If you live in a traditional Victorian building, or wish to create a wonderful, sumptuous Victorian style in a house of any period, then getting the details right is very important.
And never more so than where flooring is concerned – if an authentic look is what you are after, succumbing to run of the mill Laminate Flooring or an inappropriate carpet or vinyl could ruin the entire feel of your home.
Choosing your look
Victoria’s reign began in 1837 and ended upon her death in 1901. During that time, many looks and fashions came in and out of vogue, especially as far as interior design was concerned.
The coming of the railways, allowing people to travel further afield to purchase goods, and the Aladdin’s Cave that was the Great Exhibition whetted people’s appetites for stylish, fashionable and luxury goods, and shopping for the home escalated; decorating the house became as much of a past time or hobby as it was a necessity, and great pleasure was taken in choosing and styling artefacts and homewares.
Victorian style today
Take inspiration from pictures of Victorian homes – both ‘stately’ and suburban to get a feel for the period and decide what sort of floor treatment your home could handle – be practical and realistic!
As beautiful as a shining, Italian Marble Floor may look in the country pile of the aristocracy, is it really going to stand up to the demands of family life in a three bed city semi?!
Peel back carpets and check out your floorboards – if you live in a Victorian or Edwardian home there’s every possibility that you will have the glorious, wide pine boards of the era safely preserved beneath decades of underlay and carpets.
If you do, then stripping, or sanding and then varnishing or waxing – either by recruiting a specialist company, or hiring the equipment and doing it yourself – is all they will need to create a homely and authentic look.
The Victorians were also keen on painting their floorboards, or, even just the areas that were on show around their myriad of rugs and un-fitted carpets. It was also popular and fashionable to paint designs on the visible edge around the perimeter of the room.
If you live in a modern house with Concrete Floors, look out for convincing floorboard style laminate – not the mass produced beech-block effect, but lovely wide, richly grained wood style boards; go for oak, walnut or bamboo for a true period feel. The wider the plank, the more realistic the result.
Or if finances allow, go for a real wooden floor, which, if laid well and maintained correctly, will last a lifetime, and look like the real deal.
Accessorise, period style
Whether you elect for original painted or varnished floorboards, laminates or a wood floor, for a real Victorian vibe you will need some gorgeous rugs and runners to give your home that touch of warmth and comfort. Look out for long hall runners in rich red, greens and browns.
For reception rooms, go for oriental inspired rugs, or traditional floral designs on dark backgrounds. For a sweet country cottage feel in bedrooms, look out for ‘rag-rugs’, or even make your own!