The Victorian style is possibly among the most recognizable of all the architectural styles that houses throughout the ages have assumed. Whether the house is a brooding hulk atop a thorny hillside or a charming mansion amid blooming flower hedges, a Victorian home is immediately familiar.
But what sets a Victorian-style residence apart from other homes? Which of its numerous characteristics elevates it from quaintness to charm, from beauty to magnificence? Is it the steep shape of the roof or the rich texture of its shingles? You could take a short imaginative adventure to explore the characteristics of a Victorian mansion up close.
In Which You Approach the Mansion
In your mind’s eye, imagine walking along an affluent neighborhood, perhaps shortly before dusk. Directly on the other side of the street, you spy the turrets of a Victorian mansion above the treetops. You hurry across the street and discover that beautiful fences of wrought iron surround the property. The owners of Victorian houses were rich, and they often displayed their wealth by putting up elaborate metal fences around their homes.
You see that the fence gives way to an open gate of beautiful design, another display of opulence. You slip inside and walk up a path through a manicured lawn toward the house.
In Which You Explore the Exterior
The mansion is a magnificent building, the result of architects in the Industrial Revolution using novel materials with technological innovations. As a result, the Victorian-style is a mixture of different styles.
However, the one you are approaching has the essential features that set Victorian homes apart. It towers over the grounds with two or three floors and has a turret on one side. The roof is steep and irregular, the faced dominated by a prominent gable. Finally, a wide porch embraces two sides of the exterior, perfect for afternoon tea.
Satisfied with your survey of the exterior, you climb the steps to the front door and see that it’s also ajar. You slip inside, eager to explore the home’s innards.
In Which You Inspect the Interior
The first thing you notice about the interior is the windows. Victorian architecture employed many window designs, and you spot a few notable examples inside the house. There are bay windows that provide comfortable places for residents to lounge in the sun or read a book. You see eyebrow windows over them, letting more light inside the building. Designers often used stained glass for the windows, and this house is no exception, the setting sun sends dazzling colors through them.
The ceilings of the house are high and airy, allowing the homeowners to install elaborate chandeliers. The interior is full of woodwork, from the railings to the wall panels, their deep colors creating a curiously oppressive but regal atmosphere. It is cozy despite its size, with lots of nooks to snuggle in. As you explore the house, you notice that the floor plan is elaborate and even a little rambling, another landmark of Victorian homes.
Contented with your explorations, you leave the house with a new level of appreciation for the beautiful features of the architectural style of a by-gone era