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6 Victorian Interior Design Ideas (with Pictures)

victorian dining area

The Victorian design style first became popular in the 19th century, and it’s characterized by extravagance. Various historical styles like Gothic architecture and French decorations melded together into a lavish aesthetic that somehow managed to feel wholly unique.

Today, some people feel that Victorian interior design is gaudy or too cluttered, but like any aesthetic, it has its place. Victorian design can turn a room from a barebones, utilitarian area into an opulent and expansive space. Common decorations in a Victorian space include rich tapestries, bouquets, candelabra, paintings, and more. Generally, the only rule for Victorian style is that an unfurnished space is a less polished space.

Today, Victorian sensibilities are making a comeback in some circles. Let’s check out some of the most popular Victorian indoor design ideas.

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The Top 6 Victorian Interior Design Ideas For Your Home

1. Dark and Rich Stairways

Victorian design is punctuated with all types of scenery, but lavish-looking wood is a staple. For homes with stairways, one of the most striking things you can do is have dark, rich hardwood stairs installed.

Hand-crafted railways are always a fan favorite, and ornate carvings are a huge plus. Repeating geometric designs underneath the stairway lends a place to hang artwork, and colorful runners can be used to decorate the pathways.

2. Turn Small Rooms into Cozy Spaces

Not every room can be a grand ballroom. Smaller Victorian rooms often feature fireplaces with ornate mantles that are packed with adornments like hand-carved clocks, photos, and candlesticks. Rich textures like velvet and satin help add a sense of luxury, and a plant or two helps to cool down an otherwise warm space.

3. Wrought Iron Light Fixtures

Wrought iron is a classic part of Victorian design, albeit best saved for your exterior. Incandescent lighting emanating from a wrought iron fixture on a foggy night lends a very London-esque feel to the outdoors of any home.

Wrought iron might be a bit too plain for inside your home, but a fixture here and there won’t hurt as long as you spice it up. A wrought iron fixture casting yellow light on a stained-glass front door instantly makes you think of Victorian style.

4. Rich Furniture & Upholstery

High-quality furniture is a hallmark of Victorian design, which makes sense when you consider it was a style most often adopted by the upper crust of society. Eye-catching geometric designs on furniture were common, just like elegantly designed furniture. Luscious drapery adorns most windows, and additions like built-in bookshelves add utility.

5. Elaborate Wall & Floor Decoration

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the marvelous opulence of Victorian flooring and wall decoration. Wallpaper with elaborate floral and geometric designs were popular in that era, as were faux marble or faux granite finishes. The preferred flooring was wood, and parquet patterns were all the rage.

Tile with geometric designs is an interesting alternative if wood doesn’t quite fit the space, and strategically placed carpets with intricate designs help to add visual interest.

6. More Is More

Unlike modern minimalist trends, Victorian style deems unfurnished space as unfinished and flat. Every surface in a Victorian home should be adorned with decorative objects, from mantles to tables and so on. In the Victorian era, photography was a new and novel way of displaying precious photos of loved ones, so lots of pictures in ornate frames are a must.

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The Victorian era was a high watermark in the interior design world. Although it’s sometimes regarded as gaudy and excessive, proper Victorian spaces are a timeless marvel. Adopt Victorian design in your home to add flair and show off your unique decorative tastes.

Featured Image Credit: Curtis Adams, Pexels

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