March 28, 2008
Modern Victorianism

An up and coming trend amongst North Americans is the restoration of Victorian homes with a modern twist. This is becomes the past time of many, an example of this is shown above, this house belongs to a couple who restored a Victorian style home into one with a more modern flare. All along keeping in mind the trends of the era. For example the colors and patterns are of a more traditional fashion and are mixed with modern furnishings and appliances. This home is one of many Victorian updates featured in the magazine “Great American Homes”.
For those of us who do not have a Victorian style home and wish to have the "look" of one they provide tips on how to make the modern day bungalow a Victorian sanctuary, focusing primarily on colors, fabrics, choose of patterns as well as area rugs.
Some tips being:

• Lay patterned carpets with a faded grandeur, leaving a border of polished floorboards. Floorcloths, a canvas painted with oils and many layers of linseed oil, can be used for less grand rooms.
• Tiles - for areas with heavy traffic, such as halls and kitchens, the best flooring is encaustic tiles (where the pattern is baked on in a kiln). Victorian ones are usually highly patterned. Many original floors still exist today but very good reproduction tiles are also available.
• Rich dark colours such as ruby reds and forest greens are typical. The Victorian color palette was quite limited because chemical processes were still developing. Purple and blue came in by the middle of the century. Most of the leading paint companies now produce good heritage ranges.
• From the 1840s, wallpaper went into mass production. Paper from the skirting board up to the dado rail. Look for flock, damask or water silk papers featuring large blowsy flowers or other recurrent motifs of the time such as birds and animals. A William Morris design would be perfect.
• Furniture - should literally be overstuffed. Look for plump armchairs with button backs, easy chairs, pouffes and ottomans. Crowd the room with furniture.
• Fabrics - highly patterned. Use velvet and damask for the winter and exchange with muslin, cottons and chintz for the summer.
• Paint - the Victorians liked their paint effects. Try faux marbling, stenciling, and stippling surfaces, borders and wood.

Looking through the list of helpful hints for a modern Victorian masterpiece, there is an uncanny resemblance's to the houses described in George Gissing novel: In the year of Jubilee. The above photo of the reading room above being very similar to the reading room of Lionel Tarrant. Perhaps the Victorians had the right idea after all, why else would "modern" day society be going backwards?

Posted by Sarah
posted at 4:16 PM -
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The Blog:

Created by five SFU students for Dr. Stephen Ogden's English 206 class, this blog is, simply put, just for show. We are interested in the idea of "Victorian Cool," or more specifically how Victorian aesthetics are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The posts in this blog are materialism at its finest; fashion, architecture, jewelry, furniture, and whatever else catches our eye. Why has this brand of Victorianism re-entered mass culture? Read the blog and find out!

The Contributors:


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