Victorian decor is a time of lavish style, rich colors, and heavy and ornate furnishings that represented the high status during the Victorian era. It has continued to be aesthetically idealized by British designers for its tendency to revel in a more intuitive form of design that places emphasis on kitsch, nature, and relaxation.
“During the Industrial Revolution, the advancement of technology allowed for the mass-production of cheap household items, making it possible for the middle class to afford to invest in the decor and design of their homes,” explains Hope Works, architect and founder of Hope Works Design. “This paved the way for the birth of the Victorian type of housing.”
There are many other things that made up Victorian design—from polished brass to an appreciation for mood lighting—all of which lend themselves naturally to a comfortable bedroom decor. Below, we’ve rounded up some Victorian-inspired decor ideas that’ll make your bedroom fit for royalty.
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Create a Restful Space
It might seem obvious, but one of the most important characteristics of a Victorian-inspired bedroom is going to be a focus on restfulness. Consider placing emphasis on comfort and relaxation—whether that means soft curtains, elegant bedding, or any other form of relaxation that’ll make you want to lounge around the room.Continue to 2 of 41 below.
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Mix Dark and Bright
The Victorian era was a time of very heavy furniture and ornamental decor that mixes both dark and bright hues to create a dramatic yet warming effect. Don’t be afraid of heavier furniture or darker wood coloring if you’re hoping to create a dramatic space.Continue to 3 of 41 below.
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Don't Fear Color
Likewise, don’t be afraid to add bold pops of colors, especially rich shades of dark red or orange. You can always add more modern colors to the space as well as long as you tie everything together with decor items and complementary fabrics.Continue to 4 of 41 below.
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Pick Area Rugs With Borders
The best kind of area rug for a Victorian bedroom will be light in the middle with darker borders at the edge. This will foster a warming effect that’ll soften hardwood flooring while offering a moody effect.Continue to 5 of 41 below.
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The easiest way to add some Victorian-inspired flair to your space? Fill the room with ornate furnishings and accessories that have a dramatic ambiance. This can be anything from vintage lighting to practical furniture.Continue to 6 of 41 below.
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Consider Oversized Bedding
Victorian-inspired decor is all about the big future—but especially in the bedroom. Consider opting for a large bed frame with oversized and cloud-like bedding for maximum effect and comfort.Continue to 7 of 41 below.
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Accentuate (or Create) a Fireplace Mantel
A room with a fireplace mantel is going to be the best feature to define a Victorian-inspired room. You can either play up the existing mantel in your space or add an artificial mantel for the visual effect.Continue to 8 of 41 below.
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Opt for Rich Woods
“Stemming from the late 19th century, Victorian decor is characterized by the perfect marriage of rich woods such as mahogany, rose wood, and walnut,” explains Liz Walton, CEO and interior designer at Liz Walton Home. Consider mixing and matching various shades of wood for a more textured effect.Continue to 9 of 41 below.
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Consider a Chandelier
Walton also suggests swapping out your existing light fixture for a more delicate, ornamental chandelier. This will create a softer light throughout the room while also adding a romantic aesthetic to the overall space.Continue to 10 of 41 below.
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Become a Maximalist
“In Victorian homes, more is more,” says Walton. “Silk drapes are trimmed with fringe and large tie backs, ornate mirrors and portraits live within large, gold frames, velvet damask wallpaper climbs the walls, and sculptures of flowers and animals can be found in almost any space.”Continue to 11 of 41 below.
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Look for Turned Leg Furnishings
When shopping for accent furniture, Walton suggests looking for turned leg furnishings. This will add charm and elegance to the space while steering your overall decor in the opposite direction of more modern, Scandinavian lines.Continue to 12 of 41 below.
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Go for Velvet
You’ll notice a feeling of heaviness in most Victorian-inspired bedrooms—but it doesn’t feel oppressive or dreary. Consider adding touches of velvet wherever you can—whether a velvet-covered chair or the addition of velvet curtains.Continue to 13 of 41 below.
