When we talk about vintage Victorian décor, it is a given that it is all about the design and architecture that flourished during the reign of Queen Victoria. Scholars however say that while many of its elements had been used previously, it was not until her reign that it became popular. The Victorian Era followed what was then referred to as the Georgian Period. Style-wise the Victorian period looked more like revival of historical styles combined with Asian and Middle Eastern influence.
So what was the difference between the two? In the Georgian Period one of the main focuses was on making the cities more beautiful through elegant terraces and squares. It was during this period that designs were done to mimic the countryside. Thus many houses erected looked like a country house. Prominent features included facades that were symmetrical. Rooms where proportioned geometrically and houses had tall windows in order to let light inside easily.
All these however changed during the Victorian time. Houses for instance now had bay windows. If you’re not familiar a bay window is a type if window that projects outward allowing a bay to form inside. Since more standardized materials became readily available houses built now looked more or less the same. There were also more details in terms of decorations. This is why if you ever want your house to have that vintage Victorian décor, it must have carvings or other designs.
Thus while the Georgian design looked more into the outside of the house, the Victorian put more details inside. As such while they may look the same on the outside, once you go in the differences could be readily seen. This is also the reason why when getting vintage Victorian décor, there is always emphasis on what to do with the floor, walls and ceiling. The walls for example were painted with a color that was dependent on how the room was used. Thus corridors were often painted using a gray color so as not to overwhelm the rooms.
The use of wallpaper also became the norm especially after the wallpaper tax was repealed and new ways to mass produce them was implemented. Victorian era wallpapers utilized floral designs which made use of primary colors on the background. Gothic, which was revived during this time, meanwhile still made use of floral designs but instead used earth colors.
In terms of furniture there was not a single style. Instead what designers did was to modify styles from different periods like the Neoclassical or Gothic. Thus when talking about gothic antiques or even gothic jewelry, they are always referred to the Victorian Era. Because of this it led to the Gothic Revival thus we now have what is known as Gothic-Victorian.
By now you may have realized that the styles and designs that proliferated during this time period had a long and lasting effect. In the U.S. for example, a number of cities were either rebuilt or developed to focus on this particular influence. So the next time you think about vintage Victorian décor, keep in this mind so that whatever you is not only pleasing to look at but accurate as well.