Adding Victorian style to your living room

Adding Victorian style to your living room

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Do you love the elegance and grandeur of Victorian style? Transforming your living room into a Victorian-inspired space can bring a touch of timeless charm and sophistication to your home, and works very well in lots of older British homes!

In this guide, Tapi will take you on a journey through the world of Victorian design, from when it first became popular, to modern interpretations you could include in your home. We'll also provide you with modern Victorian living room ideas to help you create a space that seamlessly blends the classic with the new.

What is Victorian style?

Victorian style refers to the design aesthetic that was popular during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century. It is mostly known for it's rich colours, tecxtures and materials - it was an opulent time, with lots of money in Britain from the Industrial Revolution, plus trade with other countries was much more widely available, as was travel around different continents, so more exotic items could be purchased much more easily. 

How did Victorian living rooms look?

Victorian living rooms were typically very lavish and filled with lots of ornate details. They were designed to impress guests and often showed off the wealth and status of the owners with exciting and unique pieces. Some key features of Victorian living rooms include:

  • Rich colours: Deep, rich colours like burgundy, royal blue and lush green were favoured for the walls and soft furnishings. 
  • Elaborate wallpaper: The walls were often covered with intricate, patterned wallpapers of floral motifs, damasks, or tapestry-like designs.
  • Intricate moulding and trim: Elaborate crown moulding, ceiling medallions, and decorative trim were also used to add more architectural interest to the space.
  • Ornate fireplaces: Fireplaces were a central feature of Victorian living rooms, as they often are today. They were often made of marble or carved wood and adorned with intricate details to make them look more expensive.
  • Dark, polished woods: Victorian furniture was usually made from dark, polished woods like mahogany or walnut and featured intricate carvings and upholstery in rich, colourful fabrics.
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What is modern Victorian interior design?

Modern Victorian interior design takes a lot of inspiration from the classic Victorian style but adds a fun contemporary twist. It combines the grandeur and elegance of the past with the comfort and functionality of modern living. Modern Victorian design has more of a restrained colour palette, as well as a blend of old and new elements.

Let's explore some modern Victorian living room ideas to help you create a space to be proud of:

Victorian flooring ideas

When it comes to Victorian-inspired flooring, you have several great options to consider - here are some flooring ideas that can beautifully complement your modern Victorian living room:

  • Carpet: Soft and luxurious, carpet adds warmth and comfort to any space, but in a Victorian-style space, go for rich, deep colours like burgundy or navy, and consider patterns such as damask or floral designs for a touch of tradition.
  • Laminate: Laminate flooring can mimic the look of hard wood while being much more durable and easy to maintain. You could choose laminate with a dark wood finish to create a Victorian aesthetic - intricate details or distressed textures will add some authenticity too.
  • Vinyl and LVT: Vinyl and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring offers a lot of versatility and at Tapi, we have a wide collection of designs that can capture the essence of Victorian style. We have vinyl or LVT options that replicate the look of vintage hardwood or stone floors, complete with ornate patterns and borders - perfect for recreating Victorian style!
  • Engineered Wood: Engineered wood offers the beauty of real wood with enhanced stability and great durability. It comes in lots of finishes, but dark wood tones, such as walnut or mahogany, are perfect for a Victorian-inspired look. Check out our guide on wooden flooring ideas for a stylish living room for even more inspiration of how you can style engineered wood in any style of room.

You can also check out our guide on the best flooring for living rooms for more information and inspiration for your living room.

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Victorian room design

When designing your modern Victorian living room, keep these key elements in mind:

  • Colours: Choose a colour palette that reflects the richness and sophistication of Victorian style while incorporating modern touches. Deep, jewel tones like emerald, sapphire blue, or ruby red are perfect for the walls, and you can balance these rich hues with lighter shades such as cream or ivory for furniture and final accents.
  • Wallpaper: Embrace the Victorian love for patterned wallpapers! Wallpapers with intricate designs, damasks, or floral motifs were a favourite, so you could choose to cover all walls or create a statement wall as a focal point. 
  • Window Treatments: Victorian-style windows are often adorned with lavish curtains and drapery. Dramatic floor length panels with tassels and fringe are perfect for adding a touch of glamour, and will also look even more opulent in rich fabrics like velvet or brocade. 
  • Furniture: Victorian-style furniture is known for its elaborate detailing, so go for pieces with carved wood accents, comfy upholstery in luxurious fabrics, and tufted or buttoned details. Don't be afraid to go big with larger statement pieces, such as a Victorian-style sofa or armchair, and smaller accent pieces like side tables or a vintage-inspired chaise lounge.
  • Accessories: Accessorise your living room with antique-inspired decorative elements like ornate mirrors with intricate frames, crystal chandeliers or wall sconces, and decorative vases or figurines. You could incorporate inhereited or vintage-inspired artwork or portraits in gilded frames to add a sense of history.


Victorian lounge furniture ideas

When it comes to choosing lounge furniture for your modern Victorian living room, consider these ideas:

  • A Victorian-style sofa with its curved lines, deep button upholstery details, and ornate wooden legs can be the centrepiece of your living room. As we mentioned above, choose a plush, velvet upholstery in a rich jewel tone or opt for a floral print for a touch of Victorian charm. You could also compliment your sofa with a pair of elegant armchairs! 
  • Choose a coffee table with intricate detailing and vintage charm, such as carved woodwork, glass or marble tops, and ornate legs - this will really add a touch of sophistication to your living room.
  • Incorporate antique-inspired side tables with intricate woodwork and decorative accents, which are both functional and decorative, providing a surface for antique lamps pr your favourite Dickens or Bronte novel.

Remember, the key to creating a modern Victorian living room is finding a balance between the ornate and the contemporary: by blending Victorian elements with modern touches, you can create a space that is both visually captivating and comfortable for everyday living!

If you're looking to extend the Victorian style to other areas of your home, explore our guides on Victorian style kitchen design tips to incorporate and top tips for achieving a dramatic Victorian bathroom design. Embrace the charm of Victorian design and create a living room that exudes timeless elegance and sophistication - and the flooring that ties it all together! Pop into your local Tapi store for some free samples you can use to try out the style in your home. 

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Published: 23-06-2023