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Curate your Collection
Victorian decor is all about adding more, more more—but with intention. In the bedroom, you can showcase a collection you’ve been working on or mix and match more modern items to create a textured and slightly kitschy look.Continue to 14 of 41 below.
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Create a Vignette Effect
Mood lighting is going to be key to making a Victorian-inspired bedroom as cozy as possible—but consider taking it one step further with a vintage lampshade that has pulled back flaps. This will help create a welcoming vignette effect that is both cozy and romantic.Continue to 15 of 41 below.
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Don’t Overlook More Toned-down Palettes.
Sure, Victorian decor places a lot of emphasis on deep and rich colors, but if you’re a little shy about painting your space with such dark hues, you can always opt for a more toned-down colorway. This will highlight the decor itself without making your room feel too dark.Continue to 16 of 41 below.
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Pick a Strong Wallpaper
You might feel like the best way to achieve a Victorian look is to opt for rich paint hues—but during the Victorian era it was actually quite common to upholster the walls rather than paint them. Select wallpapers that have a slightly textured finish for the same result—or forego modern wallpaper and test your hand at upholstery.Continue to 17 of 41 below.
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Go for Antique Linens
Looking for a way to add Victorian romance to your bedroom without doing any heavy lifting or renovations? Consider picking up a set of antique white bedding. The florals and lace designs offer a sense of romance while the monochrome colorway delivers elegance.Continue to 18 of 41 below.
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Likewise, to foster a more romantic Victorian aesthetic, consider adding soft room decor, like sheer or lace drapery with gilded drapery tiebacks or doily table runners.Continue to 19 of 41 below.
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Look for Vintage Artwork and Accessories
Romantic paintings and accessories on the wall are a must-have when trying to emulate Victorian decor. You can easily foster this look with classic oil paintings (or prints), chandeliers, or even brass sconces.Continue to 20 of 41 below.
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Use a Rug to Tie It Together
Wondering how to tie all those bold and dramatic colors together? Consider a rich hued rug. “You could try combining colors together, for example, using a black rug combined with forest green bedding,” suggests Ryan Jones, Director at Land of Rugs. “This would really make your bedroom look and feel Victorian without looking too busy.”Continue to 21 of 41 below.
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Invest in a Tufted Headboard
“You can incorporate Victorian styles into your modern home by incorporating a few basic features—but the bed should be the focal point,” says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy. “A Victorian-style bed with a tufted headboard in warm hues is a great place to start.”Continue to 22 of 41 below.
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Consider a Chaise Lounge Chair
Reading nooks and benches are great—but Kazimierski suggests foregoing more modern lounging furniture for a classic chaise lounge. Not only does this add to the ornate look of this space but it also encourages unabashed relaxation.Continue to 23 of 41 below.
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Oversized and Bold
“The early Victorian style is characterized by rich and darker tones like deep reds, navy blue, green, and even black,” explains Works. “This is because deep colors hide the effects of smoke and ash, which is inevitable to happen. After all, most homes back then were heated by coal.” If you’re hoping to achieve a similar look but don’t want to cover your walls in such deep hues, Works suggests opting for bold colored furniture, decoratively carved, and placed together in a cluttered but cozy way.Continue to 24 of 41 below.
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Reds and blues might be classic Victorian—but a vivid cobalt green will serve just as well without making your space feel too heavy. A vivid green will emulate the dark but elegant feel while still allowing light to flood your space.Continue to 25 of 41 below.
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Add a Freestanding Dresser
Adding a freestanding wardrobe or dressing screen to your bedroom will not only add a touch of Victorian flair—it’ll also be extremely practical! These are both commonly found in Victorian bedrooms and make it easy to emulate the feeling of a dressing room right in your bedroom.Continue to 26 of 41 below.
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Consider a Canopy Bed
There is nothing that quite compares to a four-post or canopy bed—it’s cozy, luxurious, and looks sophisticated all at once. Not ready to commit to the full look? Consider adding a canopy over a lounge chair in the corner of the room for similar results.Continue to 27 of 41 below.
