Long live the queen – Victorian Decor
Victorian design is representative of the spread of wealth and opulence experienced in Britain and other parts of the world in the second half of the 19th century during the long reign of Queen Victoria.
The Victorian era influenced a wide range of design disciplines such as architecture, clothing, industrial, and during its later period, the ladies-of-the-times approach to interior decorating. It is feminine influenced late Victorian decorating that has found permanence, remains strong into modern times and without doubt, will find a place of future prominence.
An expression of worth
Victorian decorating provides an opportunity to unwind without the constraint and discipline attached to some of the other popular decorating styles.
Every empty surface and space throughout the home begs to be included. As things of value could be accumulated, they had to be displayed –one’s position and interests in life were placed not only for observation but for discussion. Use this as your inspiration while remembering we’re not talking about “anything goes”.
Correct use of Victorian Colors
Color selection is almost always the starting point for every decorating style. Your colors will make the most immediate impression. Victorian decorating makes use of many pallets.
Color choice is probably more outspoken than in any other style concept. Avoid falling into trap of finding a color to go with what you’ve got. Just because the possibilities are many, don’t think careful consideration to individual color choices you will use at the outset has little impact upon the accomplishment of success in the over-all project.
You will want to choose your colors with a clear idea of some of the other elements you plan to draw into the project.
Deep, rich color distinguishes the importance of a room. The foyer, parlor and dining room being most important because they are most seen by visitors and guests.
Just which deep colors to use depend upon other additions. Lots of dark mahogany trim and furnishings show best with deep greens. Blue works well with silver and pewter adornments. Lightening up on the tones might be needed where natural light is low or where intricate oriental rugs and tapestries are planned for hallways.
Wallpapers and color use
There is so much choice available to you. Elaborately adorned wallpapers or wallpapers borders of red, blue and green florals and botanicals are widely used, sometimes only as panel accents or for complete rooms in which case paint is the accent.
You will find approval among the consensus that a complex pattern of a main color and numerous subsidiary colors is quite correct. In fact, paint texturizing techniques such as sponging, spattering and ragging can achieve results indistinguishable from home decor wallpapers in India. Experiment!
Furniture and decorative accents
Reflect the outreach of the British Empire. English influence in many parts of the world was imposed upon local furniture designs to come up with distinctive inspired-by-the-region pieces.
Materials from the tropics and exotic locales create particular interest because they conjure up images of adventure, aristocracy and of course far-away-places.
Commonly used accents
Egyptian artifacts might mingle with Oriental screens, African animal hides and Indian brass trinkets. This might sound helter-skelter when really there is a theme for you to follow. Travel. Elaborate maps, globes and navigational engravings, pineapple carvings and live botanicals (especially ferns) help confirm the fact.
Other themed concentrations might be family photograph and portrait collections in frames, table top albums or crafted wood photo boxes. Collections of antique dolls and children’s toys are common. Homespun simplicity and charm finds its place among the exotics in dainty, white lace window coverings and bed linens. Intricate crochet table cloths, tea service covers and end-table doilies are other uses.
Bound book collections displayed in fine cabinetry is a very important element for inclusion in your plan. The library made a profound statement on one’s culture and education at the time but, give a place of comfort in the pace of our modern day life.
Important furniture pieces for the important rooms
The furniture craftsmen of the time were critical, but the Victorian era introduced us to factory process furniture. Losing the detail of craftsmen was a fair trade for increased availability of heavy wooded pieces of exotic materials never before available.
Mahogany and teak became wide-spread. As with accessories, prized furniture collections associated with travel. Designs found in the Governors mansions of India or the finer English hotels of Singapore were duplicated in shops across the homeland. Today you have an unending supply from which to choose through antique dealers and an abundance of replica manufacturer’s shops in malls everywhere.
Your dining room is an easy and essential place to start, moving on from there as you become comfortable “thinking like a Victorian”. What better place to conjure up the affluence and essence of the time? You can do it with grand table of heavy wood solids, exotic veneers and contrasting inlays, surrounded by velvet or rich leather wing backed chairs. Don’t stop there. Fill the room with side-boards, small lamp tables, even cabinets special to house sterling silver flatware sets.
Retailers have made it easy for your entire groupings for bedrooms, parlor, sun rooms. and foyer are nicely laid out for you by most retail establishments. Use them, picking and choosing from what you have learned about your Victorian feelings from the dining room experience.