Minimalist. Sleek. Bright and airy. All the hallmarks of modern style.
Not a fan? Victorian style is the perfect antidote, the complete antithesis of modern decor.
For all of you who are anti-modern decorating and all for romantic, cozy, overstuffed spaces, this post’s for you. You’ll learn the ins and outs of Victorian decor to get your home back into another era, one where you feel truly comfortable. (And if you’re torn between styles, we’ll help with that too!)
Victorian-era decorating was the polar opposite of today’s modern styles. It was a time of heavy, ornate furnishings, oversized everything, and a penchant for knickknacks. The resulting style is romantic, complex, warm, and dramatic, dripping with opulence and excess; basically, enough to make any minimalist shudder.
No bright and airy rooms here. Victorian style is characterized by rich, dark jewel tones: deep reds, blues, greens, purples, golds, even black. It’s heavy on the wood, too, with dark paneling and wood floors and accents in mahogany and walnut.
The heavier and richer, the better; that’s a crucial element of Victorian style. Marble, sensuous fabrics like velvet and damask, rugs and tapestries, drapery and layered window treatments, and plush upholstery all add to the warmth, richness, and – on a practical note – overall comfort and coziness of a Victorian room.
Ornate details, including moldings, stained glass, carvings, and arched lancet windows (with similar silhouettes on furniture) abound in typical Victorian decor.
Again, heavy and detailed is best in this style. Wallpaper, drapery, and other textiles should be intricately patterned and textured – if you want to touch it, you’ve achieved your desired effect.
Victorian furnishings are – surprise! – substantially weighty. Furniture and fixtures are oversized and often placed close together, which delicately straddles the fine line between overcrowded and cozy. Chairs and sofas are overstuffed and comfortable.
In accordance with the characteristic excess, Victorian-era decorating involves hefty accessorizing – statues, bowls, lamps, and assorted ornaments on nearly every available surface. (Take time to consider this step; again, you can cross from “warm and romantic” to “ready for the next episode of Hoarders” with just a couple of baubles.)
If you’re not a diehard Victorian lover but want to heat up your decor with a combo style, good news: Victorian style can easily be modernized. Simply tone it down – include the colors in smaller doses against a lighter backdrop; carefully choose a couple of Victorian-inspired furnishings and fixtures to offset a more contemporary design; cut down on the accessories (or leave them out entirely).