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Traditional Victorian
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Traditional Victorian Style

The Traditional Victorian style is characterized by rich brocades and velvets, both in furniture, walls and window dressings. Mauves, burgundies, rich blues and greens, along with lace and fringe compliment Victorian furnishings. Stained glass, pottery tiles, and parquet and marble flooring were also key features of Victorian style. Porcelain dolls, wicker, old high button shoes, hats and hat boxes, buttons and dried flowers are wonderful accent pieces to a Victorian room. The Victorian era was the era of abundance and one in which industrial advancement made mass production possible for the first time in history. This trend to the mass circulation of affordable things, allowing middle class families to afford the elements of the prevalent interior decorating style. The primary design principle in traditional Victorian style is to display many decorative items. For some, the effect may appear crowded or even cluttered, but a pleasing grouping of similar items (whether china teacups, picture frames or decorative pill boxes) is a must-have for a Victorian room. Consider the following suggestions to achieve the Traditional Victorian look.

Metal hardware is a must. Victorians always admired items from the Renaissance and reproduced all types of hardware. Use antiqued doorknobs, drawer pulls, etc. to add a few simple Victorian touches to any room.

Most every Victorian room -- whether an upstairs bedroom or formal parlor -- was equipped with a fireplace. Fireplaces were plain and polished with carved brackets. Use simple motifs to decorate the corners of your mantel. White marble fireplaces are ideal, but with simple paint techniques, even wooden fireplaces can give an illusion of marble.

Decorative moldings and ornamental plasterwork were popular in Victorian homes. As moldings can be expensive, the similar effect can be achieved with the use of decorative wooden cornices placed at the end of arches.

Stained glass is an integral part of the Victorian style. To avoid the high cost of having custom-made stained glass windows or doors, stain them yourself with permanent stain glass colors. If you want more flexibility, make designs on a separate piece of glass and just attach the finished piece to your window or door.

The preferred color scheme of a Victorian house is dark. Rich colors should be used for all your most frequented rooms. To make sure you have adequate illumination, keep only one or two walls in dark colors and paint rest of the room in lighter shades. All woodwork, like the walls, were traditionally grained in dark colors. This effect is very easy to achieve yourself: Just paint woodwork with dark polish or stain in darker shades.

Since machine-made wallpapers became popular during the Victorian era, they were used in abundance. Fruit, floral-designed wallpapers and tapestry papers can be used to achieve this effect. Or consider stenciling a Victorian design on your walls.

Victorian furniture should be heavily upholstered. Seasonal variations can be achieved by slipcovering furniture. Use fabric everywhere, for upholstery, curtains, valances and other window treatments. You can also use fabric as a wall covering in the place of wallpaper, by using starch to paste the fabric to the wall.

Below are some of our favorite Traditional Victorian ideas. Get inspired, and click on the following thumbnails to view our favorite Traditional Victorian rooms.