Victorian Style House: 19th Century Gothic Returns

The Victorian style house is making comeback. Big windows, steeply pitched roofs, narrow staircases, and welcoming porches, it’s all part of the 19th century style. Recently, Victorian style homes have been been in high-demand as new homeowners enjoy thier historical features.

If you’re not familiar with Victorian style architecture, you’ll want to stay with us. We’ll show you the latest Victorian home designs and what makes the homes special. 

victorian house

Large trees will shade the front yard, kept and overgrown flower beds alike. The homes were designed for large families. Today, one home could be divided into eight living units.

Victorian House Styles For 2022

Homes built between 1840 and 1900 are called Victorian due to the time period but depending on the style, they also have another subcategory. There are ten of these subcategories for Victorian homes so let’s peruse them one at a time. 

Victorian House Styles – Renovations

Here are a few examples of how Victorian style homes have been preserved over the years.

Gothic Revival

Victorian house in AspenView in gallery

They collaborated with studio CCY Architects and the goal was to add a music room. The design that they came up with features a perforated metal facade.

Gabled Roofs

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

The Victorian house built in Aspen, Colorado is from the 1880s. It’s a standalone structure with a design similar to that of the original house. It has a gabled roof and similarly-sized windows the element that sets it apart is the facade with lets light filter in on three sides.

Low Roofs

The Coach House - London ExtensionView in gallery

Somewhere in New Cross, London there’s a very peculiar little building which was designed by studio Selencky Parsons

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A slender structure nestled between two existing houses and it occupies a small site that used to be a parking space for carriages during the Victorian era. The design is inspired by that of the neighboring houses, with a brick facade.

The tall and narrow front section extends at the back and opens into an L-shaped living area with access to a garden.

Industrial Revolution Victorian Home

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The strategy here was not to renovate an original structure but rather to build on top of it. We’re talking about a modern extension on top of a former Victorian warehouse located in London.

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It’s a project completed by Simon Conder Associates. The extension features a style very different from that of the existing warehouse but it fits into the context of the industrial area that surrounds it.

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It’s tall, minimalist and black and its exterior walls are made of lightweight, super-insulated timber panels.

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Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

The elements were prefabricated off-site and then transported and installed here in sections which helped to reduce the construction time and the disruption on the site.

Toronto

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Another amazing Victorian house from Toronto has been transformed by studio +tongtong.

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The architects focused a lot on using natural materials and creating a light-filled interior. They used grey and black zinc panels to add a contemporary vibe to the design and introduced large windows and extensive glazing on the street-facing facade.

Victorian Medieval Architecture

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An old and dilapidated Victorian house from Birmingham, England was recently renovated and also extended by studio Intervention Architecture.

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The goal of this project was to transform the building into a place that can be used both as a home and a workspace. 

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The biggest challenge was making the interior look and feel spacious and bright. 

Victorian Architecture

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Here’s not just one but two Victorian houses in England that were transformed a few years ago. The project was conducted by studio Delvendahl Martin Architects and aimed to connect two semi-detached houses in order to create a large family home.

Interior Architectural Style

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The new design preserved much of the original elements and adds a series of modern elements to it.

Narrow Stairwell

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An interior design feature of Victorian architecture is the narrow staircase. Another feature is how the homes are three stories tall. The large central space which has full-height windows and an open floor plan. This extension was built using brick and glass and connects the two sides of the building giving it asymmetrical look.

Sleepy Pitched Roofs

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This project in set in San Francisco where studio Edmonds + Lee worked on the refurbishment and expansion of a gable house originally built in 1908.

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The building is situated on a long and narrow site which made it challenging to expand the existing floor plan and to create large and open spaces.

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Throughout the transformation, the exterior of the house at the front remained pretty much intact, only getting a new coat of paint. At the back, however, a new volume was added.

It houses a series of new rooms connected by a staircase. The new interior design is minimalist, modern and infused with lots of bright colors neutral finishes.

Uk Victorian Style

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A Victorian house from London was refurbished and extended by Simon Astridge.

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The project aimed to reveal some of the original design and architecture elements of the existing house.

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 Simple materials and finishes were used throughout which puts more emphasis on the house as a whole rather than individual details. 

