9 Features of Victorian Homes

The highly decorative Victorian architectural period overlaps the period of reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837-1901. The Victorians drew their inspiration from history, nature, geometry and theory to inspire their designs. There are many styles of Victorian homes, but all share some common features.

  1. Asymmetrical Façade. Victorian homes have an asymmetrical appearance that gives the house different levels of depth. They have an asymmetrical porch, generally one story high and extended along front and one or both side walls.
  2. Architectural Accents. Victorian homes were elaborately decorative due to detailed architectural accents that were added to the house. Gingerbread millworks, such as gingerbread brackets, headers and trim, were incorporated in the Victorian design and combined with other architectural elements, like corbels, spindle rails, sprandels, and cornice molding, to add the element of luxury displayed during the era.
  3. Building Materials. In the 1850s bricks were made in factories and became cheaper and all materials were easier to transport. The availability of the different types of stone, textured shingles and colored bricks allowed the Victorians to mixing these materials to create variety of patterns to their building exterior.
  4. Colors. Traditional Victorian homes of the period use natural earth tones in shades of green, brown, mustard and red. Victorian homes have also used vibrant colors such as purple, pink and mauve.
  5. Windows. There are a variety of windows on a Victorian style house. Sash windows with larger panes of glass, fan light above the door, and bay windows. Common window dressings were decorative trim, pediments, shutters, and even window boxes. Victorians incorporated the use of stained, beveled and etched glass in doors and windows
  6. Roof.Victorian homes have steeply pitched roof of irregular shape, usually with dominant front-facing gable and occasionally has a tower that stretches to different heights. The majority of houses are roofed with slate or clay tiles.
  7. New Home Features. The introduction of sanitation during Victorian times, allow for the addition of new home features such as, hot and cold water, proper drainage, waste facilities, and toilet facilities. Other additional home features included the gas oven, ice closet, gas or electric powered lighting, washing machine, and use of attics and basements.
  8. Interior Decor. Victorian homes are elaborately decorated with a multitude of colors, fabrics, and expensive furnishings and decorations. Rooms had crown molding, wallpaper, detail carved wood paneling and posts, decorative plasterwork and ornate lighting, including chandeliers. The interior windows were topped with cornices and heavily decorated with lace, including valances, swags, drapery panels, tie backs, and trimming.
  9. Iron and Steel. In the 19th century, iron and steel were introduced into Victorian home designs. These building components were used on the interior and exterior, as doors, fences, columns, frames, furniture and staircases, to accent the home.