Victorian Interior Design

The style of Victorian interior design dates between 1837-1901, the reign in Britain of Queen Victoria, hence the given name.

Victorian interior design ideas and influences all come from an era of great change in the home as mass production of items meant that goods became more available. Imitation and reproduction allowed all homes to upgrade their appearance on a budget. Similar to the idea of IKEA whereby all homes can have a touch of affordable design.

Take a look at the living room in the below image.  The mold details in the ceiling, cornices and fireplace are rather splendid.  This highly decorative look can also be found in French interior design circa the same era.

The image below shows another living room space within an architectural, Victorian building. The look has been simplified to create a modern and fairly minimal interior design. I added that image specifically to show you how an updated design can look within an older building. I adore volume so high ceilings are one of my weakness, especially when there is original cornicing and coving detail of any sorts. Beautiful.


The look is an eclectic mix of styles from the Arts and Crafts movement and Nouveau with influences from Europe, especially Paris, France. It is generally luxurious and can be dramatic, opulent and ornate.

It is not too stuffy however, the finished look is what I would call classical. Why not introduce a little contemporary design here and there, to give your home an up to date version of this well established style.

The image of the living room on the left, shows just how lavish Victorian interior design can be simply by introduction of extravagant furniture.

The detailed pattern used on the decor is plentiful for this space and provides the look with just the right amount of fuss and grandeur.

Color: Victorian interior design should have rich dark colors of burgundy, plum, ruby, emerald, forest greens and navy will work well. You can tone in gold to give your look that edge of indulgence.

Most of the leading paint companies now produce good 'heritage' ranges. These are perfect to help you create this design style.

HINT: purple and pale blue tones were not available during this period so try to avoid those.

The below image of a Victorian styled kitchen, which lets you see how classic and simple Victorian interior design ideas are. Perfectly balanced and harmonious with excellent storage.

Walls: from the 1840's wallpaper was in mass production and was commonly applied to a section of the wall. Usually installed from the skirting/base board up to a dado rail or higher to picture rail height. This is perhaps something you could add into your space.

The best collections to refer to should be similar to the designs of William Morris. Damask and large floral, bird and animal motifs on water silk paper would be perfect.

Plain, flat painted walls work brilliantly and can create beautiful, charismatic rooms similar to those shown in the images on this page.

Below are two great examples of wallpaper from Victorian collections. The detail is tremendous.

The wonderful airy dining room shown in the below image lets you see how a neutral paint finish makes the room appear elegant and spacious. I love the long drapes. Simple and sophisticated.

Floor: choose either good quality, mid toned floor boards or parquet flooring with interesting, large rugs similar to what is shown in the above image or go really authentic and select a pattern carpet. The trick would be to leave a border around the edges showing polished floor boards or perhaps your border could be color matched to your inner section but it should be plain. No pattern.

Decor: the image below shows contemporary dining furniture mixed into a Victorian style home. The twist adds a magical touch of style and helps make this home unique.

Your room should have lots of fuss and many pieces of stylish furniture to represent your Victorian styled concept. A crowded room would be perfect!

The images below are ideas of what kind of items you should be looking for. Detailed woodwork is often found on chairs and sofas from this period.

Chairs and sofas should be button-backed as should ottomans and chaise-longs. Look at the images on this page for examples of this type of upholstery.

Perhaps you could add a stunning, marble top table into your design. If it is possible then that could become one of your focal points and would look fabulous in your space.

Lighting: highly decorative lamps similar to the example of lighting shown in the image above, right are perfect to use. The 'Tiffany' lamps from that period look amazing and would add a splash of color into your room.

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