Why Were Victorian Rooms Very Dark In Color

The Impact of Victorian Style on Room Color

The Victorians loved dark colors in their rooms – a reflection of the era’s values of privacy and luxury. Rich fabrics like silk and velvet added texture and drama, whilst wallpaper often featured intricate patterns or nature scenes. Gas lighting created a warm amber hue, making dark shades even more desirable.

Today, designers can use these influences to bring a timeless, opulent look to their spaces. But why did Victorians opt for black? To hide the stains from all the corpses they were hiding! Embrace the elegance of the past – or miss out on a chance to infuse your home decor with history and sophistication.

Why Were Victorian Rooms Dark in Color?

The color scheme of Victorian rooms was much darker than modern interiors. This was to create a luxurious, grand atmosphere with opulent fabrics, ornate furniture, and elaborate decorations. Plus, artificial lighting was not common back then, so darker colors were the only option for dim rooms.

Industrialization also rose during this era, causing polluted air and soot accumulation. Thus, lighter colors would easily be discolored and need frequent cleaning. Darker tones, however, could hide dirt and wear better.

Color symbolism was also very important then. Deep reds and greens symbolized wealth, while pastels were considered less classy.

It’s essential to understand darkness for Victorian design. Modern trends have moved away from this style but it still has an alluring, luxurious feel. Incorporate classic elements like dark colors, plush fabrics, and intricate accents to emulate a Victorian interior. Why go for boring beige when you can bask in the darkness of a Victorian room?

Factors Influencing Victorian Room Color Choice

Influencing Room Color Choice during the Victorian Era was a complex process that involved various factors. These factors were carefully considered to ensure that the room would reflect the taste, status, and personality of the owner.

  • Class and Status: During the Victorian Era, social status played an important role in color choice. Rich and powerful elites preferred rich colors such as deep red and purple.
  • Availability of Color Pigments: The availability of color pigments was a significant factor in color choice during the Victorian era. This was due to the high cost of obtaining and importing rare pigments from exotic locations.
  • Mood and Emotion: The Victorian era was characterized by a fascination with emotional depth and extremes. Therefore, colors were chosen to capture the different moods and emotions of the room occupants.
  • Cultural Heritage: Another factor that influenced Victorian room color choice was the cultural heritage of the owners. Cultural traditions and symbolisms were often represented through the color choices used in decorating.
  • Functional Considerations: Lastly, the functional considerations of the room, such as lighting, also played a crucial role in color selection. Darker colors were often used in rooms with low natural light such as the library room.

It is noteworthy that during the Victorian era, color choice was not arbitrary but was guided by the principles of harmony, balance, and aesthetics. These principles were used to create a room that was both beautiful and functional simultaneously.

A Pro Tip for modern decorators seeking to create the Victorian Era aesthetic in their rooms would be to select colors that complement the room’s functionality and purpose while still capturing the desired emotional depth.

Brace yourself, we’re about to delve into the materials that made Victorian rooms resemble a dramatic funeral parlor.

Available Materials

When discussing ‘Available Materials’ for Victorian room colors, it’s important to consider the availability of materials to achieve certain shades and hues. We can illustrate the options in a Table, such as paint types, pigments and wallpaper patterns, each with its own unique qualities.

Remember that some materials may be limited depending on your location and time period. For instance, arsenic-laced green paint is no longer available due to safety concerns.

So, research carefully and choose the appropriate materials for your desired Victorian room colors. Take your time and make the right decision for a stunning result in your home décor project.

Even back in the Victorian era, one’s choice of room color was seen as a status symbol – sorry peasants, beige is not the new black.

Social Status

Victorians used room colors to show their social status. Wealthy families chose warm hues, like crimson and gold. Middle-class individuals went for more subtle blues and greens.

Color selection depended on wealth, education, occupation, and lifestyle. Lawyers and doctors preferred dark reds or deep greens; businessmen liked yellows and oranges.

It wasn’t just walls that mattered. Furniture and decorations also showed status. As John Cornforth explains in Design for Living: A History of Domestic Interiors 1700-1960, “Colors that indicated rank or role became ‘appropriate’ to that role“.

