Victorian Period

1837 to 1901

Victorian period design was based on imitation and reproduction, made easier by the induction of mass production.

Many different styles were revived, and often more than one influence featured on a single piece. The Victorian era saw a great change in the middle-class home, as goods became more available for the general population, and pride in the home emerged.

Victorian Period Style

Style was eclectic, and some would say cluttered. Homes were filled to the brim with big furniture and excessive amounts of ornaments. The Art Nouveau influence of natural motifs was apparent, but in a less stylized manner.

Victorian Period Furniture

Victorian period furniture was ornate in design and hugely overstuffed. Think of plump, button back chairs, pouffes and ottomans. Furniture designers also drew on influence from a variety of other eras for their work. Mahogany was the favored wood and characteristic Victorian pieces were chiffoniers and sideboards- often inlaid with ivory. Rooms were very densely furnished, to the point of overcrowding.

More information on Victorian Period Furniture

Victorian Period Color

Victorian colors were rich and dark. Ruby red, forest green or blue, with heavy damask patterns were prominent. The color palette was initially restricted until the mastering of chemical process dying. Peacock greens and blues, magentas, violets and raw pinks burst onto the scene. Fabrics were highly patterned. Velvet and damask were of choice for the winter, switching to cotton and chintz for the cooler summer months. Wallpaper became mass-produced and was embraced by the masses. Paper went from the skirting board to the dado line and was pattered in flock, damask or water silk.

Victorian Period Influences

Being an eclectic era, Victorian design was influenced by many; gothic and rococo were most noteworthy. World trade and the industrial revolution meant a multitude of new techniques and materials were available.

Famous Designers of the Victorian Period Style

William Morris

William de Morgan

Charles Frederick Worth

Charles Eastlake

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Furniture History
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