Victorian Interior Design

Victorian architecture is a name given to a very broad spectrum of different architectural styles that occurred during the middle and late nineteenth century.  Like many other things during this time, they were named after the reigning queen, Queen Victoria, a custom developed by the British and French people of the time period.

The period of the Victorian era encompasses a total of eleven different architectural styles that occurred during this period, each with their own distinctive styles and design elements.  There were several different architectural styles that came to be during this time period that didn’t necessarily have elements that fit in this style, because they started during this same period they tend to be lumped into the same category.

The decorative style associated with this architectural style had many distinctive elements that represented it.  Just like different countries influenced the architecture, they also had a heavy influence on what the interior looked like.  The Middle East and China were two of the biggest influences of interior design.  They also helped to establish several of the sub cultures associated with this time period.

Victorian homes were very orderly, yet still very elaborately decorated.

 Homes were very clearly divided into rooms, each with their own purpose.  No room, no matter how seldom used, was left undecorated, as this was seen as a sign of poor taste. Color schemes varied depending upon the location of the home. Lighter colors tended to be avoided in town and city dwellings due to pollution. Another factor in color choice was often determined by the availability of pigments. In country areas, interior decorations were often carried out by traveling craftsmen who carried limited supplies. Paint had to be mixed on site with whatever locally available ingredients could be found. For example, the blue-green colorwash used on wooden paneled walls in country areas was derived from the earth pigment terra verde, mixed with egg whites and buttermilk.

Homes, like today, were considered reflections of the people who live in them.  Walls and ceilings were painted to represent their purpose, and it was not uncommon to find plaster walls with carved designs in them. Wallpaper was quite popular and in the early and mid-Victorian period elaborate scrolled floral patterns were favored and primary backgrounds of red, blue and green overprinted with shades of cream and tan were common. Furniture, on the other hand, was not very dominant or exclusive to the time; the main focus was on all of the other elements in the room.

Kohn Coleman born in Michigan – received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2000 – currently leads several online companies and ventures.