So, if you want to transport yourself back to the 19th century, room colors are the way to go!

Technology and Cultural Influences

Victorian room colors were influenced by tech and culture. Dye tech advances meant certain hues were available and affordable. Plus, Romanticism and interest in historical styles also had a role. Popular hues included burgundy, deep greens, and dark blues – all evoking luxury. Gender roles played a part too. But, it’s important to note that individual taste was the final say.

Societal views on status were an interesting factor. Bold and rich colors were seen as a sign of wealth and were highly desirable. Queen Victoria’s preference for royal purple and Wedgwood blue also increased their popularity.

Ultimately, tech, culture, individual taste, and societal values shaped Victorian room color choices. It was all about boldness and beauty – go too subtle, you may as well not paint at all!

Popular Colors in Victorian Interior Design

Victorian Interior Design was characterized by a set of popular colors that were dominant during the era. These colors were carefully picked to give the rooms a luxurious look.

  • The most popular color was Dark Red, also known as Burgundy, which was used in upholstery, walls, and curtains.
  • Deep Green was the second most popular color, which was often paired with Gold accents to create an opulent atmosphere in the room.
  • Dark Blue was also used, but mostly as an accent color to break the monotony of the other colors present.
  • Earthy tones like mustard and brown were used extensively in fabrics and wallpapers for a warm and comfortable feel in the room.
  • Yellow was another color used in the Victorian era, but it was often paired with other colors rather than used as the main color.
  • Black was another popular color, but it was used sparingly to highlight the other colors in the room, creating a perfect balance.

Decorative patterns were an essential part of Victorian design, and they were often used to create a luxurious and elegant look. Florals, stripes, and geometric patterns were commonly used in fabrics, carpets, and wallpapers to provide depth and texture to the room.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to relive the opulence of the Victorian period in your own home. Incorporating the popular colors of the Victorian era into your interior design creates a timeless and sophisticated look. Act now to transform your space and experience the elegance of the Victorian period. The only thing brighter than a Victorian room painted in red or burgundy was the look on your face when you saw the bill for all that expensive dye.

Reds and Burgundies

Reds and burgundies are a pivotal part of Victorian interior design. These hues add passion, depth and elegance to the room. They can be used in curtains, furniture, rugs or paint.

Color Symbolism
Crimson Red Dignity and Royalty
Burgundy Refinement and Elegance
Scarlet Red Romance and Passion

To get an impactful look, pair these colors with neutral palettes. This contrast will be the focus of the room. Gold accents, such as brass, bronze or gold leaf, can also be used to boost opulence. Textiles with embroidery, metallic threads and velvet fabrics create a warm yet sophisticated air.

For a modern twist, combine deep reds with beige or eggshell whites. Place brass candlesticks or picture frames to accentuate those reddish hues. Upholstered chairs against a light wall create contrasting layers for a premium ambiance. Victorians also embraced Olive Greens and Mustards for a little spice.

Olive Greens and Mustards

Discover the tones of nature found in Victorian design. Olive greens and mustard hues create a rustic ambience while being trendy. These colors were used in plush wallpapers for a bold statement. Trims and embroidery on cushions and draperies provided richness with these shades. Crown molding or woodwork painted in these hues separated the living spaces.

The olive greens and mustards, paired with ivory, beige, and cream tones, give definition without overpowering the space. Metallics, like brass and bronze, add glamour to rustic styles.

In the 1850s-1875, during Queen Victoria’s reign, the upper class favored these elements in manors for their eccentricity. This color combination was used extensively by interior designers for its matchless contributions. Experience the luxurious depths of Victorian interior design with deep blues and purples.

Deep Blues and Purples

The Victorians were known for their bold use of colour in interior design. Indigo, sapphire and amethyst hues were popular during this period. These shades were used for upholstery, wall coverings and drapes.

Victorians thought that deep blues and purples gave a room a luxurious feel and a peaceful atmosphere. Today, these hues are still seen in lots of modern interiors.

The advantage of blues and purples was that they hid dust and dirt well. It allowed homeowners to go longer between cleaning.

