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Iron Beds in Victorian Decor

         Todays interior designers have a keen sense of what elements go into effectively acheiving a Victorian decor.

         Clearly the furniture and items in a room go a long way in acheiving the look and feel you’re striving for. One of the more preferred and sought after original antiques to acheive such a look, are the old antique iron beds. Even though many furniture items shout Victorian…….few were produced only during the Victorian Era.

         There are a variety of elements that go into a well rounded Victorian decor. But there are four primary things that will help insure your success in achieving the look you’re going for.

         The first consideration in attaining a rich Victorian setting is “Romanticism”. It should pervade nearly every aspect of your design plan. When looking at old vintage photo’s of Victorian rooms, a fixed theme always emerges…….. luxurious fabrics, opulence, sensuously carved furnishings, an abundance of overstuffed pillows with ornately detailed fringe,………….. a cozy warmth. The eye is constantly discovering, in a true Victorian room. Current observers sometimes see the abundance of “stuff”, in Victorian rooms as “clutter”. But in the 1800’s abundance and “clutter” were a sign of prosperity and comfort.

        The second item consider with regard to every element of Victorian design has to be “Color”. In considering appropriate colors , there is a term you should learn….. Tertiary. A Tertiary color is one that is created by mixing equal amounts of primary and secondary colors. This leads to rich warm tones that have a tendency to give more relevance to walls, material, rugs, window treatments etc. There are no Primary Colors utilised in Victorian decor. It would have been regarded as tacky and in poor taste. Surprisigly enough, the rich warm dark tones most homes of the Victorian Period had, had a more deep seeded sensible side to them………At that period of time in our history the major manner with which to heat a house was coal. No matter what strides were taken to curtail the “soot” and coal dust from overtaking a homes interiors, it was a constant effort to minimize the results. Warm rich colors helped “maskmask” the effects of the coal. Another issue that was minimized by making use of warm colors were the stains from oil and gas lamps that supplied most of the light in Victorian homes. Few people know there was a practical side to the beautiful colors used throughout the Victorian Period.

        A third thing to employ with for an all round Victorian experience, was “Opulence”.  The dictionary defines Opulence as ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish, a garish display of prosperity. The term of “more is better” was coined in this era. The trick for the middle class, was to achieve the same look, yet devoid of the same expense. This was done by using less expensive components and by companies that produced the items to produce them more in mass numbers than individual hand made items, that the affluent class were drawn to. “Abundance” seemed to be the catch phrase for this school of thought.

        The fourth and final thing to look at, which many people ignor, to round out a Victorian setting are your option of “Patterns”. Every little thing from th wallpaper to the curtains and window treatments to the carpets and bed dressings and to the furniture…….had distinctive patterns. There were no straight Geometric lines to anything. Furniture was carved and “fluted”, iron beds were scrolled and lacy looking with curved patterns. Extreme hard angles and straight lines would not become popular until the Industrial Age ushered in a new more smooth way to design.

         So there you have it………follow these four elements that make up Victorian style and you’ll not only be historically correct……..but also Romantically prepared.


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