Decorating In Victorian Style
The best word to describe the Victorian era is excess. It's style is cluttered, dark and embellished, with simple forms and open spaces. This romantic, bold style became appreciated only after the urban renewal where whole streets of Victorian homes were leveled to the ground.
The scale here is large in every aspect with ornate, high moldings, big rooms, coffered ceilings, two-dimentional wallpaper patterns, stained furniture, heavy embellishments of all kinds, stained glass, potted ferns, huge fringes and tassels, and knickknacks. There are mirrors, prints and paintings that have overly embellished frames with romantic themes lined on walls floor to ceiling.
This style was named after Queen Victoria who was on the throne from 19th to 20th century. Victorian Style was most popular during the 1920's. Other styles contributed to the birth of the Victorian Style. Dark wood, tall chair backs and carved tracery came from Gothic Revival, which was inspired by medieval times. With Rococo and Renaissance Revivals came a softer color palette, a need for comfort and a calmer look. Eastlake style offered less stress on ornamentation.
Every Victorian home was a symbol of the family's high status in the community, high class. The more fancy things one possessed, the richer his family looked.
The windows were elegantly decorated with layers of fabrics, sconces, scarves and shears. Wallpapers were bold in pattern and color. Popular was to combine wall and ceiling borders, wainscoting and chair rails. Ceilings were usually wallpapered also. Floors and anything made out of wood had natural finishes or were painted.
Victorian color palette is rich with colors like dark brown, terra cotta or dark green. Violets and corals are used as accents. Heavily embellished furniture made the room look even more cluttered with the combination of ceilings painted in dark shades.
Modern use of the Victorian style is not as lavish and grand. It fits more comfortably into your life in the twenty first century. Vintage furniture is carefully picked out for a certain part of the room and is used in moderation. When used sparingly, wallpaper, fabric and accessories can turn into an elegant memoir to an era when lavishness was everything.