Victorian Home Photos

jennywallMay 11, 2012

Hi everyone, I'm new here! My husband and I recently became home-owners! We bought a wonderful Victorian home, unfortunately the previous owners "updated" it. We're planning on restoring it to its glory! I was wondering if you all could share some photos of your old homes for inspiration! And any suggestions you might have as well. The carpet will be coming up for sure! Also what colors are best for dark wood trim?

My husband is in the military and currently deployed so all I can do at the moment is browse photos and daydream about what our house will be like! I am sure when we finally get to start work this forum will come in handy! Thanks in advance!

A few pictures

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I have two threads of pictures for my house, links below:

My philosophy is to keep as much of the original material intact as possible--and since my house had so much--and I like old stuff anyway--I decorated to the circa 1900 period. Call me a by-product of growing up in a late '5os ranch in the country--I wanted my own house to be anything BUT a ranch, and I was always fond of Victorian era stuff. A theory says you like what sort of stuff your grandparents lived with--and my mother's lived in a circa 1900 house, while my dad's grew up in a circa 1880s house. I never saw my paternal grandparents as they died before I was born, but visited my mom's parents at least every other week until they died .

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Wow, best turret I've seen in a while, and it doesn't look bad inside at all.

For paint colours you should think mostly about making the best use of the light in each room, rather than strictly matching the woodwork - it will match whatever you want it to.

It is great to have a chance to live in the house before you make major decisions, since you can evaluate what really needs to be done. We didn't have that chance, and so I curse things we did in ignorance, like where we put the electrical outlets, every. single. day.

I imagine you had an inspection done and it really does look to be in good shape, but I would strongly suggest you make sure you stay on top of the infrastructure issues before focussing on the cosmetics. See the concurrent post on this forum about painting before doing electrical :-)

Take notes as you go about your day about how things should be done - storage, electrical, kitchen layout, what have you. Restoring to former glory need not mean restoring to Victorian household standards! (just think chamberpot)

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Check out the Old House Web Forums. You'll get plenty of help and photos there!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:33PM
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What a beautiful house. Gorgeous stair!!
At least they didn't paint your woodwork. ALL our woodwork has been painted white. And repainting it all is a nightmare. Seriously-- if I have to paint one more piece of window trim, door trim, baseboard, spindle, sill... I think I will go nuts.

Our home's previous owner painted every surface he could reach, a different, vibrant color. And by vibrant, I mean blinding. And when I say reach, I mean with scaffolding and extension ladders. He was serious about the paint.

Our front doors are alarmingly purple. The underside of our porch roof is bright orange... and he didn't stop at the doors. Or the porch roof. He did the shutters, the foundation, the trim on the eaves... and that's just the outside.

We buy primer in 5 gallon buckets. The amount of base coat you need to cover neon pink paint is astounding.

Congratulations on your house. Enjoy your dreaming time. Once the projects begin, they never end!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Our 1890 Victorian's scary paint

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Hi Victoria, wow, your home's PO sure did like mind-bending colors :-)

I do sort of like that light-ish blue walls with the swing-out window in white trim. It has a nice "I'm up in the sky" feeling. But going through that neon green to get to it?


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Warning: hijack ahead: Victoria, those colours are mostly fabulous (I'm a fan of the green :-)) You might try grey primer instead of white. It's what you use under red or yellow paints, or others that don't cover well, I think on the basis that light reflects so well off white that it finds it through several layers of some type of pigments. The theory might hold for any colour going OVER those tones.

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Again, I just love those colors. I would not change them.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:54PM
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It's nice to see my house colors in a positive light! I guess color is a funny thing in how it appeals to people differently.

I will definitely look into a grey primer. The white is so sheer, it just takes coat after coat... but it never occurred to me to look at another option.

I too liked the robins-egg-blue color in the small nook. I liked the shade, and how it fit in the room, but we ended up taking out the separating walls and making it one large space, and I couldn't see painting a large room a shade that bright. I guess I'm just boring.

The worst color to me has been the BRIGHT reddish-pink that's pictured behind the piano. The entire foyer, the three-story stairwell, all the hallways, and a small nursery were painted that color. It sucked up all the light. At night, everything was so dark, I couldn't stand it. In the nursery, they even painted the ceiling orange. Which combined with the red-pink... was a bit much.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:36AM
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I don't like the red-pink either, nor those shades of blue, but your comments do reiterate that it should be the light in the room that dictates the colour, as well as the "density" of it (the light reflecting value) - not just taste. Maria Killam's blog used to be very good about all that stuff (more marketing and fluff now, but I think her old posts are still there). (Whew, that brings us back to the original topic!)

As for primer, yes, that was the other thing: it isn't actually primer you want when coverage is your goal, but paint. Primer is for promoting adhesion, and does not provide coverage. I buy mis-tints or use old "oops" purchases for undercoating when I need it - as long as the colour works - and I try to make sure the undercoat I use is reasonably consistent throughout the room. If it has be grey, if you have one small can of a fairly dark grey, you can make almost any paint grey :-)

But always, before you take it to scale: test, test, test.

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:19AM
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We have a much simpler Victorian, but it has very dark, wide woodwork like yours. I have found that rich & warm colors have worked the best, both for my taste and matching the paint to the woodwork. Our family room is a very rich and beautiful beige, the kitchen is a warm and vibrant red, the dining room is a pea green, and the parlor/living room is a bold goldenrod yellow.

We do not believe pastels or light colors would go well with our dark woodwork.

I know Sherwin Williams has a Victorian paint collection.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Wow Jenny, what an awesome house! I love the turret and your stairscase is great. To answer your question, I would leave the woodwork stained as is (unless that's dark paint I'm seeing and not stain?) Your woodwork is almost certainly some type of fine hardwood that was meant to be seen through a stain or varnish, not painted. It's really lovely! Be sure to post photos of your progress, I love seeing other people's projects. :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:33PM
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What an interesting looking house. What year was it built?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

I don't get any pictures, just a Flicker place holder.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Photos aren't working for me either - would love to see!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 2:20PM
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