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Architectural Spotlight: Victorian Architecture

The Victorian style of architecture is centuries old, and yet the beautiful details and ornate style of these homes and buildings still fascinates people all around the world. The elegant design elements can still be found in some of today’s modern architecture. You might think of Victorian as the opposite of minimalism because the over-the-top ornate details are what this style is most known for.

Although Victorian homes are often described as having a dollhouse-like appearance, there are several different styles within this architectural category.  Victorian houses and hotels are inspired by Gothic architecture, but frequently include details inspired by other places, such as France and Italy. The possible combinations that result from all these influences are created a broad range of styles that are considered “Victorian.”


Brief History

Just as it sounds, Victorian architecture is inspired by the Victorian era in England, which was when Queen Victoria ruled from 1830 to 1910. However, the style didn’t become popular until after 1910. Beauty was an essential cultural value in the Victorian-era society, so Victorian architecture is designed to be both physically appealing and functional.


Characteristics of Victorian Architecture Homes and Hotels

Victorian homes are usually two to three stories tall. The shape of the house is generally asymmetrical with a steep roof, which was a breakaway from the traditionally-shaped square and rectangular buildings from the previous era.

Some luxury Victorian homes and hotels feature towers, reminiscent of English castles. Many of the homes also have large, wraparound porches and beautiful decorative trim. Most Victorian exteriors are very colourful and bright.

Inside a Victorian home or hotel, you will usually find high ceilings, archways, and a variety of lavish details. Many of the homes have large libraries, decorative fireplaces, and formal dining rooms.


How Victorian Architecture Is Still Used Today

Victorian style architecture can be found all across the UK. Much of the Victorian architecture we see is older, but the style is still used to inspire luxury homes and hotels. Newer homes and hotels built in this style are known as “modern Victorian.” They are still characterized by beauty, elegance, and lots of detail.

Most of these newer buildings will still be extremely large with many elevations. They will likely include bright, whimsical colors and romantic designs. Some modern Victorian homes will include a wraparound porch and towers. Many have wooden exteriors and others will still have stone exteriors.

Inside a modern Victorian home or hotel, you’ll likely find characteristically high ceilings and perhaps even a grand entrance or huge staircase. You may also see bay windows and the decorative trim inspired by the famous older style.  Some include carved woodwork.

No matter which style elements a modern Victorian home or hotel includes, as long as it captures the classic beauty and detail that Victorian style is known for, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.