Continuing the style series, today is all about romance. Considered the “romance style”, the Victorian era actually consisted of an amalgamation of many other styles like Italianate, Jacobethan, and Queen Anne. Generally it gave us heavy, bulky furniture ornately carved with flowers and animals as well as dark, rich color schemes of crimson and dark cobalt with almost no use of white. Ceilings were not ignored and were often elaborately decorated with moldings or painted designs and walls were covered in equally heavy patterns of flocked wallpaper.
Romance in Home Decor
Soft and frilly, feminine and luxurious, layers of lace, washes of white, is how the Victorian style is usually interpreted today. If you want to embrace the romantic and Victorian decor style here are some guidelines:
- Dark woods like rosewood or mahogany
- Color schemes evolved to peacock blues and greens, mauve and pink
- Modern romantic schemes often rely on whites and neutrals for a fresh take on traditional Victorian style
- Draperies often trimmed in ball fringes or tassels; draped valances, use of lacy sheers
- Use of heavy fabrics like velvet, mohair or serge
- Lace, ruffles, embroidered fabrics, feminine touches throughout
- Use of wallpaper, originally flocked, now just soft floral, damask or organic patterns
- Cluttered rooms over full of small, fussy accessories
Victorian exterior (San Francisco is known for an abundance of homes in this style) details are often called “gingerbread” because of all the elaborate cutout trim work. This home in Essex, CT is a classic example of Victorian style.
A lovely young girl’s room full of charm and romance is a modern interpretation of Victorian: a soft color palette, swirls and curves in the wood furnishings, layers of fabrics on the bed and an abundance of sweet accessories.
A Victorian room with a strong historical presence…notice the color palette, the rich woods, the elaborate wallpaper trim at the ceiling, and the plush draperies trimmed with fringe.
Whimsical, soft colors, detailed drawings – a perfect example of Victorian wallpaper.
This room has it all: trims everywhere, a soft color palette, mixed patterns, decorated walls, ceiling and floor, curvy lines on the furniture. Need I say more?
This lampshade is the perfect example of a Victorian style with beads, ribbon roses, trims and all wrapped in pastel colors.
A guest room or a room for a couple of girls to share….either way, it’s a great example of the softened way we treat the Victorian style. Romantic with soft ruffley fabrics, a touch of floral, but not too much, a delicate crystal chandelier, a blend of soft colors but not too sweet combine to create an inviting bedroom.
This room straddles the styles of traditional and romantic, blending the two successfully. What ‘Victorian’ elements do you see? Which ones would you classify as traditional? For me…..Victorian is represented with the ruffles and swoops at the window, the ornate mirror, tablecloth on the round table, the table lamp in the corner that appears to have crystals and a glass base. Traditional elements include the skirted ottomans, the accent chairs in the window, the lines of the sofa and coffee table.
By the way, there are a couple of issues I have with the room as well: all that pastel coordination and then there’s the ONE dark plant stand piece that’s totally out of place in the room. The 3 art pieces are hung much too high, especially the single one – it should be down at lamp level so it’s part of the table vignette. The floor lamp feels a little lightweight for the other pieces in the room. What do you think?
Patio design by RomanticHome.blogspot.com via houzz.com
Even the outdoors can show a bit of Victorian romance.
Other Styles Worth Mentioning
Art Deco and Art Nouveau are 2 styles that are somewhat similar in my mind but with some clear differences. Homes or even entire rooms are not usually decorated in either of these styles, yet furnishings and details from both can add a surprise element to an existing room.
Art Nouveau Design
Originating in France, this style is identified by its use of sinuous, natural curves taken from nature or the female body and a soft, pastel color palette.
Art Deco Design
Following and actually intermingling with Art Nouveau, Art Deco separates itself by embracing a more modern aesthetic. Popular in the early 1900′s, it is known for its use of stacked geometric forms, the chevron, fountain and sunburst motifs, inlaid wood or mirrored furniture, bold colors (including lots of black) and broad sweeping curves instead of the more natural curves of Nouveau.
While both Art Nouveau and Art Deco have enough options to warrant their own coverage, they are generally less popular styles right now. I felt like their light hearted curves and swirls and nods to feminine style made them a good fit with the romantic styles covered today. Pieces from all of these styles could work together (with some judicious editing) to make a stylistically interesting but soft and relaxing space.
Have You Missed Earlier Style Explorations?
This series has been running for a few weeks, so if you’re just joining us you can catch up on previous articles here: Country / Shabby Chic, Contemporary / Modern, Traditional, Eclectic / Transitional, Mission / Antiques and last week was Coastal / Themed rooms. Next week will wrap up the series by featuring Tuscan and Ethnic/Tribal style. I know I’ve missed a few – if there’s a style you want to know about, just let me know by leaving me a comment (after the ads below) and I’ll cover it as well.
I’ve linked this article to The Inspired Room today so if you visit there you’ll find links to lots of inspiring sites: products, how-tos, decor ideas and more.