Classic or contemporary?

Thu 14 Jul 2016

Key areas to look at when deciding on the right décor for your Victorian property

Victorian houses will always be popular because of their good proportions, large windows and wealth of attractive original features. But what happens when some of these coveted “assets” don’t mesh with your interior design style?

If it isn’t “in keeping”, is it out of the question? 

Traditional kitchen… 

When you move into a Victorian house, the kitchen may need work to bring it up to scratch. Sometimes, extending into the side return is an option, or a new layout and fresh fittings may suffice. 

For those keen on era-appropriate kitchen styles, Shaker-inspired cabinets have a traditional feel, but mesh well with modern appliances and finishes, such as composite worktops. Incorporating period details such as tongue and groove will further enhance the mix.

Victorian Property for sale Burton

…or contemporary cook space

Working with a similar palette, but aiming for a more contemporary feel, this bespoke kitchen features sleek, slab-front doors with fashionable T-bar handles. The antiqued bronze mirror splashback and oversized chandelier bring a dose of old Hollywood glamour, but with a modern twist.

Contemporary Kitchen

Original fireplace…

Fireplaces are always seen as an attractive asset in a period home, but some from the turn of the century can include some pretty lairy tile combinations. This serene space proves it’s possible to juxtapose old and new through a careful use of colour. 

Painting the room (and the fire surround) in neutral white and pale grey ensures a seamless backdrop, with interest added by the turquoise tiles. Wooden accessories in a similar tone to the brown hearth lend cohesiveness, while flashes of yellow bring the whole scheme together.

Victorian fireplace

…or wood-burning stove

Open fires do have drawbacks in terms of draughtiness and inefficiency. For a potentially more practical heat source, why not consider installing a wood-burning stove?

Opening up a brick-built chimney is usually a simple job for a builder or professional stove-fitter. 

wood burning stove

Classic picture rail…

Architrave rails make an elegant addition to a Victorian property.

In rooms with particularly high ceilings, painting the picture rail and above white to match the ceiling has the effect of visually lowering the height of the room. This can be advantageous if the space feels cavernous.

If your dimensions are less grand, taking the same colour of paint over the picture rail and up to meet either the ceiling or coving will elevate the height of the room. It also gives a cleaner, less fussy look.

…or seamless style

If you’re aiming for a simple, contemporary pad, you may want to do away with your picture rail altogether. In rooms where there are lots of interruptions to the run of the rail – cupboards, a sloping ceiling, windows – it can often look better to go without. And skipping the picture rail gives you more freedom to play with the rest of the décor without being tied to a pseudo-Victorian scheme.

"All members of the Uttoxeter office were helpful, pleasant and professional at all times. They made us feel at ease throughout the whole process."
Andrew Moult - Happy Client

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