UK Victorian Schoolhouse 

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This project is  from Jonathan Dunn Architects. They were asked to work on a Victorian school building and to transform it into a cinema.

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The structure is located in Rye, England and the new name that it was given is The Kino. It’s now a space that hosts live theatre events, ballet, opera, screenings of films, sports events and other cool things. In addition to transforming the existing school building, the architects also added an extension at the back.

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It’s a gallery space designed to serve as a space for art exhibitions. Both the interior and exterior of the building went through changes. On the outside, the architects repaired the original red brickwork and roof tiles and they used timber cladding for the extension as a way to set it apart.

Refurbishment and remodelling by architecture studio Haptic

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Studio Haptic also worked on an amazing project which was set in London.

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The task was to renovate and expand a semi-detached Victorian house. There are two new extensions and one is placed in the garden and adds a new open-space kitchen and dining area.

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The other is a guest area and clad with untreated larch wood that has a gray patina. Their interiors are bright and airy, featuring large skylights and white walls and ceilings.

Amazing Victorian Style Homes 

Here are a few examples of Victorian home architecture.

Victorian Cottage c. 1890s

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As you can see, it has a modern and very stylish interior and that’s because studio All & Nxthing did a complete remodel and transformed the whole place.

 

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Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery
Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

They aimed to create a new layout and also to extend the original dilapidated cottage but to keep its spirit and original character alive. Exposed beams, concrete floors and a wood-burning fireplace create a cozy atmosphere while also blending the old and the new in a pleasant manner.

Victorian farmhouse in Georgia

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery
Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Another inspiring transformation was done by studio Living Stone Design + Build. The stone stairs and wooden Dutch door highlight the front entrance porch. 

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They renovated a Victorian farmhouse located in Atlanta, Georgia, a beautiful structure on two levels with a lot of charm and character.

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The design is a mix of old and new details using a combination of materials that suits both the original style and the new look.

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Inside the décor and ambiance are very warm and cozy with a big emphasis being placed on texture.

Noe Valley Victorian Home

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This Victorian home from San Francisco was given a makeover by studio Feldman Architecture

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The goal was to preserve and respect the original character of the building.

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At the same time, the architects aimed to refresh and add a modern touch to the house, to make it brighter and more airy as well as practical.

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A few modifications were made to the interior. A series of internal walls were removed in order to create an open social area comprised of the kitchen, dining area and family room.

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This space also has access to a deck and sliding doors easily connect the indoor and outdoor areas.

Small Victorian home Decor

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That can make them feel very dark in comparison. This is one of the issues tackled by studio Robson Rak Architects.

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Many old Victorian houses have beautiful designs but their interiors are not as bright and open as many modern and contemporary homes do.

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When working on the renovation of this Victorian house from Melbourne they created a new floor plan.

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The floor plan is open and airy, while a glass wall in the back serves as a natural light source.

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The house is small and only measures 150 square meters which makes these changes that much more beneficial.

Jewellery Box Extension 

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This example example is from Michael Collins Architect.

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Adding extensions to old structures is always challenging.

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Blending the old with the new is difficult and sometimes a strong contrast between the styles can look both refreshing and interesting.  

Italianate Style

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Heading the front of the Victorian era were the Italianate style homes. Inspired by the villas of Italy, these houses had low roofs with wide eaves. Some of the more traditional homes had towering columns or posts on the front porch and almost always, you could find ornamental brackets tucked against the eaves.

If you got really lucky, your Italianate home would have a tower off the top, whispering of the forgone Italian belvedere. A house like this would expect you to serve bread and cheese at every meal, preferably on the veranda.

Gothic Revival Style

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Around the same time period, the Gothic Revival style was also popular.

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Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Architects drew from Medieval styles like pointed windows, towers and decorative details. Some of these homes looked like miniature castles, worthy of Count Dracula himself.

And while you can find homes in this style, you can easily find Gothic Revival churches. Famous buildings like Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City and Trinity Church in Boston are all wonderful examples of the style.

Queen Anne Homes

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The thing with Queen Annes is how they have big porches and bay windows.

