Victorian decorating hasn't been popular for a while now. It's often considered too frou-frou and too overwhelmingly feminine and dark. However, there are a lot of elements of traditional style that people still gravitate towards, so the look has been updated into something we call "modern Victorian." It has all the pretty elements of classic Victorian style but it's been given a contemporary twist to make it more accessible for today's homes and homeowners. Modern Victorian style is pretty and romantic but never overwhelming, so it's very important to find balance.
When it comes to modern Victorian decorating, the colors aren't as important as the style. That said, it's better to stay with lighter colors as opposed to dark ones. Victorian style has a tendency to be too dark (red, browns, blues). To keep it fresh and modern, go with lighter and paler colors. Neutrals like cream and gray are also good.
Victorian style is often associated with heavy wallpapers in patterns such as damask. These styles of papers can still be great but make sure they're not too dark. Tone-on-tone patterns in creams, beiges, and soft metallics can be great.
Architectural details like crown molding and chair rails are easy ways to add a little Victorian flair.
Victorian furniture can be quite heavy looking. Antique, carved wood pieces were common and they were frequently covered in silks, velvets, and brocades. To update the look, opt for furniture with feminine curves, but keep them in lighter tones. It's also important to mix them with slightly more contemporary pieces. For instance, a curvy sofa or chaise can be next to a streamlined coffee table or side table.
A modern Victorian room should definitely have long curtains (blinds and shutters don't suit the look). Rather than heavy fabrics with a lot of embellishments, stick with soft, elegant fabrics (such as silk) and keep the embellishments to a minimum. Avoid extra tassels and fringe.
Accessories and Accents
Choose your accessories wisely as they can really make the look. Think about things like gilt mirrors, crystal sconces and chandeliers, and pretty pillows. Again, just be sure not to overdo it. If you have a large chandelier, you might want more subdued sconces.
Modern Victorian decor has a lot of romantic touches. The key is to find balance and keep the space from looking too feminine. Feminine touches are important, but they shouldn't overwhelm.