Fun Fact: Queen Victoria loved purple so much, it even had a shade named after her – “Royal Purple”! Victorian rooms were also full of patterns and textures.

Use of Pattern and Texture in Victorian Rooms

In Victorian Rooms, the usage of Various Patterns and Textures for interior designing was quite predominant. These design elements were incorporated in the form of intricate wallpaper designs, embroidered upholstery pieces, and plush carpets.

  • Patterns and textures were used to create a rich and luxurious atmosphere in the room.
  • The designs were often inspired by nature and showcased intricate details such as floral patterns, vines, and leave motifs.
  • The textures varied from soft and plush to rough and coarse, providing an interesting contrast to the eye.

Interestingly, the designers of Victorian Rooms believed in the concept of layering, where pattern and texture were layered to create a dynamic and multidimensional visual experience. This approach brought about a depth and richness that enhanced the entire look and feel of the room.

It’s not hard to understand why this design style is timeless and has continued to inspire designers for centuries. If you’re looking to incorporate pattern and texture in your home décor, take inspiration from Victorian Rooms and experiment with layering and incorporating various textures and patterns to create a visually engaging space. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your home décor with these design techniques.

If you think Victorian rooms were dark, you should see the fabrics they used – they make goth clothing look cheerful.


Victorian interiors had a unique richness and depth from the intricate weaving of materials. Not only was it used for furnishings, but also as wall coverings and drapery. Patterns such as florals and stripes were popular and added elegance. Texture was vital too – from plush velvet to rugged tweed. Contrasting textures were often used together – like polished hardwood floors and Persian rugs.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II spent an incredible $1 million on fabrics when he hired Jules Allard to decorate his Fifth Avenue mansion in 1882. This illustrates how important textiles were in creating the lavish atmosphere of these grand homes. Wallpaper can also bring depth and texture to a Victorian room.


Wallpaper was a popular choice for Victorian Rooms, with intricate designs and patterns printed onto paper and applied to surfaces. Some featured detailed scenes or flora and fauna. Others showed off bold, repeating motifs. Metallic finishes and embossed textures could be added for extra visual appeal.

Other materials were used too. Experimenting with colors, patterns and materials can make a room more interesting.

Gothic designs are still popular among home decorators. They can transform interiors with beautiful patterns and ornamentation. The intricate woodwork of Victorian Rooms shows why these decorative touches are still so desirable.


The woodwork with its intricate carvings epitomizes the grandeur of Victorian-inspired decor.

Facts to know:

  • Layered designs on the surface, with raised or molded elements, adds depth and dimension.
  • Oak, mahogany and walnut can be used, each with their own unique grain tones.
  • Commonly found in archways, door frames, wainscoting and window casings.
  • Patterns derived from nature and geometric shapes such as ovals and squares.
  • Darker wood stains, with a glossy topcoat for durability.
  • Skillful craftsmanship essential for detailed work.

Gothic influence lends an ethereal aura to interiors, unique to other periods’ designs.

100+ years later, contemporary designs still use woodwork details to make a statement.

Interestingly, when Queen Victoria asked what would happen if she died while sitting for her portrait; Sir Samuel Lawrence knew precisely how to ease her worry. His wit & calming presence ultimately created an iconic image. Victorian interior design: the perfect way to welcome guests into your home.

Legacy of Victorian Interior Design

Victorian interior design is known for its opulence and grandeur. Its lavishness has left a lasting impression on the world of home décor. This era was a time of industrial expansion, so styles combined. Old-world charm mixed with new tech gave a unique aesthetic that still inspires designers.

Rich colors, heavy window treatments, ornate furniture, and wallpaper patterns are part of the legacy of Victorian interior design. Dark colors, like browns, reds, greens, and blues, were used in wall coverings to show richness and sophistication. High ceilings with plasterwork, tiled floors with geometric designs, and fancy fireplaces also featured in these homes.

Gas lamps were popular during this time, but produced weak light. This meant books were printed in large font sizes due to the poor light at night. Charles Dickens had over 20 clocks in his house, all set differently. He warned guests not to rely on the clocks too much, as time varied from clock to clock!