How To Decorate a Victorian Home - Interior Design House & Decor Tips

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How To Decorate a Victorian Home

15th April 2021

Victorian properties are beautifully unique, full of character and open to a world of design possibilities. Sturdy, well-built and full of lofty ceilings and large windows, they make the dream home for anyone, especially when it’s a renovation project and you can see your transformations and visions come to life! Within the interior design world, there is always modernisation, new trends, new interior mouldings, styles and design details, and often owners of Victorian homes are continuously on the lookout for how to bring their home into the 21st century whilst maintaining an element of their home’s original grandeur. We’ve got some top tips on how to freshen up the style of your interior whilst emulating its original, most enviable features. 

Top Design Tips 

There are plenty of ways to recreate, redesign and change up your interior. We’ve listed some simple yet effective tips that will give your interior that long lasting design look and finish. 

1. Victorian Cornicing

Ornate cornicing is a principal feature of Victorian house decor. These decorative touches around the ceiling edge are one of the most iconic design elements within Victorian homes. If your interior boasts original cornicing, we’d recommend restoring these, or if you’d prefer a design change, add something new. We’ve got some beautiful ornate cornicing available to complement your Victorian architecture. 

As Victorian properties tend to have bay windows, we’d recommend the addition of standard cornicing in order to bend round your curved windows, covering imperfections whilst creating seamless transitions between the walls and ceilings. Our first recommendation would be our C219 Newcastle Victorian cornice with a delicate acanthus leaf design. Acanthus leaf designs are commonly found in Victorian properties; therefore this design allows you to emulate the era and history of your property through your interior design detail. 

C219 Victorian cornice and coving

C219 Newcastle leaf decorative cornice


On the other hand, if you’d prefer to change up your interior with more simplistic, yet elegant detailing, we’d suggest our C217 Cornice. With a swan’s neck and plain ovolo shaped moulding at the top and bottom, this design will complement any decor and curve beautifully around bay windows. This is one of our best sellers due to its traditional class and style. 

C217 plain curved coving

C217 flexible coving for curved walls


2. Dado Rails 

Once your elegant cornicing is in place, you’ll need to make sure it gets the attention it deserves. And we’ve got some tricks that will draw your guests’ eyes up those never-ending Victorian walls. Dado rails will help break up the blank spaces, complement the architecture and high ceilings, whilst providing your room’s interior with an elegant and decorative finish. 

We’d recommend breaking up the wall colours by adding a new colour above the dado rail, an accent colour or dark shade which would instantly give your walls character. Plus, they immediately take your eyes skyward as you’re drawn to the design and colour. Or you could simply keep the colour scheme the same, paint over the dado rail and create a continuous and consistent look. With that in mind, we’ve got some fantastic dado rail mouldings to give your Victorian interior that WOW factor! 

Our P4025 Autorie dado rail is a chunky design that features a sculptured profile making it perfect for traditional styled homes. It is multi-functional, it can be used as a simple dado rail, a ceiling astragal or used to create a simple yet effective wall panel design. Additionally, it’s a flexible moulding therefore it can bend round curved walls and bay windows. 

Orac P4025_panel_moulding


Alternatively, we’d recommend our timeless DX119 large dado rail which is perfect for traditional properties with high ceilings. Again, this design is multifunctional, as its chunky profile can be used to create a picture rail, door architrave or skirting board. If used as a skirting profile, it would create a unique and classic high skirting design.  

3. High Ceiling Features

With high ceilings being a staple feature of Victorian homes, we’d recommend dressing your ceilings with a touch of vintage glamour and authenticity with an ornate ceiling rose. The majority of properties built in the Victorian era all spotlighted a decorative ceiling rose in order to mirror the overall style and tradition of their homes. Here at Wm Boyle, we offer a range of beautiful lightweight ceiling roses that would perfectly complement your interior through their intricacy and aesthetic. 

For example, our R23 decorative ceiling rose boasts an acanthus leaf, egg and dart design pattern, making it perfect for all traditional Victorian homes. This particular design is also available in a smaller size, affording you the option of design consistency throughout your interior.  

decorative ceiling rose


Another option could be our large R64 decorative ceiling rose which features floral swings, bows and leaves. Perfect for all Victorian properties, especially when featured in formal rooms.


4. Make Fireplaces A Feature 

Victorian fireplaces are the ultimate home feature for all period properties. A distinguishing feature, fireplaces can create a striking focal point amidst your interior, radiating both warmth and elegance. Especially in the chill of the winter months and the dark nights, the warmth of red, orange and yellow flames provides both comfort and a great design aesthetic. 

Our Glasgow Fireplace Showroom offers a wide selection of beautiful designs and styles, perfect for all properties. The Asquith Limestone Fireplace is a timeless design, perfect for Victorian homes through its elegance, soft curves and tall mantelpiece. A cast iron insert or stove would blend perfectly within this limestone fire surround. 


Stoves are a beautiful addition to any interior. From our collection, we’d suggest an Esse Stove to further complement your home. Esse have manufactured both multi-fuel and gas stoves in various styles to ensure they have a design that will blend into your interior. The choice of design and style is yours, whether you stick to a traditional looking stove or take the plunge, give your interior a new look with a modern stove. We’d be happy to help you decide which style of stove would best suit your home and your design aspirations! 


5. Statement Wall Panelling Features

Walls themselves can also be the main feature of Victorian homes and not just because of their never ending height. Decorative wall finishes, wainscoting panels, and tongue and groove designs are a great way to add dimension and drama to your home’s interior. 

Our W120 Autorie wall panel is the perfect addition to any Victorian home. This panel creates instant depth. Whether it’s installed in the hallway, living room, dining room or formal bedroom, this design complements the Victorian character and ambience. 

