Victoriana, Victorian Decorative Arts, Neo Victorian

Read about the history of Decorating romantically during the Victorian Era, Victoriana and the Neo Victorian Style

Romantic Interior Decoration and the History of Romantic Victorian Decor

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The hallmark of the Victorian Era Interior decorating and interior design for each room was orderliness and an abundance of ornamentation. A house from this period was idealistically neatly divided in rooms, with public and private space carefully separated. The Parlor was the most important room in a home and was the showcase for the homeowners; where guests were entertained. A bare room was considered to be in poor taste, so every surface was filled with objects that reflected the owner's interests and aspirations. The dining room was the second-most important room in the house. The sideboard was most often the focal point of the dining room and very ornately decorated.

Walls and Ceilings

The choice of paint color on the walls in Victorian homes was said to be based on the use of the room. Hallways that were in the entry hall and the stair halls were painted a somber gray so as not to compete with the surrounding rooms. Most people marbleized the walls or the woodwork. Also on walls it was common to score into wet plaster to make it resemble blocks of stone. Finishes that were either marbled or grained were frequently found on doors and woodwork. "Graining" was meant to imitate woods of higher quality that were more difficult to work. There were specific rules for interior color choice and placement. The theory of “harmony by analogy” was to use the colors that lay next to each other on the color wheel. And the second was the “harmony by contrast” that was to use the colors that were opposite of one another on the color wheel. There was a favored tripartite wall that included a dado or wainscoting at the bottom, a field in the middle and a frieze or cornice at the top. This was popular until the 19th century. Fredrick Walton who created linoleum in 1863 created the process for embossing semi-liquid linseed oil, backed with waterproofed paper or canvas. It was applied much like wallpaper. This process made it easy to then go over the oil and make it resemble wood, leather or different types of leather. On the ceilings that were 8-14 feet the color was tinted three shades lighter than the color that was on the walls and usually had a high quality of ornamentation because decorated ceilings were favored.


There was not one dominant style of furniture in the Victorian period. Designers rather used and modified many styles taken from various time periods in history like Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan, English Rococo, Neoclassical and others. The Gothic and Rococo revival style were the most common styles to be seen in furniture during this time in history.


Victorian wallpaper was often made in elaborate floral patterns with primary colors in the backgrounds, such as red, blue and yellow and overprinted with colors of cream and tan. This was followed by Gothic art inspired papers in earth tones with stylized leaf and floral patterns. William Morris was one of the most influential designers of wallpaper and fabrics during the latter half of the Victorian period. Morris was inspired and used Medieval and Gothic tapestries in his work. Embossed paper were used on ceilings and friezes.

How did Victoriana Style evolve?

Watch a video on the life of Queen Victoria. Her reign (almost 64 years) was the longest of any female monarch in history. History describes the queen as one of the first "romantic chic style" lovers. Her preferred "proper" personal attire always included a lace shawl, lace enhanced collar and/or lace accessory. Cameos were favoured by the queen and became so popular in England that they survived the waves of fashion change during the nineteenth century.

Victorian architecture also evolved to include magnificent styles like the Queen Anne, Renaissance & Gothic Revival and Romanesque, producing some of the most beautiful building structures in the world like the Manchester Town Hall, UK. The Victorian Era was a period of scientific, industrial and political progress within the United Kingdom.

The word and style of decorating called Victoriana refers to the elegant style of dressing, jewelry, home decor and accessories that were the hallmark of Queen Victoria's reign.

In Arts and Crafts

Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian Era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and interior decoration. The aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era.

What is Neo-Victorian?

Neo-Victorian is the heart of modern victoriana or romantic decor. It is an aesthetic movement which blends Victorian and Edwardian beautiful, artful sensibilities with modern principles and technologies. A large number of magazines and web sites are devoted to Neo-Victorian ideas in dress,family life, interior decoration, morals, and other topics.

Examples of crafts made in this style would include push-button cordless phones made to look like antique wall-mounted phones, CD players resembling old time radios, Victorianesque furniture, and Victorian Era-style clothing.

Examples of today's Neo-Victorian home and personal accessories at VictorianLaceChalet.com & antiquetissuecovers.com


Lace Tissue Box Cover

Victorian Doll Tissue Box Cover

Victorian Lace Doll Roll or
Tissue Box Cover

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