How to decorate your family room in Victorian design

family room

Decorating your family room in a Victorian style can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Victorian design is all about creating an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication, while still being comfortable and inviting for guests and family. The key to achieving a successful Victorian-style family room is to mix traditional elements with modern touches. This will give your family room an updated look while still keeping it true to the Victorian era.

The Victorian era, Alice in Wonderland and a little historical sketch

The reign of Queen Victoria (empress of Britain, India and Ireland, yes, they had that too) lasted almost 64 years and went down in history as the Victorian Era. The tectonic shifts that occurred during this time in the minds of the masses cannot even be roughly compared to any other period in history. The Industrial Revolution, the development of transport and the emergence of new professions changed Britain and the world forever: educated women went to work, Lewis Carroll invented the Mad Hatter and Alice, and the first homeless shelters opened in London. They were, by the way, for a fee.

The British middle class was not just born, it became dominant on the social map of the state. Society was dominated by the values of the bourgeoisie – piety, industriousness, unassumingness. And, of course, greed and hypocrisy, of course.

The middle class was shaping the environment for itself, and Queen Victoria only went along with it: as an exceptionally restrained woman, after the death of her husband she gave up the excesses and reduced her lifestyle to functional minimalism. So it happened that the Victorian style in the interior has become a reflection of the difficult era – not a synthetic invention of graduate designers, but an enduring part of life for millions of people in the most powerful country of the XIX century.

The main features of the Victorian style are:

  • large windows, perhaps with stained glass windows;
  • furniture made of precious wood, made to last a century;
  • a wooden floor, preferably oak;
  • massive chandeliers and framed mirrors;
  • metal wrought iron elements.

In an apartment, of course, this is not particularly repeatable, but there is no need: a modern view of the Victorian style involves combining it with other elements. The main thing is to do it correctly.

family room

The base: walls, shades, floor, ceiling

In a true Victorian home, there are three completely white things: the ceiling, the bedding and the hostess’s apron. If the latter is a matter of taste, the ceilings are really best left white – flight, height, contact with higher powers, finally.

Technically, the walls can also be white, but the classic Victorian style is wood paneling up to the shoulder of a person of average height, above which is either whitewash or paint. Use this tipster at least in the hallway and kitchen. In the bedroom, you can put wallpaper, but with themed patterns – medallions, heraldic lilies or small panels. Perfect looks in a modern apartment Victorian accent – one wall, decorated in the right way.

Main shades:

  • Natural for furniture, flooring and paneling: mahogany, rosewood, at most oak or cherry.
  • For upholstery and textiles: dark and noble shades of blue, brown, green with the inclusion of sandy, beige, pale yellow. Curtains should be light or transparent, not layered, without drapes.

The mirror should impress

Nothing sets the mood in the apartment like a spectacular mirror. We recommend and even insist: the centerpiece of a Victorian interior in a small space is a properly chosen mirror. This is important, pay attention to the frame, shape and accompany it with a vintage truce. Or play up the contrast and put something in a modern utilitarian-minimalist style next to it.


Despite society’s reigning puritanism and a rampant Anglican church, the British of Queen Victoria’s era treated the bedroom with reverence.


  • The bed should be large, tall, preferably with featherbeds and bedspreads to the floor.
  • A tall frame and alcove are a must.
  • Around the bed bright shades are not welcome.
  • The bed must have stitched lace, preferably in the decoration of the bed linen and pillows.
  • The British did not keep mirrors in the bedroom.

In a modern apartment, where there is never enough space, you can add some Victorian style to the bedroom with a shaped or suede headboard. Keep a balance and don’t go overboard! It’s better to be modest than to shift toward gypsy baroque.

Emphasis on furniture

If you’re not drawn to antiques (and you should be), catch some great tips to help you choose the perfect furniture for a modern apartment with a touch of Victorian style:

You don’t have to have all the furniture in the house in the same style, eclectic is trending.

The dining table should impress, be solid wood, not flashy and heavy.

Buy three or four raw rustic style stools, they can be used in the bathroom or kitchen.

Look in salons for some tables and chairs with bent legs in the master Gumbs style, put them under the walls, let them dilute the living room.

A rocking chair near the fireplace is a Victorian classic.

If the apartment has a workroom, pay special attention to the desk. It should look representative and impressive, like a family treasure. So you’ll want to look inside it for a drawer with a secret drawer, which stores secret maps and documents.


There’s no truly Victorian style without the right light fixtures: a floor lamp near a chair, round lamps in the kitchen and a chandelier in the living room. Although modern trends allow you to drag a chandelier into the bedroom – it’s a little more bohemian, but it’s still quite Victorian.

Victorian style in the interior is beautiful, especially if done with intelligence and feeling. Remember, however, that there is no place for plastic and shiny polyester textures in such a home, and details for room decorations can take years to collect.

Categories: Living room