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10 Victorian Home Decor Ideas for a Luxurious Touch

Though not always the most popular, Victorian decor has been en vogue since its inception. For close to two centuries, home and business owners of all classes and backgrounds have tried to capture the aesthetics and atmosphere Victorian style represents in their living rooms, reception halls, and quarters. Going with modern Victorian decor is a great idea, and in this article, we'll go over 10 ways you can add a luxurious touch and a modern twist to your Victorian home!
Cadogan Square Knightsbridge - victorian grade listed building

#1 Persian Rugs

The Victorian era was the zenith of the Industrial Revolution. It was then that the seeds of international trade that define our world today sprouted. With greater access to goods and luxuries from all corners of the world, Victorian architects took great pleasure in using foreign textiles, art pieces, and artefacts in their interior designs. A particularly popular choice was Persian rugs, which, thanks to the sophisticated embroidery and quality fabric, gave a sense of warmth and mystique to the space.

A lot of trends have come and gone since then, and modern sensibilities are vastly different from those prevalent during the Victorian era, but one thing has remained constant: Persian rugs have never completely gone out of vogue.

If you are looking for an element that brings a Victorian living room together, gives it a touch of cosiness and comfort, and distinguishes it and makes it memorable, then you can’t go wrong with a Persian rug. And unlike Vicotrian-era architects, you have far more options to choose from. So, whether you want an authentic, oriental Persian rug or one with a modern twist and original features, you can certainly find one that’ll complement your modern Victorian decor!

#2 Stained Glass Windows and Gilded Mirrors

How light interplays with the decor elements is critical in creating a cohesive design that makes the furniture pieces shine and gives the intricate craftsmanship its due. Victorian architects understood and internalised this in their designs, and that is why stained glass windows and gilded mirrors became mainstays of Victorian living rooms.

Not only do stained glass windows and gilded mirrors give you complete control over both natural and artificial lighting in the space, but they also create a unique, opulent atmosphere that captures the essence of Victorian sensibilities.

#3 Ornate Shelves and Antique Cabinets

Before the minimalistic interior designs of Edwardian and later eras took root in Britain, there were Victorian rooms: busy, full of life, and embellished by a great number of furniture pieces. Shelves and cabinets featuring intricate woodwork, quality craftsmanship, and elaborate designs were among the first go-to furniture pieces of Victorian architects.

A modern Victorian style will immensely benefit from the inclusion of ornate or antique shelves and cabinets. Beyond their ability to make a space feel authentically Victorian, they also have practical applications as storage.

#4 An Elegant Fireplace

There are scant approaches better at making a modern home feel cosy, welcoming, and elegant than installing a fireplace, but it is especially suitable for a Victorian living room. The chimney breast adds visual interest to the space, the fire complements the darker colours of Victorian decor, and the mantle shelf acts as a focal point and an excellent place to display art pieces, antics, and ornaments.

If you want to see how much of a difference a fireplace can make, you can check out our high-end refurbishment in Cadogan Square. Here, our team completely renewed and breathed life into a period that had gone unrenovated for 50 years. A modern, adorned fireplace in the centre of the reception area was the finishing touch the construction needed to project the graceful, luxurious atmosphere our client was after. If you want to achieve the same result in your Victorian living room, it is certainly worth considering a fireplace!

Luxury apartment in Knightsbridge - recepetion room with two green sofas

#5 Artefacts and Ornaments

The use of elements and items that add visual interest to a space is a severely overlooked aspect of interior design. These elements help the decor assert itself, add a touch of personality, and are great conversation starters with guests and visitors.

The use of artefacts and ornaments was the go-to method of adding visual interest to Victorian design. Prominently placed, these artefacts and ornaments acted as the linchpin of the decor, demonstrating the property owner’s worldliness and status.

And if you are going for modern Victorian decor, they are certainly worth considering. Not only because artefacts and ornaments make the space feel authentically Victorian but also because, purely on their own merit, they are excellent centrepieces that can elevate the design of the interior. Certainly one of the first design ideas homeowners should consider!

#6 Chandeliers

A spacious, cosy living room adorned with an ornate chandelier is quintessential Victorian aesthetics that has stood the test of time and remains, to this day, one of the most prominent archetypes of elegance and extravagance across the world.

