Victorian homes are usually ornate, colourful, and unique. To be more precise, the Victorian architectural style usually features:
- Bright colours
- Two to three storeys
- Wood or stone exterior
- Complicated and asymmetrical shapes
- Detailed decorative trim
- Steep, multi-faceted roof
- Textured walls
- Ornamental spindles in a wraparound porch
These iconic features make Victorian architecture a cherished part of Australia’s heritage. But, as with any home, even these historic gems can benefit from a little modernisation. Of course, the challenge lies in achieving this without sacrificing the essence and charm that defines these gorgeous and classically elegant properties.
This article curates changes you can make to breathe new life into your cherished Victorian house. From energy-efficient windows to exposed brick walls, this will serve as your guide in ensuring that your home remains beautiful and functional today and in the future.
7 Updates You Can Try for Your Victorian Home
With its ornate details and distinctive character, Victorian architecture has a timeless allure. But, like any beloved classic, even these historical homes can benefit from a touch of modernity without losing their charm.
If you’re a proud owner of a vintage Victorian residence, consider these seven updates that can breathe new life into your cherished home.
1. Energy-Efficient Windows
In an era where sustainability and energy efficiency are paramount, updating your Victorian home’s windows is a wise choice. Modernising your windows not only enhances comfort but also reduces energy bills.
One of the prime options available is Australian plantation shutters. These elegant window coverings add a touch of sophistication to your home and offer remarkable insulation benefits.
Plantation shutters are gaining popularity for several reasons. Their timeless aesthetic fits various tastes and can introduce a sense of grandeur to any room. However, their true beauty lies in their ability to regulate indoor temperatures efficiently.
During installation, plantation shutters fit snugly next to the window frame, creating a seal that prevents interior air from escaping and outdoor air from entering. This translates to lower energy consumption and more comfortable living throughout the year.
According to research from Glasgow Caledonian University, shutters help reduce heat loss by up to 51 per cent, surpassing roller blinds (22 per cent) and curtains (14 per cent). Just remember to adjust the shutters according to the weather to maximise their benefits.
2. Hardwood Floor Refinishing
One of the defining features of Victorian architecture is stunning hardwood floors. These original boards, even if worn and battered, are treasures that can be brought back to life.
Homeowners today share the same enthusiasm for showcasing the natural beauty of hardwood floors as they did decades ago.
When you rejuvenate your hardwood floors, you hit two birds with one stone. Not only do you restore their former glory, but you also enhance their functionality.
The good news is that most Victorian floorboards can often be repaired and patched, even if they have suffered minor scratches or significant wear. But if you want to ensure everything goes without a hitch, seek renovation advice before considering replacing them, as the unique character and quality of original boards are worth preserving.
3. Ceiling Medallion
The original features of Victorian homes, such as ceiling roses and medallions, are valuable assets that can be beautifully updated for a modern look.
Don’t shy away from juxtaposing contemporary light fixtures with traditional plasterwork medallions. This fusion of old and new can create captivating visual contrasts, with modern lighting designs casting intriguing shadows onto the ceiling and highlighting the original features in a fresh, exciting way.
4. Home Extensions
Your Victorian home should not remain static, no matter how beautiful it may be. Consider embracing contemporary style by adding dramatic home extensions.
These additions can revolutionise your Victorian residence, accommodating changes in family dynamics and modernised lifestyles. From super sleek kitchen-dining extensions to the addition of home offices, these can offer both aesthetic and functional advantages to you and your family.
Many families find that much of their daily life can now take place in these spacious, contemporary extensions. At the same time, smaller rooms in the original Victorian side of the house offer more intimate spaces for various purposes.
5. Reimagined Hallways
The traditional Victorian hallway, often characterised by narrow spaces with closed doors, can benefit from modern updates.
Simple changes like using vibrant paint or adding a staircase runner in bold shades can breathe new life into this transitional space. Consider using similar colours in other rooms to create a sense of connection throughout your home.
Additionally, you can maximise the hallway’s potential by implementing smart storage solutions, such as slimline shelves, bespoke drawers, and sliding doors under the stairs. These modern touches offer added visual appeal and functionality to your Victorian home.
6. Bold-Hued Walls
Modern interior design trends embrace bold, moody hues that complement the classic Victorian colour palette. The interplay between dark, rich tones and Victorian features can create a captivating atmosphere.
Consider using shades like cloudy grey or deep blues alongside original fireplaces. Avoid cluttering mantelpieces and let contemporary artworks hung above strike the right balance between modernity and classic charm.
7. Exposed Brick Walls
Embrace the industrial aspect of the Victorian era by incorporating exposed brick walls into your interior design. These elements harken back to the period’s industrial buildings and lofts and can add a unique touch to your Victorian home.
Exposing just one wall or a section of it can introduce a sense of raw, rustic quality that can seamlessly blend with your home’s character.
A Modern Renaissance for Your Victorian Home
Modernising your home while preserving its timeless charm is entirely possible with the right updates.
Don’t fear change. Embrace it. This will make your Victorian gem honour its rich history and thrive in the 21st century at the same time.