The Victorian Age (1837-1901) was a time when the past was plundered for design ideas. A great eclectic mix of styles came together with influences including the Rococo, the Baroque, the Neo classical and the Gothic.
The Victorians loved elaborate decoration and filled their homes with ornately carved mahogany furniture and mirrors in every room. Lamps were often made of brass, and completed with etched glass shades.
Dark colours were the fashion, especially reds and greens. Living rooms and parlours were formal spaces filled with upholstered sofas, ottomans and wing back chairs, this is the age of the Chesterfield sofa. Heavy velvet, silk or damask curtains were accessorised with beaded and tasselled tie backs, while delicate lace curtains screened each window from prying eyes, as modesty was the watchword of the Victorians.
Families ate in formal dining rooms around large tables in straight-backed chairs. Men took after dinner drinks and cigars in masculine libraries or billiard rooms while women talked and played cards in more feminine parlours.
The Victorians were great collectors and loved to showcase their books and prized possessions in grand mahogany display cabinets. In bedrooms the exuberance continued with carved beds in dark woods such as mahogany and rosewood. Imposing wooden chest of drawers and armoires completed the look. Victorian ladies powdered and preened themselves at elegant dressing tables.