In the second half of the 19th century, our Queen Victoria had shed light on England and a new era began; one with prosperity and opulent living. A lot of what we know about English home design and decorating today would have been influenced during the time of Queen Victoria’s reign. In modern times, it is the femininity of the Victorian style that keeps it so popular and treasured – a classic it definitely is. To help you achieve one of the most well-renowned styles of British history, we highlight some of the aspects of this decorating style.
· Perhaps the first aspect of this style that needs to be discussed is the use of colour and which colour palettes will give the best impression of your chosen look. The colour palette was always chosen with regards to the other elements that would be used in the room. For example, rich colours would work best with dark woods that were common in dining rooms, the entrance hall and the lounge/sitting room; you may notice that these rooms are most seen by guests and required a distinguished look. Think mahogany furniture with a dark green, silver and other cool metallics work best with blue and lighter tones of any colour choice will be used where there is a lack of natural light.
· Wallpaper was also quite common, if only to be used on certain panels but sometimes to decorate the entire room. Victorian prints are not hard to find even now – in fact they are receiving a popular comeback of late. Repetitive images of flowers, stems and leaves as opposed to bouquets of flowers – it was more abstract. William Morris style of design is a good place to start for inspiration.
· A theme that ran through the Victorian design was travel and it often combined decorative objects from many different lands – Oriental screens could be found in the same room as an Egyptian artefact; African animal hides (we don’t recommend this in modern day – go with animal prints for soft furnishings) alongside Indian rugs. This theme of travel had more generalized pieces such as framed wall maps, globes and exotic house plants.
· Collectibles were always displayed tastefully and some common items included portraits of the family, antiques and handmade crafts. Look for lace curtains, crochet blankets, a patchwork duvet cover and embroidered doilies. Books were also displayed in the Victorian home and the upper classes would often have a personal library within the home.
· Victorian beds are a significant item of furniture in the Victorian styled home and again, dark woods such as mahogany or teak were popular. This was given a fresh and feminine touch with white linen and layered bedding inclusive of duvet covers UK, valance and pillows with decorative cushions and throws for added comfort.