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“Victorian interior design is opulent and extravagant because it was meant to convey status and express personal taste and style,” explains Kelly Kuehn, interior designer and manager of Floor360. “This often meant accenting the dark color palette with gold or gold leaf.”Continue to 28 of 41 below.
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Go for Herringbone or Parquet Flooring
Kuehn also suggests opting for an inlaid central repetitive design—like herringbone or parquet—when it comes to flooring. Add heavy fabric rugs with strong floral patterns to finish the look.Continue to 29 of 41 below.
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Decorate for Pleasure
“Part of Victorian style is maxing out almost every available surface with things that express your taste and style,” explains Kuehn. “it’s all about decorating for pleasure and less utilitarian.”Continue to 30 of 41 below.
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Mix and Match Colors and Patterns
Curious about how to add all the colors and patterns you’re fond of without creating a disjointed look? As long as you stay within the same color palette, you can feel free to mix and match patterns in bedding, drapery, and the area rug, says Kuehn.Continue to 31 of 41 below.
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Consider International Wall Art
“When it comes to decorative objects or wall art, take a trip around the world and mix and match objects from France, Greece, or Italy,” suggests Kuehn. You don’t have to travel to bring back these decorative souvenirs—there are plenty of worldly items in thrift and vintage shops as well.Continue to 32 of 41 below.
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“Fostering a layered appearance is extremely important, because it gives depth to the room, and it is desirable to choose materials in different shades,” explains Bryan Stoddard, Founder of Homewares Insider. You can do this by piling up pillows and linens or creating a layered effect with your drapery.Continue to 33 of 41 below.
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Add Lounge Furniture
The right furniture is a key element that gives a space purpose. “A luxurious oval sofa in the corner, oblong recliners, velvet stools with curved legs, sofas and many pillows provide enough space for pleasant socializing with that Victorian feel in it,” says Stoddard.Continue to 34 of 41 below.
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Mix Mahogany With Other Natural Elements
“My favorite material tied to the Victorian era is mahogany, and the decor motifs such as flowers and animals,” explains Stoddard. This can easily be achieved through lamps, wall art, and even the right headboard.Continue to 35 of 41 below.
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Hit the Flea Market
Looking for vintage or antique items but not ready to shell out thousands at high end antique shops? “Megalomaniac chandeliers, thick carpets and paintings in massive frames can be easily found today in thrift shops and weekend flea markets,” says Stoddard.Continue to 36 of 41 below.
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Stoddard also suggests picking up as many marble accents as you can find. “The upper surfaces of tables, coffee tables and bedside tables should also be covered with marble, which gives the interior a dose of luxury in an instant,” he explains.Continue to 37 of 41 below.
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Explore Outside of Your Comfort Zone
“Just insert a few elements of the style of that time that will stand out from the rest of the home,” says Stoddard. “Play with gold and silver decorations, mirrors, massive candlesticks... Let your guide be a hedonistic way of life that fulfills all the whims one can have.”Continue to 38 of 41 below.
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Remember Negative Spaces
The biggest part of Victorian decor is the organized chaos and fondness for maximalism. While, yes, this is an important factor, you’ll still want to include some negative space to let your items breathe and have full effect.Continue to 39 of 41 below.
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Victorian decor doesn’t play by the rules in terms of balance or symmetry. Instead, opt for a more care-free approach to things like hanging wall art or organizing decor items on a shelving unit.Continue to 40 of 41 below.
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Play up Your Home’s Bones
Lucky enough to live in a Victorian home? Play up your home’s original bones—all the way to the bedroom! Consider keeping the framework and any wood styling or window frames that offer an instant Victorian aesthetic. You can also fake the look of a Victorian home by adding Gothic-inspired mirrors, artificial wood beams, and stained glass work.Continue to 41 of 41 below.
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Consider Different Scales
Add to the texture and visual interest of your bedroom by playing up different scales and heights. This could look like pairing an oversized lamp with a smaller candlestick or adding an oversized bed frame to a smaller bedroom space. The exaggeration and eclectic approach offers an instant Victorian look.