If you're trying to decorate your bedroom with Victorian-era appeal, then you'll need to pay close attention to the furniture that you choose. Furniture that shows Victorian styles may not be specifically labeled or marketed as "Victorian furniture," so it's important to know what features and qualities to look for in each piece. Use the following guide to ensure the pieces you choose properly embody Victorian style.
During the Victorian era, four-poster beds were the norm. Look for one that is made from solid hardwood, rather than metal, as this is more authentic. Mahogany was a common wood used in the Victorian era, but an oak or maple four-poster bed will still look right at home in your Victorian-style bedroom.
When you shop for a four-poster bed, you will have to purchase the curtains that enclose it separately from the rest of the bed. To ensure the most authentic appearance, look for long curtains that are neutral in color with plenty of scallops or lace on the borders. Curtains featuring a delicate flower pattern will also fit in nicely with Victorian style.
The Dressers and Chests
Hanging clothing was not yet popular in the Victorian era, so steer clear of any clothing storage furniture with hanging racks. Look instead for standard chests of drawers and horizontal chests. Those made from dark-stained hardwood with plenty of embellished carving on the legs and corners are the most era-appropriate. A lot of Victorian-style dressers and chests feature very detailed metal hardware, often made from brass.
Horizontal chests are typically placed at the foot of the bed, so keep this in mind when choosing a chest. You will want one that is slightly shorter in length than the width of your bed in order to create the proper sense of proportionality.
Many larger Victorian bedrooms featured a sofa or chaise-style lounge, so if there is room in your bedroom, you may wish to include one of these. Look for a piece with carved wooden legs and tufted upholstery. Those with velvet or velour upholstery are particularly in line with Victorian style. Keep in mind that furniture from this era was not nearly as padded as today's modern pieces. A sofa or chaise that looks at all over-stuffed won't give off the proper vibe for a Victorian bedroom.
The Vanity Table
Victorian bedrooms often contained what is known as a vanity table -- a small, simple table that was used to hold perfumes and other toiletries. For this purpose, you just need to find a small, four-footed table with either a round or square top. Avoid anything with drawers or shelves, as simplicity is the key here. A table made from the same wood as your bed would be ideal, since the vanity table is often kept near the bed in lieu of a traditional night stand.
In order to complete the look of your Victorian bedroom, it's essential that you have the right furnishing accessories. One thing found in most all Victorian bedrooms was an ornate rug to protect the feet from the chill of the hardwood floor. Look for one with an intricate floral pattern, perhaps with plenty of burgundy and cream, as these were common color choices of the era.
A chandelier can also add a fine touch to your Victorian-era bedroom. Look for one with wrought iron arms and upright-facing shades around each of the bulbs. One that takes candelabra bulbs will prove to be exceedingly stunning with its authentic appearance.
Finally, make sure you choose the proper drapes. In the Victorian era, simple panels with ruffles or lace along the edges were popular. Match them to your rug for a well-balanced appearance.
A Victorian-style bedroom can look incredibly stunning, as long as you're careful to choose the proper furnishings. Keep the above tips in mind, and you'll be headed in the right direction. You can also talk to a professional furniture company like Haynes Furniture for help selecting the right furniture.