some cases, peculiar features. When ours became available, we jumped at the chance to start what some may perceive to be an overwhelming project. I’ve heard the phrase, “bitten off more than you can chew” a couple of times. 

 

Over the past year, we have really discovered our unique, personal taste in decor and how we wanted our home to feel. I would describe our style as classic, yet quirky, with a few little surprises here and there, such as, our enormous ‘Up in the Clouds’ ceiling mural in the cinema room. 

 

In our more contemporary “Home Cinema” room, aka the lounge, we wanted to completely change the game and opt for a more modern-industrial decor style. So, we chose the extremely popular “Sheridan Wall Light”. This light stood out to me instantly, particularly for being a favourite on Instagram, and it’s easy to see why. 

The Sheridan adds a modern and industrial edge to a traditional, Victorian home.

 

“Lighting has to be one of my favourite design elements to add, and can completely reflect the overall vibe of any room. For example, in our more formal-sitting room, we opted for the beautiful “Gothica 8 Way Chandelier Light”, which added to the classic-Parisian feel of the space. 

This light is perfect if you are wanting to keep with the Victorian tradition. During the Victorian era, all homes were candle-lit by similarly large and opulent chandeliers.

 

I believe that decorating should be fun, giving everyone the chance to showcase their individual uniqueness. For us, our Victorian Home will absolutely reflect our personalities, and the beauty of its original character.”