What is Victorian Home Architecture?

Victorian homes carry a timeless, classical design appeal and are still popular for new custom homes and residential building projects with or without cabinets. The interior and exterior of the structure have an ornate, multi-story layout and structuring that makes the home both comfortable and luxurious. Residential architecture firms in your local area can help you and your family plan and construct a new custom home that utilizes the central elements of Victorian architecture.

Victorian Architecture’s Historical Origins

Victorian architecture originates from England during the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901. Over the course of this era, it slowly began to replace the more traditional Georgian style, which more frequently applied for the estates and manor halls of the country’s elite. During the Victorian era, the architecture transformed quickly, incorporating elements of Greek revivalist styles, Italianate, and Romanesque revival.

In its original form, the architecture of the Victorian era was somewhat eclectic, with significant variances between homes in both urban and rural areas. As the middle class in Britain began to expand and the country rapidly moved towards industrialization, the homes utilizing this architectural style with cabinets and wardrobes that were more accessible and widespread. As the Victorian era came to a close, the defining characteristics of the associated architectural styles became more pronounced and easier to define.

The design and layout of the Victorian home crossed many borders and developed popularity throughout America and Canada. In the American south, for example, it was particularly popular. In addition to North America, the architectural style’s reach continued outwards to some of Britain’s farthest colonial reaches, such as Australia and New Zealand. Today, this form of architecture is still relatively widespread in all of these countries, though it has transformed based on its natural surroundings, construction era, and inhabitants.

Defining Characteristics of the Victorian Home

The widespread appeal of the Victorian home continues well past the Victorian era of England and has progressively transformed into a well-defined and easy-to-recognize home design. While it’s still largely customizable for homeowners and residential architects, the layout includes several classic elements that identify and define its appeal. Let’s take a look at some of these characteristic elements to see how they might look for a new custom home with beautiful things from cindy crawford.

Tall Gabled Roofs

Victorian architecture with laminate flooring, regardless of its geographic location, is a tall, multi-story design style, topped with steep, gabled roofs. This structure leaves plenty of room for attic spaces and a room or two for the third floor. Roofing tile shapes and colors vary based on the appearance of the exterior of the home and are usually permeated with a chimney rising from one side. The various peaks of the roof often feature ornate wood finishings, with spires and crosses at the home’s highest reaches.

Window Dormers and Towers

The roof of the traditional Victorian house typically includes dormer windows along the front of the house and, on occasion, along the sides. These windows stand apart from the roof by standing up vertically along the slope of the roof and then topped with individual gables. Windows in this form give the higher sections of the exterior more peaks and visually assist with creating the taller appearance of the home in comparison to other architectural styles. In addition to the window dormers, the home often features a tower in one of its front corners, connecting to each of the two or three stories.

Bay Windows

The front of the Victorian home often features bay windows that add an additional dimension to the interior and exterior design. On the outside of the home, these windows jut out from the siding and offer a chance to include more of the ornate woodwork that you’d see along the edges of the roof’s eaves. For the inside of the home, the bay window’s primary benefit is the amount of natural light it lets into the home’s key gathering spaces. In addition, it offers plenty of room for houseplants and short, curtained reading nooks or benches. The design of the window is altogether extravagant, matching other aspects of the home’s architecture.

Grand Staircases

The grandiose, multi-story design of the Victorian home necessitates staircases to connect the home’s levels and center its interior design. The primary staircase for this style of home is usually in the middle of the floorplan, dividing both levels in equal proportions. Because the staircase is often one of the first things a visitor sees when entering the home, it typically features decorative woodwork for both the banisters and the railings. This style of ornate woodwork carries over to other areas of the home’s architecture, such as the archways between rooms and the fireplaces.

Luxurious Interior Design

The eccentric architecture of the Victorian home carries over into its interior design so that the home’s spaces are finished with lavish furnishings, patterned carpeting, and complex, stained glass windows. The luxurious nature of the home’s interior design was appealing to many people when Victorian architectural stylings were first developed. In some ways, they bridged the gap between the appearances of the middle-class home and the estates of the wealthy and noble elite.

Winged-back chairs, latticed metal fire grates, and mirrors add to the decorative stylings of the Victorian home. Though the collective effect isn’t exactly a modern form of interior design, it’s still popular because of the various, somewhat over-the-top comforts it provides. For homeowners looking to build a custom Victorian home, it’s essential to understand how this style of interior decoration works in both a modern and traditional sense.

Wraparound Porch

The home architecture of the Victorian era home isn’t truly complete without a porch wrapping around the sides of the house and into its backyard. This outdoor space leaves plenty of room for sitting outside, enjoying the evening, or watching the sunrise. Many homeowners request this feature for their custom home for its flexibility and picturesque appearance. If you’re thinking about building a custom home using Victorian architecture, speak with a residential architect to learn more about how these design elements can be modernized to fit your new home.

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