The Victorian Age is certainly one by which we in the 21st Century are increasingly fascinated. From the retrofits of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies, to the rise of Steampunk literature, subculture, and even Steampunk interior design, we acknowledge that the Victorians (as austere as they were known to be …) certainly had something to say about style.
So, when thinking about living rooms, what are some of the basic elements of Victorian style?
Here’s a graphic that outlines some of the broad strokes of a middle-class to upper middle class Victorian living room, or more accurately – “parlor”.
So, in our 21st Century which is known to creatively, and often wonderfully mash-up styles, borrowing from traditions to create something new, which elements above make the most sense to be combined with modern sensibilities in a living room? Well, it depends on which aspects leap out at you balanced against the blank canvas of your space. Ultimately, the best results of this kind of project come out when you let the space take the lead.
The challenge for many who are less interested in the mash-up approach is the issue of authenticity. For instance, you’re looking to get the look of a Victorian room, but the TV, computers, cables, and other signs of modern technology are dispelling the illusion. There are ways to make technology look vintage Victorian, of course.
But as is often the case, sometimes it’s the subtle additions that often make the difference; a single item of furniture with that distinctive rococo curl, a floral lampshade, a stencil pattern on an accent wall, even the addition of brass items contrasted with wood ones (very Victorian!).
Some questions for you:
- What are your thoughts on getting that Victorian look in a modern space?
- How do you solve the problems of interior design anachronisms?
- Is that even a problem at all? What aspects of Victorian design did we miss on our graphic?
- Did we get any of them wrong?
Tell us in the comments section.