Diamond Interiors would like to welcome our Guest Blogger: Dean Ronnie of The Coventry Demolition Company, UK. Dean has put together a very informative and inspiring piece on creating the right look in a modern Victorian home.
How should I decorate my Modern Victorian property?
Are you struggling with decorating your Victorian terrace? Don’t worry, you are not alone! Many people who have period properties struggle between whether or not they should be modernising their property or retaining the authentic Victorian style. The truth is though, it doesn’t have to be one or the other; you can have a Victorian-style house and still make it look contemporary. In fact, there is a new craze for ‘modern Victorian’ interiors.
To help you get started we have put together a number of tips on how to achieve a contemporary look whilst also retaining that Victorian charm.
The Victorians made use of very deep colours like brown and dark red. These colours are quite rich and can often darken the room. When used in a room with lots of furniture, these colours can be quite overwhelming. For a modern Victorian approach, lighter colours like white and beige work best. They make the room appear more spacious and direct the focus back onto the furniture. The colours don’t matter too much, as long as they are not too dark. It’s the other details that are significant.
Notes on Colour from Diamond Interiors: If you do however, want to introduce some darker colours to the space, do so with accessories: a selection of different coloured/patterned cushions scattered on the couch or on a bed can do the trick and are easy to swap over if you grow tired of the print! See more tips on accessorising below.
Victorians are renowned for their patterned and heavy wallpaper. These can look great, as long as the colours are kept light. Dark wallpaper with heavy patterns can make the walls look too busy and detract all of the attention from the rest of the decor. Alternatively, you can just paint the walls instead. Although the Victorians used their walls to hang up oil paintings, it can often look cluttered alongside the rest of the furniture in the room so it is best to keep the walls bare. If you do want to hang up a few pictures, try doing this in the hallway. Wood panelling is also very Victorian, but you can make it look more contemporary by painting it white. You want the attention to be on the furniture so the walls should ideally be kept to a minimum.
Victorians also used a lot of heavy fabrics for their curtains but you can go for a lighter, more airy fabric. Try and find something that is floor-length as you still want to retain the Victorian feel.
The Victorians had wooden furniture but this can really darken the room. If your current furniture is wooden, you can always paint it white. When purchasing furniture, ensure that you look for things with carvings and lots of detail. A good place to look is at markets where they often have unique furniture. You don’t need to stick to a coloured theme; the furniture can be mismatched because the rest of the room is quite plain. Sofas made from fabric are ideal. Also look for chairs with straight backs and carvings at the top. These will fit in quite nicely.
The fireplace was the heart of the room during the Victorian period, but if you don’t have one, don’t fret: radiator covers are perfect to use. They are decorative and depending on the style, can look quite Victorian. If you go for white, it will fit in with making the room look modern. Alternatively, you can look for a replica of a Victorian style radiator and just have that on display instead of a fireplace.
Add a chandelier to your space: with a completely modern room, a chandelier can transform everything. It will be the focal point of the room and will help in aging it. Also replace your door knobs with one of the many types of Victorian door knobs available. The smaller details are what really count, so perhaps replace the handles on any cupboards or drawers to match.
Place patterned cushions on your chairs and a few table lamps around the room. You can even go for a pastel coloured carpet or a small oriental rug. If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of carpet, get wooden flooring (preferably oak).
An old fashioned clock would complement the room quite well, or you can search around for some Victorian-inspired decor. You could even have a bookcase in the room to resemble an old-fashioned Victorian library.
It’s the smaller touches that complete the room so don’t be afraid to combine different styles of interior design.
This article was brought to you by Coventry Demolition Company, suppliers of reclaimed and reproduction building materials.
Do you own a Victorian home? Share your decorating tips in the comments below!