Buying a historical property is a responsibility. If your property is Victorian or Edwardian it has been standing for well over 100 years and possibly closer to 200 years. However well or badly the former owners or occupants have treated the house, Victorian properties were for the most part built to last which is why you are lucky enough to enjoy their charms now.
Many Victorian properties were butchered in the 1960s and 1970s when they were deemed undesirable and unfashionable and many original features were ripped out so that the owners could modernise them. Which is ironic because since the 1990s the vogue has of course been to preserve original features and return the property to the style in which it was first built. Nowadays original features add a premium to any house sale price.
If your house still has its original features, chances are you are mainly focussing on preserving them and redecorating in a style that complements them. However if your original features have been ripped out, you have the sometimes challenging but always interesting job of finding out what those original features would have been, sourcing replacements and reinstating them.
How can you tell what original features have been removed from your house?
If you live in a road of similar houses and you are friendly with your neighbours, there is no reason why you cannot ask to visit their homes in order to ascertain what original features are missing from your house and glean some room decorating ideas for your own house. Look at houses of a similar age and similar style to your own if you don’t have any neighbours you can visit. A sneaky way of visiting other people’s houses without leaving the comfort of your front room is to browse houses for sale on the Internet. Search for other Victorian houses in your town or city and look through the photographs of the interior and exterior. After a morning of this sort of research you should be a real expert in Victorian house interior design.
It’s never a bad thing to have high aspirations – another great way to glean room decorating ideas is to visit historic properties that were built or renovated during the period that your house was built. Although you are unlikely to be commissioning your own wallpaper design and printing or employing the services of an architect to oversee your redecoration, you can learn a lot from seeing how rooms were decorated on a grand scale and then bringing the ideas back to a more reasonable scale and budget. There are many reproductions of plaster moudings, historic wallpapers and historic paint colours available. Historic luxury hotels and their restaurants are another way of experiencing historic interior design on a grand scale – and enjoy a meal all in the name of research.
The Victorian Emporium can help you with room decorating ideas and the products to bring these ideas to life.