There are many ways to describe Victorian architecture. Grand, eclectic and ornate are just a few of the frequently used terms that come to mind. While it should come as no surprise that the iconic architectural movement emerged during Queen Victoria’s reign over the British Empire from 1837 to 1901, it can actually refer to several different styles that were prevalent during this period, such as Queen Anne, Second Empire and Romanesque.
There are, however, certain features that have become synonymous with Victorian-style homes. Here are a few such characteristics that contribute to the endless appeal of these residences.
Towers and Turrets
The first thing you’re likely to notice when arriving at a Victorian-style home is a magnificent tower or turret defining the exterior. Often rounded, though sometimes squared, they typically rise above steeply pitched roofs and create an asymmetrical façade. Scalloped shingles are also commonly used for the outside of the home, though some styles, like Romanesque, are built from stone.
Everyone loves a wraparound porch. Or at least, everyone should. Many Victorian-style homes are designed with such a porch in order to greet visitors with a spacious, covered seating area. In addition to providing an elegant outdoor living space, this feature sets the stage for the grandeur that continues throughout.
Meandering Floor Plans
If you want an open floor plan, then a traditional Victorian-style home may not be for you. The interior of these homes often have elaborate layouts with rooms of various proportions, from grand parlors and reception rooms to intimate nooks and alcoves. These days, however, it’s not uncommon to find a Victorian that’s been renovated with an open living space on the main floor.
An ornate aesthetic is always front and center. Outside, you may see stained glass windows and intricately-carved eaves, while the interior usually has impressive wood finishes and decorative moldings.