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Giving a modern twist to a Victorian property is never an easy feat, and when Veronica and Darren bought their townhouse, it was clearly in need of a complete update. “Everywhere needed redoing, but the upstairs rooms were in desperate need of a makeover,” says Veronica. “Six months later, after remodeling three bedrooms and one bathroom, we were ready to begin living.”
Interior Design Ideas For Victorian Living Room
The couple were on a budget and wanted to save money wherever possible, so they were willing to do the decorating and all other small jobs themselves. “But there was work to do, which meant we had to hire several tradesmen,” Veronica says. This included carrying out a waterproofing course, re-plastering and installing new radiators. “One of our must-haves was a wood stove to replace the old gas fire, which was basically decorative – it gave off some heat,” Veronica says. “We also replaced worn windows and ordered shutters online, which we installed ourselves.”
Most Popular 75 Beautiful Victorian Living Room Ideas And Designs Design Ideas For April 2023
With the bare essentials done, Veronica turned to aesthetics, and the pair had the rare pleasure of more-or-less furnishing this room from scratch. “Darren helped me pick out the furniture, but he was happy to let me take the lead on the color scheme,” says Veronica. “It’s a formula that worked: he approved all my design decisions.”
She reads on for her top tips on how to create a room that works for you, then check out our gallery of living room ideas for more inspiration.
The owners Veronica Garcia, an interior photographer, her husband Darren Jones, a forensic photographer, and their cat Milo, a Scottish Fold
‘The existing gas fire wasn’t practical enough so we decided to remove it and install a more efficient wood burner. We love it and always use it in the winter – it’s so much nicer than central heating. Painting the fireplace in a dark color serves as the perfect backdrop to draw attention to the superb mirror above, while the green walls in the alcoves create a lively setting for our books.
Small Grey Living Room
“Colours play a big part in my life, as well as my work as a photographer, so I wanted to introduce vibrant elements. I mix patterns and colors to create a more homey feel. I keep larger pieces like the sofa more neutral, while soft furnishings are easier to update and have fun with. The artwork above the sofa is special to me and was the starting point for deciding on the furniture for the rest of the room.”
“Plants bring a sense of well-being and happiness to our homes. Whether large expressive plants or small shelves, they bring warmth and vitality to the room. I also love them for the vibrant color palettes they offer: the choice of different types of plants is endless, so you can purchase ones that will specifically coordinate with the scheme of your space. And knowing that they produce oxygen is just an added bonus.”
“Shelves are the perfect solution for a niche that would otherwise be wasted space. We wanted something sturdy that could support all of our favorite books and scaffolding boards were the perfect answer. The books on display tell visitors something about us – our taste and sense of organization (note the colour-coded spines!) – and they bring us joy as we reminisce about holidays and times gone by. I’m no minimalist, but I love order – everything has its place” .
“It’s important to have personal items at home, things you’ve found on your travels, inherited, or just bought because there’s something about them that you like. All this makes the space more familiar and personal and is a constant reminder of happy times. They can also create conversation starters when you have visitors around. The wooden bird is a famous Danish design by Kristian Vedel; we got it while on vacation in Copenhagen.’
Modern Victorian Decorating Ideas That Aren’t Stuffy
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The best modern Victorian living room ideas are ones that bring your home into the 21st century while retaining the beautiful period features that made you fall in love with it in the first place.
Victorian homes are so unique, full of character and have an abundance of interior design options. If you’re lucky enough to own a Victorian cottage or Victorian townhouse, you’ll be all too familiar with their Tardis-like proportions.
Steal This Classic Brown And White Neutral Living Room Look
Although you also know that living rooms are often difficult to decorate. Sam Hood, co-founder and chief creative officer of Amara, says: “Well-constructed and usually filled with high ceilings and large spaces, they are the dream home for many of us, but these historic beauties are not without their problems. The main problem is modernization.”
Transforming compact Victorian front rooms into cozy and inviting spaces is a common design challenge, so we’ve rounded up updated Victorian living room ideas for inspiration.
Do you have a small room at the front? Be bold and draw on the dining room and create a seamless look with solid colors throughout, like this gorgeous blue living room. It has been combined with blue soft furnishings and accessories so that everything blends together and creates the illusion of space.
Farrow and Ball brand ambassador (opens in new tab) Patrick O’Donnell adds: “Think rich, saturated dark hues that create mood and atmosphere, like deep burgundy reds like Preference Red.”
Victorian Interior Design: 6 Design Elements Of Victorian Style
“Adding depth will create a truly inviting interior, ideal as we see the nights approaching. The same can be achieved with rich forest greens like Chine Green from our archive range. Pair it with a modern white like Strong White to add a contemporary edge.”
Looking for a simple color scheme for the living room? Go for a black and white palette, keeping the large soft furnishings fairly neutral in a light shade, while adding bold black accessories to the home. We love Andy Warhol’s retro studio floor lamp and wall art.
With a fireplace that is fairly standard in most Victorian drawing rooms, the fireplace creates two nooks either side – the perfect storage solution for small spaces. In this living room, the owners added floating shelves, which they painted to match the color of the walls, and double-sided cabinets that can hide a multitude of sins.
Transform a small living room stylish with a welcome pop of color. In this Victorian living room idea, the owners added pops of yellow and blue in the form of pillows and other home accessories, as well as graphic geographic prints to add a modern twist.
Throwing It Back
Farrow and Ball brand ambassador Patrick O’Donnell says: ‘Be sensitive to the architectural details of the space. Victorian rooms often have many original features. Highlighting these elements with a secondary color can create many horizontal lines that change the relationship of space and often seem distracting.’
“Try to keep things simple by painting some elements the same color as the walls, making sure you change the finish to the right surface.”
Are you lucky enough to own a Victorian cottage? Even if you don’t, you can still go cottage style by adding a paneling idea like this beautiful living room. You can make it special by painting it a gorgeous bright shade and adding a deep shelf to display artwork, ornaments and your favorite bits and pieces.
If you have the luxury of a blank wall and don’t know what to do with it, consider installing picture frames to showcase your favorite artwork. This living room features two images like Ikea’s Mossland range (opens in a new tab), featuring the owners’ favorite wall art and home accessories.
Victorian Townhouse Interior
With large casement windows letting in lots of light, lots of curious parking attendants come. If you want to block their view while watching TV in your pajamas, it’s a good idea to consider a window treatment idea that would distort their view.
A great choice would be shutters with slats that open during the day to let in light, but at the same time shield the living room from the street and close at night for privacy.
A fireplace is usually a great focal point in a Victorian living room. Amp up the show with a fireplace idea that will really make it stand out, like painting it a vibrant accent color like sunny yellow. Add elements of the same hue with a stitch to tie everything together.
Looking for a traditional fireplace update? Wood burners are a great option, as they are designed for clean burning of wood or specialty wood pellets. Plus, they don’t just heat
Interior Details For Top Design Styles
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