Victorian Home Accents: Your Guide to Authentic Charm

Victorian Home Accents

Victorian home accents will give your living space an elegant and romantic aura.

Victorian style is defined by its rich and indulgent fashion, reminiscent of a time when affluence and elegance ruled. Lots of dark rich woods, fanciful accents, luxurious fabrics, and glittering embellishments were the defining elements of this romantic era.

Characteristics of Victorian Interior Design

During the Victorian era people were experiencing a certain amount of wealth and opulence that made its way into building interiors (along with architecture, art, fashion, and more).

Victorian design is often described as pretty and romantic. This is due to the use of traditionally feminine items such as lace accents, lots of flowers, and gilt and crystal accessories. In a Victorian-style home expect to find a lot of carved and curved pieces of furniture, drippy chandeliers and candelabras, gilded frames, and other pretty items. Florals were particularly popular during the Victorian era and could be found all over the house - on everything from fabrics, to teacups, to the carving in furniture, to stationery.

When it comes to Victorian decorating more is more. Every empty space, from tabletops to walls, begs to be included.

Victorian Fabrics

Victorian opulence often manifested itself in the use of many rich, soft, fabrics. From panels of velvet draperies embellished with beadwork, fringe, and tassels to layers of soft blankets of bedding; fabrics in a wide array of patterns, colors, and textures would typically be found in a Victorian home. If you want to add some Victorian fabric accents consider using accent pillows, throws, and small ottomans in luxurious textiles. Don't forget about things like table skirts and dust ruffles as well.

When choosing fabric accents remember to include a multitude of patterns and colors. Damask pillows in one color can be on a sofa of another color and pattern, sitting atop an oriental rug in an entirely different set of colors. As long as the colors more or less compliment each other, the Victorian look will be achieved.

Victorian Home Accents and Ornaments

Victorian interior design is described by some as "over-the-top". Avoid plain items and opt instead for ones that have a lot of details. For example, tables and chairs with curved lines should be chosen over straight versions; mirrors should have carved and decorated frames; and a patterned area rug is favored over plain carpeting. This applies to all Victorian furniture and accents. While the large furniture will provide the bones of a room, it's the small details that will really create the look. In Victorian decorating the accents and accessories take on a very important role.

Possible home accents include:

  • picture frames of silver, pewter or gold, made of metal and wood, carved with fruits and flowers
  • ornate chandeliers adorned with crystals
  • carved shelves and wall brackets
  • colorful lampshades with fringe and embellishments
  • decorative tea caddies made out of rosewood or other dark, exotic woods
  • small statues and busts (cherubs and angels in particular)
  • collections of leather bound books
  • items indicative of travel such as elaborate maps and globes (travel was considered a sign of wealth during the Victorian era)
  • prints of people, animals, and garden scenes in ornate frames (either hung on the wall or placed on tabletops)
  • collections of pretty glass or crystal perfume bottles, inkwells, or paperweights
  • decorative porcelain and china such as tea cups displayed on buffets and sideboards
  • small pieces of furniture like wood and marble plant stands, carved columns, and tapestry covered footstools.

There are a lot of other small things that can be done to add Victorian flair to a room. Try switching outdoor and cabinet hardware for Victorian knobs and fittings. A lace doily or cloth adds Victorian panache when placed on top of a side table. A collection of decorative silver displayed in a bookcase emits an air of wealth and opulence.

Victorian Accents for the Outdoors

Victorian home accents needn't be reserved exclusively for inside. A garden, or even a balcony, can be filled with roses, ivy, lilacs, and lavender. Train them to grow over small wrought iron chairs and bistro tables, and climb up lattices and arbors. Add accents to the garden such as mirrors, statues, and other pretty items. Just like the indoor accents, the possibilities are endless.

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Victorian Home Accents: Your Guide to Authentic Charm