Victorian House Interior

Not all Victorian house interior was filled with elaborate and luxurious furniture, even though that’s the style most people associate with the era. Victorian interiors were designed according to the function of each room. In most Victorian homes, some rooms were considered public and some were private. Each room had a specific purpose and was decorated to meet those needs. Public rooms were decorated more ornately and lavishly to impress guests, while private rooms were much less fancy.

Victorian Interior for Dining Room

Victorian Interior for Dining Room

Variations in Style of Victorian House Interior

If you look into the interior of a wealthy Victorian home, you would find a plain basement housing a plain kitchen and possibly a scullery, a well-furnished ground floor with an expensive and ornate parlor and sitting room, a second floor with a modest master bedroom and washroom and a top floor with basic children’s rooms and servants’ rooms. The furnishings, artwork and other decor would vary considerably from floor to floor.

Victorian Living Room Design

Victorian Living Room Design

Fireplaces and stoves were common in every room, even though steam heat became available in the 1850s. Most people couldn’t afford central heating, and even those who could afford it supplemented the heat with a fire in the fireplace when it got really cold. Mantles were made of wood, marble or slates painted to look like marble, and were quite elaborate in design. Oftentimes the fireplace was the central attraction in the parlor, with ornate furniture arranged so that visitors could warm themselves by the fire as they were served a delicacy.

Carpeting and Color for Victorian House Interior

Wall-to-wall carpet became popular in the Victorian era. Oriental rugs laid on top of wood floors were popular after the 1870s. Walls were papered with wallpaper that was richly colored and usually embossed or patterned. Rooms with little light were usually decorated in lighter, cheerier colors such as light blues or peaches. Rooms with plenty of windows were decorated in deep reds, browns and olive greens.

Stained glass was often used in windows; those less wealthy used transparent colored paper in the windows to achieve similar effects. Window dressings ranged from simple Greek-inspired blinds to elaborate, heavy French-inspired drapes. Lace curtains covered the clear glass and were layered under the heavy drapes.

Victorian Style Bedroom

Victorian Style Bedroom

Victorian house interior could be filled with intricate carved furniture with detailed upholstery, or as sparse as a three-legged stool and a simple table, depending on which part of the house you were in and how much wealth the homeowner had. Victorians liked to show off their wealth, so if someone had money, it was invested in elaborate decoration for the drawing room, sitting room and dining room. No expense was spared in creating these elaborate rooms, even if the rest of the house looked quite simple and plain.

Much of what we consider Victorian house interior decor is the ornate and lovely elements found in public rooms. If you’re decorating in a Victorian style, remember that you don’t need to make every room of the house look like an elegant hotel lobby from the period. You can choose a few public rooms for the full treatment, and have very simple furniture and decor elsewhere.

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