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  • Tamar Marash

How to balance between old and new victorian style

Victorian houses were built to last, and they tend to hold their value. It’s filled with magnificent craftsmanship and cultural history. They are packed full of character with high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms boasting beautiful detailing that bring period charm. With clever additions, an exterior makeover, a rework of their layouts, and clever restoring of the old features, they can make fine homes for the 21st century.

How can we mesh modern interiors into an old home? Alternatively, how can we take our modern home and decorate it with a touch of Victorian charm? How to balance between old and new victorian style?

There are many ways to keep the old victorian charm in our modern houses. It is challenging but possible. Some stylists gave it a name: “The Modern Victorian trend” (Emily Henderson) Old with new, new with old. The idea is to mix an eclectic mix of styles that usually will not fit together to create a unique finished space with the right balance between old and new. How do we do it? here are some examples:

1. Restoring original Architectural Features: coving, plaster moulding, ceiling roses, deep skirting boards, wall panelling - These seemingly small individual details work together to create a look that’s fresh, authentic and refined. All of those decorative elements, especially in high ceiling rooms, if preserved or renewed, will bring the victorian style into the room.

balance between old and new victorian style
Old style victorian room with modern lighting

2. Ornate furniture in a modern space or modern furniture in an ornate space - To gain a balance between old and new, in a modern space, including one heavy piece of furniture like button-back velvet armchairs and ottomans, will transform the look of the space and give it a more traditional victorian look.

To bring warmth, richness, and the overall comfort of a Victorian room into a modern space, we can add a Persian-style rug in rich shades, window treatments, and patterned upholstery.

And the opposite. The entire room can be pretty antique and Victorian, but adding modern and contemporary pieces or a modern light fixture brings it to the 21st century.

balance between old and new victorian style
Balance between old and new victorian style

3. Fireplaces were crucial for the Victorians as they not only heated rooms but were a focal point further emphasised by a large overmantel mirror and plenty of ornaments. The Victorian fireplaces tend to be converted into modern gas or electric fireplace. Keeping the old original fireplace and renewing it will create a beautiful focal point in any room, and the feeling of an old victorian style will be strongly present in the space.

Old and new victorian style
Old and new victorian style

4. Rich, dark tones characterise the Victorian style. These days we tone the colour down for a modern look and add a lighter backdrop. One feature wall can act as a statement in the room - For example, one accent wall with floral wallpaper or dark colour that goes with everything else in the room while being a focal point. This feature wall will instantly bring in a bit of the Modern Victorian vibe.

Old and new victorian style
Old and new victorian style

Photo By: Sköna Hem – Jonas Ingerstedt


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