I found this gem in an Oxfam book shop. Although it’s probably intended for ‘serious’ restoration work, it does have some really interesting information. For me, it provided some interesting insights into Victorian design. Take the following extract:
“… given the diversity of the period, it is difficult to pin down a style that is definitively Victorian. It was a time of imitation and reinterpretation of previous stylistic eras, while also cherry-picking all the best bits of world culture. It is not unusual to find a Victorian house with a Gothic Revival library, a Neo-Classical-style entrance hall, and oriental or Moorish designs dotted around the walls.”
My aim is to combine ‘Victorian’ and ‘modern’ – not just to restore the traditional and purge everything else. I think the two can sit well together and create something really unique and visually beautiful. What inspires me about the passage above, is that boldness and variety are embraced. Knowing the Victorians looked to the past for inspiration and combined things in a ‘mish mash’ is great and it has actually taken some of the pressure off me.
When I first contemplated this project, my worry was that I would accidentally buy something that didn’t fit inside the defining boundaries of the ‘Victorian era’. Knowing that the Victorians were inspired by the past and weren’t afraid to mix and match is actually a relief. Yes, there are common features to Victorian room schemes, but the general approach seems to be quite eclectic, which suits me just fine.
*Featured image from Restored to Glory