There is a certain charm that only exists in a Victorian home. Built in the late 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, the stately homes feature characteristics like crown moldings, ornate fireplaces, and high ceilings, three features at the top of many dream real estate checklists. But just how do designers update these historic homes to the modern day? Sara Ruffin Costello transformed a bachelor’s Manhattan apartment with Victorian bones into a light, modern dwelling using eclectic furnishings, modern art, and gallons of bright white paint.
Lightening up a Victorian is the first place to start; all those carvings and cornices can start to weigh heavily on the home if not given a fresh coat of bright paint. Also, modern art stands out well in a Victorian space as it juxtaposes nicely with the classic backdrop. If your home doesn’t have the charms of a Victorian, add architectural features like wainscoting, crown molding, and antique hearths. Once you have some history and craftsmanship in the space, all you have to do is add in those modern furnishings. Shop a few of our favorites for getting the look are below.
|Chateau Dining Chair, $199, Wisteria||Bungalow 5 Romano Wall Mirror in Blue, $585, Candelabra||Small Stacked Pot Form Table Lamp, $420, High Street Market|
|Jasper Console, $5995, Jayson Home||Hand of Hercules, $155, Restoration Hardware||Handcarved Gallery Chair, $298, Anthropologie|
|Taylor Orb Lamp, $250,
|Found Moroccan Rug, $1699,
|Saarinen Side Table, From $682, Design Within Reach|
|Shaw Pendant, $655,
Clayton Gray Home
|Caroline Garden Seat, $169, Ballard Designs||Beachcomber Extra-Large Basket, $129, Pottery Barn|
|The Gunnison Chair, $1300, Atchison Home||Rectangular Nickel Tray, $95,
High Street Market
|Nicola Venetian Mirror, $299,
Photography: 1. Sara Ruffin Costello (designer and source), 2. Ken Fulk photographed by Matthew Millman, 3. David Flint Wood photographed by William Waldron for Architectural Digest, 4. Martha Angus (designer and source), 5. Sara Ruffin Costello (designer and source), 6. Jeffers Design Group photographed by Matthew Millman, 7. Michele Lee Wilson (photographer and source), 8. Heather Hilliard Design (designer and source), 9. William Abranowicz (photographer and source), 10. Sara Ruffin Costello (designer and source), 11. William Abranowicz (photographer and source), 12. Martha Angus (designer and source), 13. Ken Fulk photographed by Francesco Lagnese, 14. Photographed by Bruce Buck for The New York Times, 15. Photographed by MiKaël Lafontan and Karel Balas for Milk Magazine