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If it was possible to actually live within a time capsule from the early 20th century, I’d be the happiest camper on the block. Whether you’re fully immersed in a retro-vintage wonderland like I am, or you just like old-fashioned accents to complement your modern décor, vintage decorating is a fun way to customize your space. From frilly Victorian to sleek Art Deco to mod mid-century, there are plenty of places to look to seek out the perfect things for your home.
This week, we’ll tackle the elegant Victorian style, from big renovations to quick and affordable decorating ideas. The era spans from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Victorian decorating is full of dark, rich woods and luxe fabrics; patterns abound in all sorts of combinations!
Living Room Ideas
Cover your walls (or consider one accent wall) in the beautiful reproduction wallpaper from Bradbury & Bradbury. Lace curtain panels pair wonderfully with heavy drapes, and if you’re lucky enough to have hardwood floors (or the budget to install them!), a great, intricate Oriental area rug makes the floor a little softer for feet. If you’re hardcore, a wood-footed, tufted sofa or chaise adds a ton of interest to the room.
For smaller features that still pack a big punch, consider opulent picture frames. Antique stores often have boxes of antique photos that are perfect for framing, if you don’t mind someone else’s long-lost family photos! Antique or thrift stores and sites like Craigslist are perfect for finding Victorian odds and ends, like tables, chairs and all sorts of knickknacks; no Victorian home would be complete without a curio cabinet to display such wares.
Think beyond the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances that are all the rage these days. Elmira Stove Works offers beautiful, customizable options to transform your kitchen. If you’ve always fantasized about being Laura Ingalls Wilder or Anne of Green Gables, try the antique line. Add some graceful faucets to spice up your sink.
Add a turn-of-the-century touch with these canisters from Modcloth. Flour-sack towels add a touch of simplicity, as do white lace curtains. If you’ve got glass-fronted cupboards or other display spaces, antique china is a beautiful display option.
The bathroom is a perfect place for a romantic Victorian feel. Warm paint colors and candles add to the lavish feel of the era. For the unrestrained budget, a clawfoot tub is a must for Victorian chic. Add a pedestal sink to complete the picture. Pretty brass taps add an ornate touch, as do other varieties of antique taps.
If your budget doesn’t permit going all out, or if you just want an accent, add some flair with flowered bath towels or a lacy shower curtain. Search Etsy or similar sites for actual Victorian-era soap dishes (or really nice reproductions). A vintage-looking soap sign adds some interest to the wall.
Create the perfect romantic respite with a metal bed frame or a luxurious wooden bed frame. An antique quilt or thick, floral comforter or duvet cover and some pretty floral sheets add a riot of color and pattern. A gorgeous armoire can hold your not-so-Victorian TV or clothing. Add a mirror to the wall and some throw pillows on the bed. If you’ve got room in your budget and bedroom, a chaise longue (or lounge) is a Victorian must-have. Rich wallpaper or elegant paint hues tie the room together.
Will you be going all-out in the formal Victorian style? Are you looking for smaller accents? Got any other old-fashioned decorating tips? Share in the comments!