Victorian Interior Design 101: Everything You Need to Know

Victorian interiors are a classic style that people still love today. It’s all about rich colours, space and high ceilings. If you want to get the distinctive Victorian aesthetic in your modern home, here’s everything you need to know about this interior style.

What is Victorian interior design?

Victorian interior design is an aesthetic rooted in the 19th-century Victorian era. This style was characterised by patterns and textures, jewel tones inspired by gemstones and attention to detail. Victorian homes often feature high ceilings and large windows, embracing both architectural and interior design elements. 

Maximalist touches like wallpaper, chandeliers, tapestries, damask, wainscoting and dramatic window treatments were all part of the look. And large stained glass windows with ornate designs were a big part of this.

The history of Victorian interior design

During Queen Victoria’s reign in the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution led to mass production, making decorative products more accessible to the middle class. Victorian architecture gained popularity, inspiring people to seek or incorporate Victorian features in their homes. People still look for Victorian properties with original features when they choose properties today, wowed by the design of these homes.

Characteristics of Victorian interior design

Victorian interior design is all about luxe, richness, texture and detail. Details like parquet flooring, rich upholstery and dramatic window treatments are all synonymous with Victorian interiors. Wallpapers adorned with intricate patterns (like florals, damask or geometric patterns), ornate chandeliers and tapestries are all examples of opulent Victorian interior design too.

Extravagant furniture, especially heavier pieces with detailing like velvet, brocade, tassels and fringe are also part of Victorian interiors. Carvings and detailing are also hallmarks of elaborate Victorian interiors – especially if there were Gothic revival influences, paired with antiques and collectibles. The Victorians also loved to put a grand fireplace in their home, out of necessity as well as a design element to focus on. 

Within the Victorian era, there were different phases such as Early Victorian (1837-1860), Mid-Victorian or High Victorian (1860-1880), and Late Victorian (1880-1901), each with its own variations in design trends. They also mixed influences from different periods of time for an eclectic design feel.

How to implement Victorian interior design

Want to add some Victorian touches into your home without it feeling like a museum? There are some easy ways to get the Victorian feel into your home, with a modern twist.

Choosing to use core pieces that are inspired by Victorian interiors can help you to get that Victorian feel. Think opulent, patterned wallpaper or heavy furniture in dark wood with intricate designs. You can also look to make more of a feature of your fireplace, in the same way that the Victorians did. Instead of going for a flat, minimalist design go for a fireplace that’s carved, designed and made out of traditional materials.

Don’t be scared to mix and match influences either. Mixing a little Victorian style with modern pieces is a truly Victorian approach. They regularly mixed and matched pieces from different eras in their interiors, so there’s no reason why you can’t do this too.

They also didn’t choose lots of clashing colours, but instead preferred to use rich tones to accent and complement one another. You should pick a couple of colours for your room to centre around to avoid colour clashes. , think about different textures and materials too – damask and upholstery were popular in the Victorian period.

How can window film help you achieve a Victorian interior design?

Window film can help you to get that opulent Victorian feel without having to splash out on real stained glass windows and their maintenance. Heritage window films are an affordable way to get that decorative Victorian feel without the long term commitment. If you’re renovating your period property on a budget, then patterned window film is an ideal option.

Heritage patterned options haveemerged as a budget-friendly solution to achieve the stained glass window aesthetic synonymous with Victorian design. Purlfrost offers a variety of heritage patterned window films, allowing you to elegantly transform your windows without the cost of implementing actual stained glass. 

Explore Purlfrost’s period window films to see how you can implement Victorian styles in your home.