If you are looking to recreate a modern Victorian living room with all its beauty and intricacy, a chandelier should be one of the first items on your list. Its visual impact, the atmosphere it creates, and its ability to change how the furniture and other architectural features of the living room are being perceived can’t be recreated.

The chandeliers don’t need to be extravagant to have a profound effect on the decor. Check out our house renovation in Balham, for example! The simple chandelier lighting we chose for the living room ensured the place was evenly lit while adding a touch of cosiness and comfort! You can achieve the same result in your Victorian living room!

Penthouse in St Johns Wood - Mezzanine master bedroom with walnut joinery

#7  Luxury Upholstery

Graceful, rich tones permeated were a common feature of Victorian decor. Assertive, warm, and hospitable, they offer the quality homeowners desperately want their homes to embody.

A great way to make rich tones a natural part of your modern Victorian living room is by using luxury upholstery made from velvet and velour. These furniture items make for great centrepieces you can build your living room around. They welcome your visitors with a gentle sheen, a delicate beauty, and an elegant presence that’s sure to impress.

#8 Decorated Vases

Decorated vases serve a dual function in modern Victorian living rooms:

  • They are artistic pieces that jibe well with the colour schemes, atmosphere and ambience of Victorian rooms.
  • They are an excellent way to add flowers and plants to the space, making it feel greener and fresher.

With Victorian rooms commonly featuring tables, shelves, and fireplace mantles, homeowners have great freedom over where and how they place vases, bringing out the best in them! 

#9 A Grand Piano

Modern Victorian homeowners usually struggle with filling the ample living room space with compelling and alluring objects. While playing it safe with shelves and cabinets will work, to truly capture the temperament of the Victorian era, you need a grandiose item that occupies a large amount of space.

The best candidates are a grand piano, a harp, or a bookshelf. All are excellent options, and you won’t go wrong with whichever you choose!

House in St Johns Wood - Luxury Living room

#10 Express Yourself

Despite being perceived as formal and rigid, the modern Victorian style gives homeowners a great degree of freedom to express themselves, their values, and their preferences throughout the decor. So, while it might be easy to treat interior design as a checklist and implement all the common motifs from the Victorian era, that won’t truly breathe life into your home nor make it feel authentic.

So, last but certainly not least: Never forget to express yourself and your personal style when designing your Victorian homes. Both modern abstract art and Renaissance-era art can breathe individuality into the decor while fitting perfectly into Victorian interiors, for example.

Modern Victorian Decor FAQ

How to Decorate a Home in a Victorian Style?

When trying to achieve a Victorian style, there are several important notes you need to hit:

  1. The use of furniture pieces, ornaments, and artefacts made from high-quality timber.
  2. Eye-catching patterns, colourful floor tiles, and idiosyncratic designs assert themselves.
  3.  Iron railing and baroque mouldings are heavily featured in both the interior and exterior of the property.

How to Make a Victorian Home Cosy?

Victorian rooms are large and spacious, largely featuring timber and iron materials. This sometimes leads to the house feeling cold during the winter. Thankfully, there are a few ways to make a living room cosy while maintaining the Victorian style.

  • Fireplaces: There’s no better way to make a living room cosy than a fireplace. No matter how large is the space, no matter how cold are temperatures outside, nuzzling close to a fireplace will keep you warm and cosy!
  • Rugs: knotted or wool rugs are an affordable way of keeping the house warm in the winter while staying faithful to modern Victorian decor. They can be removed in the summer if you want the house to be cooler and more comfortable in warmer weather.
  • Insulated windows: A double or triple-pane bay window provides excellent thermal insulation while giving you ample natural lighting and a great view of the outdoors.

What Makes a House Look Victorian?

There is no single thing that makes a home “Victorian.” Many elements, furniture pieces, and design principles need to come together to create a modern Victorian aesthetic.

Key elements of Victorian aesthetics include spacious living areas, high ceilings, intricate woodwork, liberal use of embroidery and ornamentation, and a taste for extravagance.

Finding the perfect balance between all these elements to create a home that truly feels Victorian isn’t easy, but it is certainly possible with the help of a reliable, professional, and skilled construction and renovation company!

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