Orac W120 and W121 wall panel

Orac W120 and W121 wall panel


Victorian Home Features

As well as some top tips we’d also like to give you some background on the main features which can be found in Victorian homes.

The most recognisable and defining external features of Victorian properties include beautiful porchways, stained glass doorways, sash windows and multicoloured brickwork. On the inside, it’s often the high ceilings that grab people’s attention first. But you should also pay special attention to the other interior mouldings including cornicing, panelling and ceiling roses as these designs make a Victorian home elegant. Orac have various lightweight interior mouldings that would perfectly match your existing interior or give your interior a new look!  

The Victorian era in Britain seen the industrial revolution and introduced many changes to society, including the spread of wealth, which impacted the way homes were constructed. The wake of the industrial revolution meant that houses became more accessible and affordable to the rising middle class, which created a growing demand for new housing. The Victorian era is also characterised by rows of terraced housing within narrow streets. The Victorian property style was influenced by the renaissance and Gothic revival movement, with properties featuring unique characteristics including bay windows, stained glass doorways, high ceilings, sash windows, ornamental stonework and multicoloured brickwork. Victorian homes are visually and beautifully unique, full of character and open to a world of interior design opportunities. We have some top tips on how to style and emulate the architecture of your Victorian property through the installation of various lightweight products.

Boasting high ceilings, the addition of a ceiling rose is the perfect way to add a touch of vintage glamour or authenticity to a Victorian property. From modest terraces to the grandest villas, the Victorian era seen the majority of properties spotlighting ornate or decorative ceiling roses to emulate the overall style of their home. Wm Boyle offers a range of lightweight ceiling roses that will complement your home’s interior through their aesthetic and intricate designs.

Our R23 Lightweight Decorative Ceiling Rose affords an acanthus leaf and egg and dart design pattern, making it ideal for Victorian properties with ceilings of at least 2.7m high. This ceiling rose is also available in a smaller version affording you design consistency throughout the entirety of your property, even in smaller rooms.

decorative ceiling rose

R23 Lightweight ceiling rose

On the other hand, we would also recommend our R64 Large Decorative Ceiling Rose which features floral swings, bows and leaves. This is our largest rose design which complements Victorian styled properties with formal rooms and high ceilings.  Once installed you cannot distinguish between this lightweight design and a plaster ceiling design, the authenticity and intricacy are beautiful.

Large decorative ceiling rose

R64 ceiling rose

Victorian bay windows are recognised for their ability to create aesthetic accents and allow ample light to enter the room space thus illuminating the room’s interior during daylight. To complement the existing architecture, we would recommend the addition of flexible coving or cornices to bend round your curved bay window, covering cracks or creating seamless transitions between the walls and ceilings. From ornate to simplistic designs, we offer a range of styles to suit your interior aspirations. For Victorian properties, we would recommend a more simplistic yet elegant design- C217 Flexible Cornice. Its swans’ neck, plain shape with ovolo moulding at the top and bottom will complement any décor, and curve seamlessly across bay windows. This is a bestseller within our flexible and bendy collection as it works perfectly within grand Victorian properties as well as modern new builds.

C217 plain curved coving

C217 flexible coving for curved walls

Another way to emulate the tradition, the era and design of your Victorian property is through the addition of an ornate fireplace or fire surround to create warmth and aesthetic to your living room. Our Glasgow Fireplace Showroom offers a wide selection of designs and styles to suit all property styles including Victorian homes. The addition of our Asquith Limestone Fireplace would perfectly suit the interior and architecture of your Victorian home through its elegance, soft curves and tall mantelpiece. This is a classic fireplace design and a cast iron insert or stove blends effortlessly within its surround.

Stoves are becoming really populating, allowing you a taste of both modern and period. We would recommend purchasing an Esse Stove to complement your Victorian property. Esse manufacture a beautiful selection of multi-fuel and gas stoves in all styles to ensure the perfect stove to blend into your existing interior. The choice of style and design is yours whether you adhere to your existing Victorian architecture or venture towards a new modern look and feel. We are happy to help you decide on the perfect stove at our Glasgow Showroom.

Esse stoves Glasgow

The style of a Victorian property can also be enhanced through the addition of wall panels to re-capture its era and architecture. Our sculpted W120 Autoire Wall Panel will help you create instant wall depth. Whether used in hallways, living rooms or dining areas, this design resonates the Victorian character and ambience.

Orac W120 wall panel

Orac W120 wall panel

On the other hand, we would also recommend the installation of our sculpted D504 Rectangular Raised Wall Panel. This panelling can be positioned between a dado rail and skirting board in order to create a classic Wainscoting design. Wainscoting is perfect for Victorian homes and for decorating long and narrow hallways, offering a touch of detail and elegance.

D504 raised door panel

Victorian properties would also benefit from the addition of skirting boards to create flawless ceiling to floor transitions. Wm Boyle’s collection of Victorian styled skirting boards will emulate the style and elegance of your existing interior. Our SX118 Skirting Board is the perfect design with a plain ogee profile that will add charm and sophistication to your Victorian home. A dado rail would also be the ideal addition to your Victorian period property by adding a touch of elegant decor to your interior. Our P4025 Autorie Dado Rail is a chunky design that boasts a sculpted profile making it perfect for a Victorian build.

skirting boards

SX118 Orac lightweight skirting

P4025 panel moulding and dado rail

P4025 panel moulding and dado rail













As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enhance your interior no matter whether it’s emulating the Victorian era or freshening up your interior with a modern twist. We hope that by following our top design tips for Victorian properties this will give your home charm, character and consistent aesthetic. 

The design and décor of your interior is personal to you, but we are happy to point you in the right direction to suit your existing décor. We offer a range of beautiful lightweight interior products which will give you the design finish you’ve always dreamed of.

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