Great as the Queen after whom it was named, Victorian style embodies class of the British aristocracy, and propagates the refined sensibility of the 19th century England. Although a bit overwhelming in its original form, the decorating trend in the modern version is the answer to all seekers of timeless elegance and a pinch of royal luxury. Shall we begin?
Flowers for a Lady
The Victorian period lasted for almost the entire 19th century during the reign of one of the most powerful rulers in history – Queen Victoria. Albeit strong and decisive to the outside world, on the inside Victoria was a delicate woman who simply adored flowers. In her detailed journals, the Queen frequently mentions her favorite blossoms. Moreover, she and her beloved husband Albert used the symbolism of flowers to express their affection for each other on a daily basis. Exceptionally romantic, isn’t it? As if emphasizing this extraordinary love, Victorian style is full of flower motifs, and you can’t forget about them in your modern Victorian abode.
Sources: pinterest, homesthetics.net
Fresh peonies, myrtle and roses will enliven the space and fill it with sweet scents of summer. You may also use artificial or dried flowers to create romantic decorations by, for instance, putting them in an old-fashion glass jar. An excellent idea is the transfer of the 19th century art into a part of house décor. Realistic flower motifs can be extracted from opulent classic paintings and copied as fragments on a wall to create a sophisticated and tasteful effect. Finally, a dream of any true Victorian lady – an orangery. In this fancy greenhouse, you will be able to extend the normal range and season of plants, and enjoy a lovely cup of tea.
Chandelier Worthy of a Ballroom
What would a Victorian mansion look like without a crystal chandelier? Much dimmer, that’s for sure. Though the gas lighting caught on in the mid-19th century, followed by the appearance of the electric light, a huge, sparkling and highly ornamental crown of light hanging from the ceiling is one of the hallmarks of the Victorian era. Trust us, you also want this glamor in your modern Victorian interior.
Sources: pinterest, theroomedit.com
Nevertheless, there are a couple of simple rules on how to introduce a crystal chandelier into a contemporary arrangement without getting overwhelmed by its lavishness. Frist of all, don’t overdo it with other additives related to the bygone era – try to keep them as accents, or else your apartment may start looking like a costume movie set. Secondly, match the statement lighting with a bright setting.
Neutral colors may enter not only the walls but also the flooring. Thirdly, introduce some modern details, like a state-of-the-art coffee table with steel elements. Now, lay back and admire the myriad of flashes of light reflected by the subtle crystals of your chandelier.
Antique Wall Gallery
In a royal palace or an aristocratic mansion, a wall gallery usually exhibits oil paintings of the members and venerable ancestors of the family. While setting up a present-day Victorian interior, such a display can be arranged with a modern twist. Search for ornate frames, best with a subtle patina effect which will introduce a unique atmosphere of the past, and fill them with contemporary photos of your friends and family.
You know what a looking glass is? That’s the old-fashioned term used by the highly born to describe …. a mirror. We mention it here for a reason. A round mirror included in a Victorian-like wall gallery will create a bridge between the old and the new by adding a bit of a geometric stir. If you are determined to be even more retro, take your loved ones for a genuine Collodion photo-session. Nothing reflects the atmosphere of Victorian times like antique Collodion photography.
(Arts and Crafts) Rugs
Dignified and magnificent, rugs and carpets are an inseparable part of the Victorian style. Out of all weaving fashions, the one that best reflects the sophisticated and English to the core decorating trend is Arts&Crafts. The origins of the movement derive from Morris & Co, founded by William Morris, in 1861, in which the Pre-Raphaelites poured their artistry into the creation of furniture, fabrics, stained glass, wallpaper and everyday objects.
The major inspiration for the artists was nature, thus Arts&Crafts rugs bloom with mesmerizing, curvilinear yet naturalistic and balanced depictions of flowers and plants. Actually, the Arts and Crafts movement’s ideas rebelled against the rigid Victorian backgrounds and the dehumanizing mechanization of the Industrial Age, as its proponents sought to re-establish the link between the artist and the craftsman, and art and industry. However, we are absolutely sure that Queen Victoria had nothing against the delicate and flowery Arts&Crafts rugs and nor should you!
Echoes of the Past
As mentioned before, the modern Victorian style is not about recreating every single detail of the epoch (unless that’s what you’re into). It is the construction of the proper atmosphere by means of clever additives joined with contemporary aesthetics that does the work. Your interior in the modern Victorian style can even be minimalistic! The trick is to properly accentuate what we have in mind and build a distinct, slightly old-fashioned but posh and livable décor.
Sources: country-days.co.uk, gardenista.com
Stylized knobs attached to doors and furniture, a classic candelabra, an oldish teapot or retro tableware are just enough to bring in the Victorian vibe. Match them with textiles in black and white stripes, including blankets, cushions, curtains, bed covers or upholstery. Such plain and simple, contrast-based, black and white setting will help to expose the old-day accessories and create an intriguing blend of antiquity with modernity.
For more inspirations, take a peek at Doris Leslie Blau website – we are always at your disposal. And if by any chance you are visiting the capital, step into The Washington Design Center, 1099 14th Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005, to see our showroom. You can also give us a call at 202-808-9361.