How Very Victorian!

In the Heights, there are a few true original Victorian homes left and even more replicas that have been built.  Fortunately, many of the newer constructed homes have had some modern convenience added, such as larger bedroom and bathroom sizes and built-in closets.  As a real estate company that promotes and uses staging, we have been approached with the question of how to properly decorate a traditional Victorian bedroom.

In general, the pieces of furniture found in a Victorian bedroom included the bed, nightstands, an armoire, folding screens, and a washstand.

Before air-conditioning, TV, and radio, ladies would spend a better part of the morning in bed reading and writing letters.  They would have been surrounded by frilly, often filmy material, fine linen, and lace.  The brass bed was often surrounded by its own sheer curtain that would match the window coverings.  If you want to add a pop of color to the bed, try painting the brass frame a bold color.  By using white for the frame, the feel of the room will remain much softer.

Because bedroom furnishings weren’t sold as a set like they are now, bedside tables did not match.  Try mismatching a plain table with an antique military chest.

Traditional armoires had a mirror in the center section and storage on either side.  They were dark, big, foreboding pieces.  To lighten this piece up, strip away the old varnish and paint it a lighter color.  For a funkier look, go bold, or even paint a scene on it.

Screens were used to hide the “ugly” or for women to dress behind.  Today, use a screen as a space separator to regroup the room.  Recover it in period wallpaper or fabric.

Even if you are fortunate enough to own a Victorian, you don’t have to stick to the styles of the 1900’s.  Mix it up with some contemporary pieces for an interesting visual effect.

Have any pictures or ideas for Victorian decor?  Share them with us!

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Source: Aiken House and Gardens

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