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When my then boyfriend (now husband) moved into our old terraced house over ten years ago, little did we know about how much work we would need to do to bring the house into the 21st century. It’s previous owners, of which there must have been many over the years, have stripped out all the original features, removed the real character of the house and in my opinion, most of it’s Victorian soul.
We really do love our house and whilst we want to make sure our home is suitable for our everyday lives in 2017 and beyond, we want to bring back some of it’s original features and a little bit of Victorian character too. Some of the typical features of Victorian properties include tiled entrance hallways, mouldings including decorative cornicing and plaster work, wooden sash windows, traditional fireplaces in every room, skirting boards and picture rails.
Features to consider when renovating a Victorian property
Tiled Entrance Hallway – One of the most popular features of a Victorian property was a tiled entrance hallway. The use of colourful flooring tiles was typical of the era with it’s welcoming appearance and hardwearing functionality. Flooring can be a surprising hidden feature in many Victorian aged homes. Stripping back the existing flooring to discover tiled flooring is one of the easiest ways of renovating a hallway. Geometric tiles are popular and can be readily bought to recreate the look should your Victorian home have lost it’s tiled hallway.
Wooden Sash Windows – Typically wooden sash windows were poorly installed in the Victorian era and therefore many of these windows haven’t survived the times. Large wooden sash windows provided homes with plenty of natural light which of course were essential with only candles and oil lamps available back in the day.
Skirting boards – Skirting boards were a typical feature of Victorian homes and they served many purposes; they held back damp and rising damp in homes with poor damp proofing, they acted as protective barriers to stop furniture damaging the walls and they hid poor wall plaster work. Replacing Victorian skirting board is one of the easier renovation projects that is done today.
Use of floral wallpaper – to hide the poor condition of walls, the use of floral wallpaper was very popular during the Victorian era. Typically, the wallpaper used intricate floral designs which were then repeated and printed multiple times.
Over the next few years we’ll be attempting to restore some of the beautiful features of the Victorian era to our home and hope that we can cleverly combine these with modern features to create a wonderful family home full of character and charm.
If you’ve renovated your Victorian home, what traditional features did you include?