Learn About Victorian Interiors
Victorian interiors focus on the elaborate, which was more than apparent when Meghan Carter, host of Ask the Decorator, toured three Victorian homes in Wheeling, WV. The interiors of the Victorian homes featured intricate patterns, detailed fretwork and stunning stained and art glass. Discover the main characteristics of Victorian interiors as Meghan takes you to Wheeling, WV to see them first-hand.
Meghan: Victorian terrace are known to be overly ornate and incredibly beautiful and I am taking you to the only block in America that has a home from each decade of the Victorian era to show you the interiors of some of these homes. I cannot wait to take you inside.
I am hitting the road, searching for answers in finding great design. It is a quest for beauty, function and of course inspiration.
Those living during the Victorian era wanted to impress but not too much on the outside, instead they focused on the interior of their homes as Joe Figeretti owner or the Eckhart House in Wheeling West Virginia explained.
Joe: What they tried to do is make their interior their homes beautiful because on the exterior of course during the industrial revolution we burned a lot of coal and created a lot of soot.
Meghan: Really, I would have never thought of that.
Joe: So the outsides of the house were somewhat darkened by the dirt that was being created during the industrial revolution.
Meghan: So they got really dirty then?
Joe: They did
Meghan: And so the inside was suppose to be kind of like the relaxation place to go and escape from the dirt.
Joe: Escape, they wanted this to be the beautiful part of their life.
Meghan: And it was elaborated. The industrial revolution allowed the Victorians to manufacture ornate goods cheaper and faster and they took advantage of it.
Intricately carved wood work was used in homes as was detailed fret work. Doors were extremely tall such as the ten foot doors in the Eckhart House, stair cases were grand and meant to impress all visitors. But perhaps the most surprising feature of Victorian interiors was the large amount of fakes which was shown to me by Carrie Byrum of the Victorian Willing Landmarks Foundation.
Carrie: Here we have marble looking mantle but really it is a fake, the Victorians were all about fake stuff looking authentic.
Meagan: You are kidding?
Carrie: So this is layer upon layer of coats of paint to make it look like marble but if you reach under here you can feel the slate and it is just a slate mantle.
Meghan: Oh, you can
Carrie: And it is an excellent replica or marble.
Meghan: And marble was not all the Victorians faked they also fancied Moroccan Leather.
Carrie: Now we are in the front entry of the Hess house and most amazing part of this is the Lincrusta which is looks like Moroccan leather but it is a fake.
Meghan: They really wanted it to be like Moroccan leather?
Carrie: They wanted to look like it but it is really just pressed paper and linseed oil and they make molds to make it the intricate design.
Meghan: Unbelievable, that is incredible. In addition to fakes Victorians used pattern everywhere, on the walls, ceiling and floors there were patterns. And a very popular use of pattern was wallpaper.
Carrie: Victorians used elaborate uses of wallpaper as you can see in this room. They would use it as an art feature and keep repeating the patterns as they could go through.
Meghan: But the most beautiful use of pattern in a Victorian home could arguably be the stained glass and art glass which allow light to come in while shielding the Victorians from the filth they were trying to escape and wow was their escape grand.
Joe: The windows, the stained glass the fret work, everything that you see around you we say was put here to impress you. This is why we call it George Eckharts ‘wow’ room.
Meghan: Well, definitely it is a wow?
Joe: Yes when you walk in you want to say wow.
Meghan: For extra information about where I have been and what I have learn visit my website www.askthedecorator.com.
Learn About Victorian Interiors
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