For some, the Victorian age is full of dark images when it comes to interior design. Ebony photo frames and plush, dark velvet upholstery may be some things that you think of when you consider the late 19th century. However, these neo-Gothic design touches are not what Victorian era interior decorations are all about. There are plenty of light and colourful tones that can be taken from this period in history, too. What's more, given that there are so many buildings in Australia that date back to this time, opting for an interior design style that is in keeping with the rest of your home's architecture but also feels modern makes a lot of sense today. How can Victorian era interior design work in the 21st century?
During the 1980s and 1990s, a graphical style came into vogue with wallpaper. Although the more naturalistic style of floral wallpaper has always been around and still sells well, it gained a reputation for looking old-fashioned. However, that changed at the turn of the century with more and more people taking an interest in its colourful possibilities. Tessellating floral wallpaper was one of the mainstays of Victorian interior design. To complete the classic look today, do not hang floral wallpaper all the way up to the ceiling. Fit a picture rail around the circumference of your room and only hang wallpaper beneath it.
In the UK, Victorian-era curtains tended to be heavy. Their principal function was to keep heat trapped inside a home during the long, dark winter months. In Australia, lighter curtains have always been preferable because it is a hotter country. Nevertheless, curtain fabric should be strident in a Victorian interior design. Bright, repetitive prints allow the curtains to work like a mural when they are drawn across your windows. William Morris fabric is perfect for achieving this look. Morris' designs have never really gone out of fashion since he first started to produce them as part of the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. They still look great in bright Australian homes to this day.
Nothing speaks of the Victorian's love of quality materials more than their use of fine woods to panel the interiors of their home. Mahogany and walnut were favourites choices, but few people would choose such scarce hardwoods nowadays. You can achieve much the same effect these days with high-quality veneer panels which look just as good when fitted professionally.