Victorian style houses refer to a historical period as much as a style of architecture. Queen Victoria became the monarch of Britain in 1837 when she was eighteen years old and lived until 1901. She held the throne longer than any other Queen or King in Britain's history. It is during the time of her rein that the history of Victorian style houses starts.
Common Characteristics of Victorian Houses
If one word were to come to mind when thinking about Victorian homes, the word would be "decorative." Their roofs are typically pitched steeply and reach different heights. Most of the homes have large bay windows in the front. The facades of the homes' exterior extend asymmetrically to give the houses different levels of depth, creating a look appealing to the eye. Victorians usually also have porches in the front.
Victorian Style Houses
There are several variations on the Victorian home style theme. One such variation is the Italianate style, based on villas in Northern Italy. Unlike other styles of Victorian homes, Italianate houses have flat roofs and are boxier in appearance than other Victorian style houses. This style maintains the asymmetrical façade of other Victorian homes. However, these houses look like side by side rectangular boxes rather than the combination of rectangles, squares and triangles that typify other Victorian style houses.
Another type of Victorian is the Queen Ann, probably the most recognized of all of the Victorian style houses. This is the house that is painted in several bright colors and may have a jumble of turrets on top along with projecting bay windows. The designs of Queen Ann houses can almost appear gerrymandered, although they were actually designed to look that way.
The stick style Victorian house is characterized by the use of small planks of food placed horizontally, vertically or diagonally across the façade of the exterior. In addition, these homes may have huge overhanging porches on the second story.
All of the old Victorian home styles were designed by professionals and built for the wealthy except for one, the folk Victorian. Folk Victorians might combine features of other Victorian styles to create a different kind of jumble that still holds together visually. These houses are charming.
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