Victorian houses have conquered our hearts for more than two hundred years. However, there is so much more behind these dollhouse interiors than you might think. This architectural style includes several different variations, all of which deserve a critical look. Read on to learn more about how the Victorian house style has become a global phenomenon and what makes it so special.
History of the Victorian house
As the name suggests, Victorian houses reflect the architectural styles that were popular during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Interestingly, many of the details we now associate with this style are actually eclectic interpretations of older architectural movements such as medieval Gothic and Romanesque.
Thanks to the size of the British Empire at that time, Victorian architecture has an incredibly wide scope. Evidence of this style can be found in the United Kingdom and North America, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Many aspiring architects of this period would travel to the colonies to begin their careers. However, fortunately for us, they were able to keep abreast of the recent trends in the empire thanks to a specialized magazine called The Builder.
Types of Victorian houses
Of course, due to these geographical differences, there is some variation in style. Below is a list of the most common types of Victorian homes:
Gothic Renaissance (1830-1860)
Gothic Revival houses were inspired by the medieval churches of Europe; as such, they are often compared to castles. They are distinguished, thanks to steeply sloping roofs, pointed arches and forward-facing facades, which are loaded with a delicate wooden covering called skirting boards.
Inspired by the villas of the Italian Renaissance, these houses usually have only two floors. Unlike other Victorian styles, they have low roofs and wide eaves. However, true to this style of architecture, they also house very decorative supports.
Second Reich (1852-1870)
The influences of this style go back to France during the reign of Napoleon III. these houses tend to start with a simple rectangular or square base. However, there is no shortage of character. They have mansard roofs, which have a heavy slope on all four sides, and lots of ornate carpentry on the outside of the House.
It’s The First Time I’ve Said It.
These houses are recognizable by the fact that they are mainly made of wood, which was an inexpensive and abundant material in their heyday. These houses have an inclined wooden frame, which is covered with a decorative wooden covering known as “stick work”.”They also usually have sloping and shingled roofs and double-hung windows.
Victorian People (1870-1910)
A simpler version of the typical Victorian house, Folk Victorians are smaller and square, with much less complex floor plans. (No tricks here.) They are intended for all people. However, their Victorian roots can still be found on the decorative cladding work describing their porches and rooflines. Look for Twisted brooches, lace details and beveled corners.
Queen Anne (1875-1905)
Perhaps the most famous of all Victorian styles is the Queen Anne. At the end of Victoria’s reign, these buildings had particularly heavy ornaments, gabled roofs, round towers, and large windows that were equally functional and decorative.
Defining characteristics of a Victorian home
Despite the differences in the types of Victorian houses, there are a number of defining features that connect this architectural style. While not every item applies to all types, here’s generally what to expect:
- Steep gable roofs
- Round corners
- Towers, towers and dormers
- Shaped windows, especially bay windows
- Stained glass
- Decorative woodwork
- Bright colors
- Two to three floors
- Floor plans with added corners
- High ceilings
- Complex wooden cladding
- Graceful stairs
The Victorian style is as varied as any other type of design, but there is no denying the classic thread that runs through. What kind of Victorian house is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.