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Remember that house in the old neighborhood that you practically drooled over? It was probably a Queen Anne style home. These stately houses were popularized in the 1870’s by Scottish architect Norman Shaw. Deep sprawling porches invited you to sit for some lemonade in the summertime. 

Folk Style

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The vast majority of houses in America’s historic neighborhoods can be categorized as Folk style.

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The architects took a classic farmhouse and added Victorian elements from other styles to make it fit with the time period.

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You’ll usually find the large windows, borrowed from the Gothic Revival. Maybe you’ll get some fancy woodwork, inspired by an Eastlake. 

Shingle Style

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Victorian Cape Cod
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Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Other Victorian styles include shingle homes. They were built in coastal areas and served as weekend escapes. Covered in shingles, these dwellings made an austere appearance but they were more informal than your average neighborhood Victorian. 

Stick Style Houses

Stick Style houses feature heavy exterior wood trim and tall windows. The style emerged in the late 19th century.

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The Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, New Jersey is a classic Victorian style house. Notice the large stick brackets on the front porch. 

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The Howard and Kate Mather house is in Galveston, Texas. This Victorian style house features half-timbered bay windows that look like a Swiss chalet. 

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If regular trim wasn’t enough, by the 1890’s, architects were using wood to create patterns and designs on the exterior of a Victorian home. Called stickwork, the style was created to mimic the half timbered Tudor homes of the time. Usually you wouldn’t just find a grid though. 

Mansard Style

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

While a first glance might tell you it’s an Italianate style house, you’ll quickly change your mind if you look up. Mansard style houses all got their label from the roof. 

Richardsonian Style

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Located in Chicago, this Historic Landmark Greystone was renovated in 2015. Featuring reclaimed brick pavers and Magnolia trees, this Victorian style house is a testament to the architectural style. The steeply pitched roofs are a feature of gothic revival homes. 

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

When they needed a scary house in the old films, they would often find themselves a Richardsonian style home to work with. These big houses built from stone resembled tiny castles. 

Eastlake Style

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J. Milton Carson House

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This is a classic example of the Queen Anne style.

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Another style that blurred the lines of Victorian homes is the Eastlake style home. Invented by Charles Eastlake, this style is all about the details. Fancy woodwork around the porch of a Victorian house. Pattern at the eaves and spindle supports.

Octagonal Style

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

Victorian stick green trimView in gallery

The Octagon House in Watertown, Wisconsin has defining features include rounded towers and tall, narrow windows. 

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In the mid 1850’s, architects were building eight sided homes, the octagonal style. For some reason, it was assumed that an eight sided home would give the interior better light and ventilation. 

FAQs

What Is A Small Victorian House Called?

Folk Victorians emerged after small homes started featuring elements of Victorian architecture. The homes were decorated with pre-fabricated decor. Folk Victorian homes rely on an easy floor plan rather that the complex architectural elements indicative of the era.

Are Victorian Homes Expensive?

A typical Victorian home is a little cheaper upfront, but the cost to maintain it is more expensive than a regular home. The maintenance that comes with owning a Victorian home is turn-off for some homebuyers. If you don’t have the extra money, then don’t do it.

Which US City Has The Most Victorian Houses?

In the US, Old Louisville, Kentucky, has the most Victorian houses nationwide. The suburb was founded in the 1870s, and was almost 50 city blocks long.

What Was Victorian Architecture Inspired By?

The Victorian style borrows heavily from Gothic architecture. It also infuses European and Egyptian style elements. 

Why Are Victorian Stairs So Dangerous?

Staircases in Victorian homes are narrow and steep, and often uneven steps. A Victorian style house feature three stories, which means three flights of narrow stairs. The pointed arches are another hazard that make the homes dangerous.

Victorian Style House Conclusion

A typical Victorian home will feature Romanesque revival style architecture. In the US, some homes feature mansard roofs. Also, a few defining features include gabled roofs, rounded towers, and large windows.

Some say that it was the uniqueness of the Queen Anne style that kickstarted the Arts and Crafts Movement. It might be why architects used the style on public buildings like churches, hospitals and museums.

Everything about the time period has a lavish style that was carried over to the US. Often, the homes will have a porch that wraps around the entire house and you have to admit, an eight sided house gives you twice as much opportunity for landscaping.