Victorian homes are easy to recognize with their unique exterior custom trim and asymmetrical shape with one or more porches. They have steep roofs and gable walls on the front of the house with lovely trim. It’s their decorative, multi-colored trim that sets them apart from other historic houses. They also have columns, plus siding and shingles with textured or decorated edges that sometimes make you think of gingerbread houses.
Built between 1840 and 1900, Victorian homes were one way that homeowners could show their success with large, fancy homes with custom details galore. They were built across the country, and today they add charm to the neighborhoods where they’re found.
Victorian Homes Vary in Style
Victorian custom homes were built during the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, who lived from 1837 to 1901. They include many different architectural styles based on the home’s architect. Here are the better known Victorian house styles:
- Gothic (1840-1860) homes have gingerbread wood details, which many people recognize as the Victorian house style.
- Italianate (1850-1880), another one of the Victorian house styles, has columned porches, a flat roof and bay windows.
- Another of the Victorian styles houses, Second Empire (1860-1880) has tall, wrought-iron ornamentation.
- Queen Anne (1880-1900) is known for it’s turrets and elaborate brackets, finials, posts and the lacy filligree trim.
- Shingle style (1890-1910) homes are known for their wood shingles, used on the roof and sides of the house.
Recognizing Victorian Homes
Victorian homes are usually two, sometimes three story with turrets and attic dormers. They have wide front porches decorated with banisters, spindles and columns. The roofs are steep and irregular in shape and many have a wide, front gable with gingerbread detailing.
The most striking feature of many Victorian style houses are the wood shingles with different shapes, painted with bold colors to make them really pop and catch your eye. In addition to the shingles, Victorian houses also have finials brackets, bay windows, patterned masonry and turrets that feel like the castles in our fairy tales. These features are asymmetrical and give each house a unique personality and surprisingly, the windows and doors are plain in comparison
What You’ll Find Inside Victorian Custom Homes
Inside Victorian custom houses you’ll find more decorative trim including intricate ceiling designs, cornices similar to crown molding with more decorative moldings, chandeliers, ornate mirrors and fireplaces. Victorian homeowners also painted the interior of these houses in a variety of pastel colors similar to the home’s exterior. You can learn more about “Victorian House Styles: An Architectural and Interior Design Source Book,” with this book written by Linda Osband.
Many custom houses including Victorians, are being renovated to combine multiple rooms into larger, open floor plans. At the same time, homeowners also tend to keep a few small rooms and cozy nooks for when you want to get away from it all.
Call 978-790-4881 or fill out our form to start building your own custom Victorian.