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Iron Beds in Victorian Decor

December 13th, 2012 · No Comments

         Todays interior designers have a eager sense of what components go into successfully acheiving a Victorian decor.

         Certainly the furniture and items in a room go a long way in attaining the look and feel you’re striving for. One of the more preferred and sought after original antiques to acheive such a look, are the old antique iron beds. Although many furniture items shout Victorian…….few were created only during the Victorian Era.

         There are a range of elements that go into a well rounded Victorian decor. But there are four basis things that will help insure your success in achieving the look you’re going for.

         The first consideration in attaining a rich Victorian setting is “Romanticism”. It should pervade nearly every aspect of your design plan. When looking at old vintage photo’s of Victorian rooms, a constant theme always emerges…….. luxurious fabrics, opulence, sensuously carved furnishings, an abundance of overstuffed pillows with lavishly appointed fringe,………….. a cozy warmth. The eye is continuously discovering, in a true Victorian room. Contemporary observers sometimes see the abundance of “stuff”, in Victorian rooms as “clutter”. But in the 1800’s abundance and “clutter” were a sign of prosperity and comfort.

        The second item consider with regard to each and every element of Victorian design has to be “Color”. In considering proper colors , there is a term you should learn….. Tertiary. A Tertiary color is one that is created by mixing equal amounts of primary and secondary colors. This leads to rich warm tones that have a tendency to give more focus to walls, material, rugs, window treatments etc. There are no Primary Colors employed in Victorian decor. It would have been regarded tacky and in poor taste. Surprisigly enough, the rich warm dark tones most homes of the Victorian Period had, had a more deep seeded practical side to them………At that period of time in our history the main manner with which to heat a home was coal. No matter what efforts were taken to restrict the “soot” and coal dust from overtaking a homes interiors, it was a constant effort to minimize the results. Warm rich colors helped “maskmask” the effects of the coal. Another issue that was minimized by employing warm colors were the stains from oil and gas lamps that furnished most of the light in Victorian homes. Few people know there was a practical side to the lovely colors employed throughout the Victorian Period.

        A third thing to work with for an all round Victorian feel, was “Opulence”.  The dictionary defines Opulence as ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish, a lurid display of wealth. The term of “more is better” was coined in this period of time. The trick for the middle class, was to attain the same look, yet without the same expense. This was done by using less costly materials and by companies that produced the items to produce them more in mass numbers than individual hand made items, that the affluent class were drawn to. “Abundance” seemed to be the catch phrase for this school of thought.

        The fourth and last thing to take into account, which many people ignor, to round out a Victorian setting are your option of “Patterns”. Almost everything from th wallpaper to the curtains and window treatments to the carpets and bed dressings and to the furniture…….had distinctive patterns. There were no straight Geometric lines to anything. Furniture was carved and “fluted”, iron beds were scrolled and lacy looking with curved patterns. Severe hard angles and straight lines would not become popular until the Industrial Age ushered in a new more sleek way to design.

         So there you have it………follow these four elements that make up Victorian style and you’ll not only be historically appropriate……..but also Romantically prepared.


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