It was lavish or nothing at all.

Interior design of the Victorian Era required grandeur. An ambition to which they reached through displaying each and every furnishing. Opulence began in the rug design to the fringed valance.

Discover how to incorporate 19th century home decor in your home.

Interior Ornaments

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More is more. . . At the very least, that was the Victorian’s philosophy in regard to interior design. Furnishings, once only available to aristocrats, became affordable thanks to mass production of the Industrial Revolution.

Accessories, textiles, and furniture crowded rooms as a show of prosperity. A barren apartment would be an embarrassment, speaking to the homeowner’s poor taste.

F R O M  T H E N  T O  N O W

Invest in pieces with detail and charm. When purchasing household articles, such as a fan, find one of elegant statuary. Place an opulent candelabra in the fireplace for a soft flicker instead of crackling logs. And dress the smallest touches—down to knobs—in palatial chic.

Color

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The key was rich. Rich in tone and feeling, the popular color scheme brought dramatic flair to homes. Victorians favored deep shades with gilded accents of baroque design.

F R O M  T H E N  T O  N O W

In order to imitate this style, select hues of

  • ruby (passion and power),
  • forest green (wealth),
  • dark blue (strength),
  • imperial purple (royal and romantic),
  • and beige (conservative).

Decorate your home like a Victorian with this floor-to-ceiling guide. – Click to Tweet 

Wallpaper

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In 1840, wallpaper covered apartments of Victorian England. Similarly to home accent pieces, mass production allowed for reduced pricing. Accommodations were plastered in prints of renaissance, gothic, and Asian influences.

The feminine rococo adorned a lady’s chambers while Gothic was reserved for masculine rooms like the library or billiard room. Of course, Damask (as shown above), toile, and floral wallpaper presented a myriad options.

F R O M  T H E N  T O  N O W

Marry Victorian ornamentation with modern reserve by wallpapering or stenciling a beloved design on a single wall. Consider upscaling plain walls with framed wallpaper panels. For final touches, line a pantry, the back of a bookshelf for color, or use a fragranced underlayment for drawers.

Flooring & Rugs

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Elaborate rugs unrolled upon wooden or tiled flooring. From the foyer to the boudoir, where one pattern ended, another began. Geometric patterns met with those of flora and fauna designs.

F R O M  T H E N  T O  N O W

Bring an element of design to flooring be it parquet flooring, a staircase runner, or hanging an oriental rug on a wall.

Furniture

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Tufted velvet sofas, bonnet chairs, hand-carved wardrobes, grand pianos, and baroque fireplaces graced homes. Some household items were quite delicate, while others could be massive and cumbersome.

Recognized for its ornate character, each and every 19th century furnishing was and, still is, a statement piece.

F R O M  T H E N  T O  N O W

What you must understand is the quality of Victorian craftsmanship. Reupholstered settees and arm chairs have aged well through the decades. When next selecting furniture, embrace arched curios, wingback chairs, and picturesque dressing screens.

Fabric

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In the lush window treatments and vibrant cushions, Victorian fabrics introduced eclectic patterns. Vibrant in pigment, fabrics livened stuff rooms.

F R O M  T H E N  T O  N O W

The brilliant hues of Victorian fabrics will appeal to the modern home. Add one or two of these striking designs within your decor. . .

  • Velvet,
  • Heavy silk,
  • Toile,
  • Lace, and
  • Chintz.

Share your home decorating style in a comment below.

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10 comments

    1. Leila, there was a series I watched on PBS, where they selected a modern day family and had them live in a Victorian home. (It is a good series if you can get ahold of it.) On it, they wore wool dresses (day to day) with cotton undergarments. The washed and ironed the underwear, but rarely cleaned the heavy outer ones. They pointed out how we all romanticize the era, but it wasn’t quite as much fun as it appears! Doing laundry was a huge all day deal, as was cooking, and even vacuuming! This one took place in London and they had real flushing plumbing, but it was outdoors. They had to make their own soap, shampoo and what little makeup they had. After I saw it, I preferred to just APPEAR Victorian! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I think that is why they discovered perfume and sachets! Can you imagine wearing that in Hawaii where I live?
        Steamy to say the least. Thanks for your reply. I’ll look for cotton dresses instead. Aloha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love that documentary! It’s called “The 1900 House.” I always rent the DVD from the library, but I bet you can find it on Amazon.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love to look at this era. But could not live happily, with it.

    I need more light. Less clutter!

    Although I do resonate with large flower wallpaper, in moderation. And all shades of wine, deep reds, pinks, I love.

    Luna Crone

    Liked by 1 person

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