The Victorian design aesthetic is a panoply of furniture and curios. Those who disdain the idea view a Victorian room as dark and cluttered. Those who take delight in the aesthetic perceive it as warm and homey.
Victorians were known for their reproductions or purposely trying to give the appearance of age to their homes and artifacts. The rooms commonly centered around a hunter green or maroon motif; browns and other dark hues were favored. And the pillows . . . The pillows! They were everywhere! Hundreds of them, it seemed strewn about. It supposedly added to the comfortable and coziness. Walls were covered with framed photographs in elaborate montages of similar subjects. Silhouettes of past or present inhabitants were also characteristic of the romanticism they lived in. Heavy carpeted rugs over hardwoods defined open spaces. A multitude of patterns from the ceiling to the floor and about the room seems very busy compared to modern preferences. Alas, it is simply Victorian.
While the current museum quality austerity looks impressive and photographs well, it is not my aesthetic predilection. I gravitate towards chambers that allow for exploration and discovery, but not overly cluttered. It peeves me when people fill their home with impersonal objects. A home, a room, a closet is a reflection of the owner. What does it say about a person who is surrounded by objects with no relevance? People tend to model their homes after advertisements and the like. I balk at the idea. In my sphere of the world, it simply is not done.
This said, I do favor dark or bright rooms over light and airy ones. I adore craftmanship, antiques, or slightly distressed appearance. Items with history are delightful conversation starters. “This table which you just placed you tea-cup? Was bought from a man whose grandmother was friends with the queen. That ring on the table was made when the Queen and the Prince of Wales dined with her one evening. The conversation being rather engaging lead by pantomimes from the Prince of his exploits in the nursery jarred the table, cause the tea to slosh. No one noticed the offending liquid marring the mahogany until it left its imprint. . . ” Obviously, my own tables do not hold such anecdotes but it is nice to imagine. Or perhaps it was something more romantic, such as a suitor bending down on one knee to propose to his lady-love and in his nervousness bumps the side table, the tea splashes just a bit, but goes unnoticed as she joyfully proclaims her acceptance to his question. . . You see? History adds a bit a charm and authenticity.
Is my fondness for the Victorian aesthetic showing? It happens. As the pictures of my bedchamber prove.