If you’ve been told that the kitchen is the heart of the home, think again. The living room is coming back as a place in your home dedicated to relaxing and entertaining. Take a quick look back in time and you’ll see that it was thanks to the Arts and Crafts movement that we now favour comfortable, practical and informal living rooms rather than formal reception rooms akin to the Victorian ‘parlour’.
So, how can you achieve this intimate yet stylish look at home in the 21st century? We’ve put together 5 easy tips to inspire you to add some Victorian charm to your living room.
1 – Fireplace as a focal point
The fireplace was key to a Victorian ‘lounge’. Not only was it used to heat the room but it served as a beautiful focal point, with space to show off decorative objects and artefacts on the mantelpiece. If you have a period fireplace in your living room, now is the time to give it some TLC. Restore the marble or cast-iron surround and clean or replace the feature tiles where necessary. There are plenty of online guides to help you do this.
For a professional finish, The Stone Tile Emporium offer a comprehensive tile maintenance service. We can remove and replace damaged tiles, renovate natural stone tiled surfaces and carry out a deep clean of all tiles.
2 – Original architectural features
If you are lucky enough to have other original features in your home, make the most of them. Ceiling roses and mouldings, for instance, should be accentuated and celebrated. If they have been removed, consider reinstating them with modern replicas.
Original flooring in hallways and downstairs living areas are a much-coveted feature in period homes. The Victorians loved geometric designs, and delicate and intricate patterns in different colours. Encaustic tiles first appeared in Europe in the late 19th century and were used to decorate the floors of palaces and grand houses all over Europe.
Take a look at our Victorian tiles in striking, decorative patterns – perfect as a stylish yet hardwearing solution for many areas of your home.
3 – Rich colours and patterns
Creating a Victorian ‘vibe’ requires the use of colour – no magnolia here! Rich paint and wallpaper colours and patterns were standard in living rooms. From ruby red to forest green, midnight blue, brown and black, rooms were richly decorated in jewel colours and ornate patterns.
If you have high ceilings, consider painting these the same shade as your walls – it can make a large room look dramatic and opulent. Alternatively, opt for a feature wall in a rich colour if you’re not quite brave enough to commit to a full-on colour scheme.
4 – Plenty of texture and interest
The Victorians were big fans of using lots of different textures on walls, floors and soft furnishings. Think dark, dramatic floorboards covered with Persian-style rugs in rich jewel shades. Window dressings should be sumptuous. Heavy curtains and drapes can create a sense of cosiness as well as opulence, particularly when teamed with delicate lace trims.
On sofas and chairs, try layering cushions in velvet or brocade to evoke Victorian luxury. Think daybeds or thick velvet drapes, soft button-back armchairs and a Victorian chandelier as a feature light.
5 – More is more
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of ornamentation in helping you create more Victorian flair in your home. Many eclectic objets and quirky decorative items can be picked up relatively cheaply from second hand retailers such as antique shops and craft fairs, flea markets and charity shops, and of course internet auction sites.
All it takes is a bit of time and an open mind. From bell jars to taxidermy, vases, mirrors, clocks and artworks, why not curate your own collection of curios and proudly display them in your living room.
At The Stone Tile Emporium, we have a wide selection of finest quality natural stone tiles for your home. We specialise in Victorian geometric flooring tiles in a vast range of colours, sizes and shapes – the perfect way to add a touch of Victorian elegance and style to your home. Why not get in touch or visit our showroom to find our more.