I'm definitely asking this question in advance, but in a couple of years we will be building a home. The home we're planning on building (as of now) will be traditional style, but I absolutely LOVE Victorian furnishings and styles. My question is, would it look funny if we decorated a traditional style home in Victorian on the first floor and traditional on the second floor?
I never really gave it much thought but I live in a very traditional looking home and have a LOT of Victorian family pieces.
But what immediately came to mind was a question. IF you absolutely LOVE victorian furniture, why are your bedrooms done in a traditional style? I can understand the master bedroom because of the desire of wanting a queen or king sized bed but the rest of the bedrooms???? Antiques are not in style right now and I've seen absolutely GORGEOUS Victorian bedroom furniture at estate sales for practically nothing.
I've seen Victorians decorated in modern so why not the other way around! And which Victorian era are you talking about -- it runs the spectrum from the Empire style of the 1850's to the "over the top" late 1800's with layers and layers of "stuff"!
The only thing I see for the Victorian furniture in a builder house is the scale. Sometimes those plain painted walls look so plain next to the ornate and busy Victorian furniture. The scale of actual furniture is so low and smaller than our modern furniture.
They used to 'fill their walls and rooms with stuff' as Linderhof mentioned. So, with lots of paintings and collectables on the walls and molding or trimwork applied, you should be able to create a great mix!
Victorian furniture is one style (because of scale) for the modern room sizes, like a great room or open floor plan. Might end up looking like a furniture showroom floor. So, plan on modern armoires, bookcases and tall folding screens to divide smaller spaces partitioned off to give the vignettes of functional spaces. Also consider a library as one of your rooms so that the walls are filled with shelves for displays that are not just things hung on a wall. Use different ways to display items and you will have an interesting home with YOUR mix and interpretation! And ENJOY LIVING THERE!
And of course... SHARE the photos as you go with us!!!
Posts: 9297 | Location: East Space Coast, Florida zone 9B | Registered: Feb 11, 2003
Since you're in the early stages of planning, why don't you try to find (or design) a plan that leans toward your love of things Victorian. There are tons of plans out there with very traditional styling that could easily encompass Victorian style decor. It doesn't have to a Queen Anne Painted Lady.
In case you haven't figured it out...I have very strong feelings about letting a house dictate the decor. This is probably one of those times when I should have passed on this discussion, but I'll just carefully word my reply and hope you get my point. As always, JMHO.
I should add this...I believe in a "collected" style of decor. To me, this means that you may have inherited some wonderful antiques of any vintage and have added them along with newer acquisitions over a period of time. Therefore, some Victorian pieces mixed with other traditional furnishings will always look good, no matter the context. That said, an entire floor of Victorian may come off as a bit museum-ish...even in an authentic Victorian. After all, over time, we all acquire new things and the Victorians loved to show off the latest and greatest...indoor plumbing, electric lights a shiny, new gas range.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Belstone,
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Posts: 3612 | Location: Here, by the grace of God... | Registered: Jan 24, 2006
Belstone, I've wondered about that exact thing....the museumish look of having too much Victorian furnishings. I'm glad you mentioned that. I'm now thinking of just doing the entry, living room and dining room in Victorian furnishings. Thank you for your advice and opinions!
GypsyDancer52, You have gotten great advice already, but I want to add another thought. I would advise against doing part of the house in Victorian and part of the house in Traditional. I wouldn't separate and compartmentalize your home that way. It will look better to have a blend of things all the way through.
cocok, thank you for the advice! I'm so glad I asked this question on here, all of you ladies have brought up things I wouldn't have thought of or known to do or not to do. Thank you again and I'll definitely keep all of this in mind! Now that you've said that, I can totally understand what you mean.
The very term "traditional" does not refer to any particular style. I know it is used a lot to refer to 18th century English/ American, but it really means furniture with an historical reference co-ordinated in a classic and conservative way. Victorian has plenty of history to be considered traditional.The exception being Victorians love of an eclectic mix like Chinese tables with Roman busts (which isn't very conservative!). Google time honored designers like Nancy Lancaster and Sister Parrish for expert traditional guidance that includes plenty of Victorian cabbage roses, needlepoint,footstools, and carved accent chairs.Best of luck.
Posts: 1661 | Location: Morristown | Registered: Jun 12, 2010