Victorian interior design draws its roots from the Industrial Revolution which had a dramatic impact on design during the era, increasing the prosperity of the middle class and allowing them to improve and upgrade the decor of their homes. Many chose to use architecture and furnishings that had previously only been available to the aristocracy and the upper class. In these homes, the owners crammed as many pieces of furniture, fabrics, and accessories as possible into a room, due to both an attempt to showcase new cultural interests, prosperity, and status, as well as the fashionable belief that bareness in a room was a sure sign of poor taste.
Colors: Victorian interior design colors are warm and subdued, and include soft colors on gray or cream backgrounds, deep rich walnut and mahogany browns, black, and shades of teal, plum, aubergine, mustardy yellows and golds, burgundy, rust, blue, green (think sage and olive, not mint and kelly) and “dusty” hues like “ashes of roses” and a subdued shade of lavender.
Fabrics: Choose from a wide variety of period reproduction and vintage fabrics and trims from printed floral chintzes and toiles to silk damasks and velvets.
Patterns: Complex patterns often cover every surface of a Victorian home. From multiple wallpapers to luxurious fabrics and oriental rugs, Victorian interior design uses patterns lavishly throughout the home. Patterns range from flora and fauna to geometric patterns, stripes, damasks, and more.
Furniture: Furniture is typically opulent. Excess can often be considered synonymous with Victorian interior design. Furniture and accessories should be elaborate and range from delicate to massive. Extravagantly ornate decorations, china, lace, stained glass, flowers, busts, souvenirs, framed paintings or prints, multi-layered window treatments, richly patterned fabrics, and accessories galore should be used liberally throughout the house. Restraint is not part of Victorian interior design.
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