Fit for a Queen: All You Need to Know about Victorian-Style Homes

Although the era of European royal highnesses living in castles is over, there’s still an architectural style that reflects the old-world Style.

Victorian-style homes might sound outdated, but they can be styled in many different ways to make them feel individual and personal. Jaye Anna Mize is the VP of Interior Design for Fashion Snoops. We also spoke to Thomas Jepsen (CEO of Passion Plans). Phillip Ash, the founder of Pro Paint Corner and Sarabeth South, an interior designer and expert in home design at Fixr, also spoke out about the home’s distinctive characteristics.

Victorian homes can be customized to suit your taste and preserve their character, whether you prefer a Craftsman-style house or a more modern home. This article will cover the history and architecture of Victorian-style homes.

Victorian-style homes were popularized during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1891). Gothic influences and intricately-designed woodwork distinguish them. These homes are often built with pitched roofs, wraparound porches, cylindrical towers and roof turrets.

What makes a Victorian-style house?

Their castle-like silhouettes are decorated with exterior paint colours that range from bright, vivid hues to darker shades. Ash adds that these homes had been painted brightly by their original owners. This is because Victorians were keen to experiment with colour and look for the best.

These homes are not only stunning from the outside but also feature insides. 

Victorians might not be the right choice for you if you require a lot more horizontal space. These houses are more inclined to be vertically leaning and have high ceilings. However, they often have long, narrow rooms .

These living spaces, as well as the nooks and crannies are part of the Victorian Style. The intricate doorways and window moldings are common. The ceilings are tall and often feature unique framing or designs. These features make rooms feel larger than life in sun-drenched rooms. Victorians’ thoughtful architecture will appeal to those who dream of ornate molding or statement chandeliers.

If you are a fan of open floorplans, Victorians that haven’t been updated won’t appeal to you. Although you may feel overwhelmed by the old infrastructures of original homes, they can offer many design opportunities.

These are some of the common features of Victorian-style homes:

Exterior

  • Two-three stories
  • Gabled roofs with steep, gabled pitches
  • Woodwork with intricate details
  • Towers and Turrets
  • Rich colors

Interior

  • Tall ceilings and large windows
  • Closed-off rooms
  • Trimming details
  • Ornamental architecture

History of Victorian-Style Homes

With the Industrial Revolution’s influence, the Victorian look was increasingly popularized in the late 1800s. This type of home is found across the globe, from Europe to North America to Australia. Their decorative Style reflects the time, since British architects took their designs overseas to colonize countries.

The layout inside was designed historically to fit the Victorian lifestyle. Ash says, ” Open concept would be an appalling suggestion.” Ash continues, “Homes were designed to create private and public areas because Victorian families hosted multiple guests per week.” Each room was designated for a particular function in elaborate floor plans.

Many Victorian homes still use outdated materials due to the age at which they were built. Ash advises current residents to be aware of the history of your Victorian home. “Victorian houses can contain hazardous materials, and require significant wiring and plumbing improvements,” he states. “If your home has been classified historic, there may be rules that govern what you can do and cannot do.”

He says, “If you are interested in purchasing an original Victorian, it will be steeped into the history of the building as well as the many families and people who made it their home.” You may not need to deal with issues if the building has been renovated.

Different types of Victorian Homes

There are several subcategories for original Victorian houses. Ash explains that these styles can include the Gothic Revival style, Second Empire, Stick-Eastlake, Folk Victorian and Romanesque Revival styles, as well as Shingle Style. The Queen Anne Victorian and the Italianate are some of America’s most beloved variations.

Queen Anne Victorian

Queen Anne and Italianate are two of the most popular types of Victorian homes. Mize says that Queen Annes are known for their unusual appearance. They often have wraparound porches with steeply pitched roofs and turrets. This Style was popular in America, especially among middle- and upper-class whites in California and the northeast.

Italianate

Mize states that both Queen Anne and the Italianate have ornate decorations, such as wall texture and grandeur trimming, which make them feel like gingerbread homes. This Style was popularized in the United States in the second half of this century. It originated in the early 1800s. Mize says that the Italianate version more closely resembles villas in their country of origin. They are more rectangular in shape, with narrower columns and windows that are “all ornamented with trim to complement the design scheme.”

Gothic Revival

The Style was popularized in America between the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. It originated in England in the late 1740s. Gothic architecture is a style that you may be familiar with from the appearance of medieval-inspired churches and public buildings. Its influence has also been carried over to residential properties. Gothic Revival Victorians are distinguished by their pointed arches and classic Victorian elements such as steeply pitched roofs, ornate wooden details, and Gothic Revival Victorians.

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