Characteristics of Victorian Style Homes

When you think of Victorian style homes, you probably imagine a Queen Anne home, complete with elaborate trim painted in a contrasting color and stained-glass windows. Victorian homes were built to impress, and they are still impressive today. The following characteristics are typically found in a Victorian style home:

Narrow and Tall
Most Victorian houses are narrow, which allowed these impressive beauties to be built on a small amount of land. They were often close to other Victorian homes, usually near the center of town. What these houses lack in width they make up for in height; a typical Victorian is three stories tall and perched on a full-size basement.

Because the Victorian was built to impress, intricate or grand entrances were usually constructed. These stairways usually lead to wrap-around front porches adorned with turned wood or wrought iron railings.

Towers and Turrets
These unique rooms could be studies, bedrooms or libraries. They give Victorian homes a castle feel and recall the Gothic mansions that inspired early Victorian designs. Because these houses were often three or even four stories tall, these turrets can be quite impressive.

Decorative Trim
Although the trim was mass-produced, there were several different styles and designs. Everything from Italianate egg-and-dart molding to carved Gothic Revivial fascia can be found on a Victorian home. It's not at all unusual to find Queen Anne, Gothic and Italianate elements all on the same house, as the goal was to create something unique and unusual. According to Victorian design rules, the trim should painted a distinctly different color than the siding for emphasis. In most cases, three to five different colors of paint were used: one for the house, and the rest for the trim.

Bay Windows
Large windows, sometimes filled with stained glass or topped with stained glass panels, are a common feature in Victorian houses. These bays can either be walk-out versions or have a built-in bench.

Asymmetrical House Design
Victorian era architects loved the challenge of varied roof lines and asymmetrical designs. The houses were made to be individual and unique. Even if the basic design of a group of houses is the same, you can expect to find unique window styles and architectural details that give each house its own personality.

Classic Victorian homes have wrap-around porches with intricate trim and tiny balconies or crow's nests on the upper floors. Some of these porches, balconies and crow's nests were functional, but some were just for show. Nothing was too extravagant for a Victorian home.

Finding Victorian Homes
Where can you find Victorian-style homes? You can find at least one of two Victorian style homes in most urban areas, but some cities have more than others. The Old West End, a famous neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio, has having the most Victorian style homes in the United States. San Francisco is also known for its beautiful, restored Victorian homes. Savannah, Georgia is a lovely city to visit and explore, as its many Victorian homes are located on charming squares with interesting gardens and sculptures, making it a fabulous place to visit. If you explore these cities, you will find Victorian bed and breakfasts that are perfect for an elegant stay.

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