29 Jan The Best Victorian Style House Plans
Large, ornate and whimsical, Victorian-style house plans originated during the reign of Queen Victoria in England in the late-19th century and here into the early-20th century. These imposing dwellings with wrap-around porches, bay windows, turrets, and towers reflected an age of freedom spurred by the Industrial Revolution – a time when architecture could be ornate and beautiful rather than simply practical.
The romanticism of Victorian-style homes drew from grandiose Gothic structures, with touches of Italian, Tudor, and French details adding to the whimsy. Additionally, the period also gave rise to a number of related and popular architectural styles, including Romanesque, Italianate, Second Empire, Shingle, Stick and Queen Anne.
Industrialization allowed for elaborate materials to be manufactured quickly and cheaply. As a result, already embellished homes became increasingly more ornate. Members of the middle and lower classes could afford to add patterns and decorative trim, turning their existing homes into “folk Victorians.”
The rise of the more modest, streamlined and organic Arts and Crafts Movement, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School of architecture, led largely to the end of Victorian-style house plans, though they remain prevalent in historic neighborhoods. The “Painted Ladies of San Francisco” and the flowery homes that line New Orleans’ Garden District come to mind.
FEATURES OF VICTORIAN STYLE HOUSE PLANS
Complexity, both inside and out, defines Victorian-era homes. Typically, two or three stories tall, these large dwellings feature asymmetrical floor plans, with various rooms serving multiple functions. Impressive turrets and towers accentuate steeply pitched roofs and front-facing gables. Finally, decorative shingling, gingerbread trim, and whimsical paint jobs complete the look.
Other features of Victorian-style house plans include:
- Shingle and clapboard wood exteriors.
- Wrap-around porches or verandas.
- Bay windows and balconies.
- Textured wall surfaces.
- Built-in features like bookcases and window seats.
- Fireplaces (sometimes several) with ornate mantles
- Extensive woodwork and hardwood flooring.
INCORPORATING VICTORIAN STYLE HOUSE PLANS TODAY
Although grandiose Victorian architecture may not be in vogue now, certain aspects from the era add character and charm.
Chief among the grand details of some Victorian homes is the mix of exterior forms, rooflines and cladding. This classic Victorian-era home exhibits multiple projecting rooms, gables and wood siding, along with a handsome stone foundation and entrance to the broad porch. Cardello Architects’ knowledge of architectural history and traditions pays off in attention to these and other authentic details.
WRAP-AROUND PORCHES AND BAY WINDOWS
In Fairfield County and along the Eastern seaboard, where there is no shortage of dramatic views from the shoreline, Victorian-style house plans featuring wrap-around porches and bay windows offer multiple vantage points to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. For example, this Greenwich home, sitting on the water in the Byram section of town, brings the outdoors in with numerous windows and sweeping veranda. Cardello Architects worked closely with the client to redesign the historic home after it had been poorly maintained for years. As a result, beautiful detailing, finishing, and millwork restored the beauty of this Gatsby-like waterfront estate.
ORNATE FIREPLACES AND BUILT-INS
Victorian-style house plans often feature multiple rooms on each floor, each serving different functions but all featuring exquisite details. An ornate fireplace and custom built-ins like bookcases make for a space ideal for hosting and entertaining. A majestic fireplace anchors the living room in this classic, old Greenwich home. Here, too, Cardello Architects worked with the owners to make it feel more comfortable, charming and friendly. The project concentrated on the main living areas. In addition to giving the Master Bedroom and flanking closets a functional facelift, Cardello Architects incorporated a new wine cellar and new master bath with extensive marble detailing. All of the renovated areas fit nicely into the original architecture.
At Cardello Architects, we look forward to the opportunity to provide people with their dream homes. We pull from all architectural styles in order to achieve that goal. As a result, we are confident you will enjoy working with our team.
Robert A. Cardello Architects designs singular, high-end residences that pay tribute to the great homes of the past while paying close attention to clients’ individual styles and dreams. To learn more about our services or to arrange an appointment, please contact us today.