Romance, a sense of history and lavish luxury – these are the three elements that combine in Victorian-style decorating. And mind you, if you do desire to create a Victorian atmosphere and look, it does not have to cost you an arm and leg. With a bit of creativity, you can enjoy this look. You also have a wealth of sources for well-made reproductions that feature the modern Victorian style.
Here are some tips to help you achieve the Victorian look:
- Think ornate and detailed. The Victorian style is about ornamentation that is detailed, elaborate and even excessive. This includes carvings, textures, the use of angels, flowers and birds, as well as accents of gold, silver or brass. You can adorn your walls with antique picture frames that have elaborate wood molding and gold or silver finish. Make use of period-inspired portraits that are fitted with convex glass for a more authentic look.
- Choose Victorian-inspired furniture. These combine the use of dark wood and luxurious fabric. The sofa set can make use of upholstered or embroidered velvet or brocade. Have fun combing flea markets and garage sales for good Victorian finds. Look for French period or Queen Anne style furniture that you can refurbish. If there are budget constraints, you can also use white wicker furniture with pillows that are adorned with tassels, lace or doilies.
- Choose your colors. The Victorian look makes use of rich and deep colors. You can combine the use of rich colors in the main rooms (such as the living room walls) and use neutrals and lighter colors in the hallways. This way, your décor is not too overpowering.
- Adorn the walls. Walls can either serve as your “canvas” when painted in neutral colors. They can also be accented with bright jewel tones of sapphire, ruby, gold, emerald, aubergine or burgundy. You can also make use of texture wallpaper or painted plaster. Aside from picture frames, you can also use mirrors in vintage picture frames, Victorian-inspired paintings, framed doilies or cameos as well as wall lighting scones. You can also display a collection of art prints that are in the Victorian style and that are placed in gold or silver leaf-finished frames.
- Adorn the windows. The curtains in the Victorian style are usually made from rich fabric such as damask, velvet or brocade lined with silk or wool. The windows should also feature a valance and a cornice. You can add embellishments such as tassels, crystals, beads and cords. Use gilded curtain rods to maximize the visual effect of opulence.
- Add inspired touches of the Victorian style here and there. Decorate the side tables with free-standing cloth lamps using elaborately designed cloth. You can reflect the lighting by laying a mirrored frame on the side tables before putting the lamps. Other accessories include crystal chandeliers, decorative jars, candle stands in brass or silver, a classic grandfather’s clock and organic decorative elements such as fruits and flowers. For the ceilings, what can be more Victorian than larger-than-life chandeliers?
- Adorn the floor. If you have one available, use a carpet with a classic or Oriental pattern. Otherwise, you can make use of solid wood flooring, parquet flooring or elaborately-designed tiles.