Victorian Living Room Ideas

klavierDecember 21, 2013

Spent about a year building this living room. It looked great in my mind, and on paper, but now that it is nearing completion, I think the victorian elements may be a bit overwhelming. Any ideas on making the room seem larger? The house is 1904 Baltimore row home with 10ft ceilings. Stained glass, mahogany, and venetian plaster on ceiling (the highlight of the room, but also the part that makes the ceiling seem much lower than it is, and the room very dark). Perhaps a different wall color, and as a last resort, painting the wood work white. I think the biggest problem was the size of the mouldings used. The trim is too large. Also right now the room is packed full of furniture and stuff. I think getting rid of a couch, and cleaning out everything on and around the piano may help as well.

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I am SOOOO not a decoration maven, but the furniture looks out of scale to me. You have a long, narrow room, and that large sofa and loveseat end up functioning kind of like half-walls. I wouldn't have any sofa seating at all; I'd go for chairs that can be arranged as needed. I would also unblock all of the windows; is there somewhere else the Christmas tree could go? (Well, that's not permanent anyway.) But what is in front of the window, next to the piano and Christmas tree? :-) If it's a person just lifting the curtain to see outside, then forget I said anything, LOL, but otherwise, move it! You have also, as you say, simply got too much furniture in that small space.

Maybe less furniture, smaller scaled, with more see-through (on legs rather than going down to the floor) would help. For example, this rather than this. (I don't want to put the pictures up here; they're not my copyright.)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Hello Vjrnts,
Thank you for the input. My wife had suggested chairs as opposed to couches. I must concede that she was right. I very much like the options you suggested. We did have big fancy curtains, but the space is just too narrow. I think perhaps I may have to go with blinds.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 2:34PM
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I think it is the way you have arranged the furniture. I would remove one couch and add chairs, or arrange the couches differently and see if that works.

Here is a link that might be useful: Long Narrow Living Room

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Well....I hate to say this (due to the work involved) but I think it would look so much better if the trim were the ceiling panels.

If you did that, then you would have a rich, warm room. Right now, the ceiling seems out of place in what seems to be a shabby-chic room. Maybe something more like this? :)

From 1920s kitchen project

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 8:59PM
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It's difficult for me to see the space -- lighter photos and from additional angles would help. In fact, removing everything other than sofas (for scale) would help a lot to see what you have to work with as far as furniture arrangement goes.

It looks like the tall cabinet between the windows is a built-in, but if it could move to the wall where TV is currently, it would be great. Is there a mantle and fireplace near the xmas tree, and a lovely high window on each end? Looks like maybe the newel post for a staircase near one of the sofas?

Will you continue the crown molding into the foyer? To me it looks odd to limit it to one room. Also, the crown molding on the tall cabinet seems like it should be the same color as the crown for the room.

I would suggest that you paint the dark woodwork the same white as the rest of you trim (I know, I know...) and keep the venetian plaster and ceiling colors very close. For me (admittedly not a Victorian), the contrast lowers the ceiling rather than accenting it in a harmonious way.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Sophie Wheeler

More lights. Smaller scale furniture. And your centerpiece ceiling treatment is floating in the middle of the room without any relationship to anything else in the room. It's not a coffered treatment. It's not a ceiling medallion. It's just applied molding in the middle of the room. It needs to be connected to the crown somehow. It also appears that the room is partially open to another room? But there's no separation at the ceiling level to demarcate the transition between the two Perhaps a header and cased opening would do that and would tie the ceiling treatment in with the home as a whole.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

I'd be glad to take that pink/peach sofa off your hands! There! I helped!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 8:25PM
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I would get rid of the cactus that should be in a home in Arizona, not Baltimore. Remove the thing on the ceiling and the toy storage, and the TV on the wall with the cord hanging down. Clear out and simplify the space. Less is better.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:14PM
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1904 - I think you have more of an Edwardian than a Victorian house, the style was a bit more simple and had fewer elements.

I agree about the southwestern cactus being out of place, also the flat screen TV could be hidden, especially those hanging wires. I'm not sure what that ceiling element is but its dark color just brings down the height of the room and dominates it without adding much.

This is a nice room, but tough to decorate because the long narrow footprint works against the idea of Victorian over-furnishing. Go a bit more Edwardian and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 8:01PM
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