Some tips for making the most of Victorian homes
Victorian homes typically have an ambience all their own. Aesthetically, the houses give off a definitive vibe of the late 19th to early 20th century architecture. These narrow and tall buildings often feature turrets and towers, large windows and porches. Since the buildings were made to trump those around them, it is quite common to find unique custom interior features. Yet, for all the flare and glamour of the Victorian home, modern design requires a bit of stylising to merge both the antiquated core structure and the modern living necessities together. Here are some tips for making the most of your Victorian Home.
How does the interior trim look?
Interiors of the Victorian period homes tend to have numerous trim and molding. During that era, the trim was created rather large as, again, the point was for every elegance to be seen and noted. However, in modern design, simple and minimal sometimes yields the greatest impact. In rooms where the trim competes with the interior decorum of the space, it is advised that you minimize this by either painting the trim to a hue that blends with the adjoining wall or that you replace the trim with an option which is subtler.
Consider the rug
An easy way in which you can style your Victorian Home is to use a throw rug. This serves two purposes. Firstly, the rug acts as an accent to the wooden floors which are predominate in this style home. So long as your floor does not have an abundance of scuffs and scratches, a throw rug should highlight the natural beauty of the home. Secondly, as the floors are hardwood, which is an asset, you will not want to completely cover the space. However, by adding the rug, you give the lower sector of the room some artistic/aesthetic draw. Finally, by adding a throw rug, the space can be updated as trends and fashions change without compromising the integrity of the flooring.
Paint and Plaster
While the interior of your Victorian style may have smooth walls, they might not be the best interior walls for the home. Building construction during the Victorian era used primarily plaster, if and when they decided to have smooth walls. Due to this, you may find that there are unsightly cracks and holes in the interior space. One way to remedy this is to replace non-load bearing walls with a studded sheet rock wall. This can be costly.
Another option is to re-plaster and paint the existing walls. Ensure that you have the walls inspected by a professional prior to painting or plastering. Covering up a crack or a hole does not fix structural problems. Once the integrity of the space has been confirmed, paint the walls to match the interior design. As there is a plethora of colors available, and as Victorian homes are known for their eccentric design, there is really no limit to what you could do with the space.
Update the bay windows
One of the main features of the Victorian house is an abundance of bay and large windows. And while you may have the occasional stained glass or mosaic window (which should not be replaced but only refurbished and restored if needed), many of the windows will be standard glass. Yes, the framing may be a bit eclectic, with the raised eyebrow design, or the framing, but one will see that when looking at the actual window, that many are just wooden double hung or picture with double hung flankers.
Consider updating the window with double paned glass. Additionally, you may wish to have the window cases updated to metal. Awning windows can be exchanged for easy to clean fold out windows. Even if you choose to keep the aesthetic look and feel, the glass should be exchanged for UV resistant glass.
Update the shutters and siding
An interior is only part of the styling that you can do to your Victorian style home. While the windows will play a huge role in the overall aesthetics, the siding and the shutters will really bring the house together or cause issues. It is important that when updating and styling your Victorian home, that you have clean paint and siding on the house. As many of the Victorian homes where painted white, you may wish to go with an exterior color that does not accent dirt and grime as much (such as a light blue or a tan).
Wooden shutters can help to frame the windows of the exterior while not taking away from the periodic ambiance that the homes capture. Furthermore, the wooden shutters help to mask any metal framing which you might have used for the windows. This is especially helpful with homes which have wooden frame designs, intricate details etched in some of the windows, and plain sliding windows. The shutters bring a continuity to the space.
Don’t try to modernize it too much
One mistake that homeowners tend to have is that they try to change the overall style of the home. While you do wish to have a house which is comfortable to live in and that people are happy to see, you do not want to change the home so much that the Victorian attributes disappear.