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Victorian style decorating continues to be imitated to this day
Publish: 2010.11.01 Source: 3D Decorative Posters | 3D Picture Gifts | 3D Photos -http://www.RoseHoliday.com Click:
 

Victorian style decorating took it's name from the preferences of Queen Victoria of England. The Victorian style period officially ended with her death. It was an era of ornate and excessive decoration in all things. This period was sandwiched between the clean and classic periods of the Colonial and Federal Styles and the plain forms of the Arts and Crafts movement which followed the Victorian period. The Arts and Crafts movement was a revolt against the ornateness and clutter of the Victorian era. It gave everyone a breather from the excesses of Victorian style decorating.

Victorian Architecture
When you hear the words "Victorian house", an image that immediately springs to mind is a fanciful, ornately ornamented, gaily painted house with gables, round towers and huge porches. This is the predominant style that symbolized the Victorian era. However, many of the Victorian homes were in the Greek Revival style, such as the Southern plantations, while many Victorian homes on the East Coast were done in Gothic Revival with tall peaks, pointed arches reminding one of church windows, and narrow windows.
Whatever Victorian style brings to mind, Victorian homes are favored by Bed and Breakfast owners and clientele. A Victorian home brings feelings and images of splendor, elegance and romance which are all conducive to a romantic and relaxing vacation.

The Bathroom was the Jewel of the Victorian Style
In the first Victorian bathrooms the tubs and sinks were enclosed in wooden surrounds to resemble furniture. Some fixtures in the Victorian bathroom were incredibly beautiful. Sinks and toilets were hand painted with all manner of scrolls, florals, and sea figures.
As time went on bathtubs had claw feet that were often gilded with gold. Pedestal sinks were often used but many sinks were attached to the wall and had exposed plumbing as Victorians learned through experience that the enclosed fixtures created a perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew and vermin.
Pieces of small furniture such as shaving stands, small tables and if the room was large enough even a small sitting area added to the comfort of the victorian bathroom.
Brass fixtures, heavy wood paneling or marbleized walls, and gas lights on the side of huge gilded mirrors rounded out the decoration of the Victorian bathroom.

The Victorian Style Kitchen
The victorian style kitchen was often located in the basement or lower level of the home. During victorian times labor was cheap and plentiful. Most homeowners of the upper and middle class had at least one or two servants to help out and the woman of the house rarely worked in the kitchen.
The kitchen was a working area and no family socializing as we know it today was done in the victorian kitchen. Often the kitchen area consisted of several rooms. The main kitchen itself had a large table for food preparation and also served as the servant's eating area. It was also the cooking area and contained the fire place and the wood or coal burning stove. Towards the end of the 19th century gas stoves became available, but at the time were considered dangerous.

Dishes and serving pieces were kept in the kitchen and it alos contained a pie safe for keeping breads and baked goods free from flies.
The scullery was the room where dishwashing was done. Vegetables were also washed there, and if there wasn't a separate laundry room, the family wash was also done in the scullery.
The third area of the kitchen was the pantry (sometimes called the butler's pantry). Here silver and glassware was stored. Table linens were also kept in the pantry. Silver and other metals were polished in the pantry.
Another area that was part of the kitchen but often separate from it, was the larder or root cellar. This was kept cool with slate or dirt floors. Since ice boxes didn't become available until the end of the 19th century, it was essential that there was a place to keep food for a short period of time. Shopping was done on a daily basis and most of the baking was done on a daily basis so that food would not normally be kept for long periods of time.

Characteristics of Victorian Style Furniture
Heavy, flamboyant, excessive are words often used to describe Victorian style decorating. Furniture was usually made of dark wood with ornate carving and tables with marble tops were the norm.
Dining room tables were large and round with pedestals. The Victorian parlor was furnished with overstuffed chairs often made of leather. Much of the furniture was heavily upholstered and sported uniquely shaped and curved backs. Heavy mirrored hat stands were found in the entry halls. Oriental rugs were the most used coverings on flooring.
Bedrooms were furnished with huge pieces of furniture. Beds had elaborate canopies or huge head and foot boards. Chests and bureaus were large and ornately carved. Washstands and washbowls were part of every Victorian bedroom. Many had free standing screens hiding the washstand and/or chamber pots.

Colors and Fabrics used in Victorian Style Decorating
Elegant fabrics were the favorites in the Victorian era. Damasks, silks, velvets covered every flat surface available. Needlepoint pillows and wall hangings were used extensively. Chair seats were also covered in needlepoint. Lace was also layered with heavier fabrics in the Victorian home.  Tassels, fringe, and cording adorned everything.

Windows were often made of stained glass. They were dressed with heavy fabrics and sometimes had lace underlinings. The draperies were held back with heavy cording and tassels.
Along with dark furniture, Victorians also favored dark rich colors. Deep reds and greens, golds, and rich browns were used in Victorian style decorating.

Accessories used in Victorian Style Decorating
Accessories were scattered about extravagently. Big game hunting was in vogue and animal trophies were hung around the home. Large vases with huge floral arrangements were in the living areas and plant stands with potted palms were always in evidence.
Needlepoint pillows were a standard. Grecian busts and statues were favored at that time. Pictures were large, dark, and framed with heavy gilded frames.
Knickknacks were placed everywhere an empty space could be found. Large glass domes covered prized possessions or items that were difficult to keep clean. Can you imagine the amount of housework created by this Victorian style of decorating? It's a good thing that Victorians with this type of household could afford help!

Victorian Style can be incorporated in your home
If you love the roamnce and ambiance of Victorian style but dread the housework and clutter, don't despair. It is possible to get the look you love.
Because Victorian furniture is so ornate and distinctive, you can achieve the look with just a few pieces of furniture. Victorians also used classic pieces of furniture used in traditional home decorating and by mixing these styles you will have the same period furniture.
By using oriental rugs, rich fabrics and colors and a few Victorian accessories, you can have the romance and opulance of the Victorian style era without the heaviness and constant housework.

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