Perhaps the most recognizable of American homes, the Victorian was more than just a home style, it represented the sentiment of the Victorian Era and the sense of newness and optimism of the time. Spanning from around 1840 to 1910, the Victorian Era was born out of the monumental advancements taking place in America. The rise in industry had driven people to the cities and the urban lifestyle began. The Victorian lifestyle placed great emphasis on society, etiquette, culture and fashion. A rise in appreciation and indulgence in music, drama, opera and literature defined this new society.
Victorian Era architectural style varied dramatically beginning with the Gothic Revival around 1840; however, most recognized as Victorians are the Queen Anne (1880 to 1910) and the Folk Victorian (1870 to 1910). Considered very modern and in vogue, the Victorian home experimented with innovative blends of architectural details and use of color. With the rise in the industrial revolution and the expanded railroad network came the ability to mass produce architectural elements such as spindles, “gingerbread” trim, brackets and decorative shingles.
Gothic Revival architecture, fueled by an increased knowledge of the Middle Ages, flourished in the early 1800s. It incorporated features indicative of “gothic” churches with their steep gables and pointed windows. The Queen Anne style was perhaps the most elaborate with an innovative combination of decorative architectural elements. They were almost always asymmetrical in shape with steep roofs, front-facing gables, wrap-around porches, towers, turrets, decorative shingles, brackets, spindles, bay windows and gingerbread trim.
The most ubiquitous of the styles is the Folk Victorian, which retained many of the decorative details of the Queen Anne, but with a less ornate façade. They were square and symmetrical in shape and incorporated brackets under the eaves, porches with spindle work, gingerbread trim, bay windows, parlors, large porches and octagonal towers.
Victorians offer endless opportunities for renovation with their milieu of decorative features. Exterior Portfolio™ by Crane provides a variety of design elements in a wide range of colors and styles that allow you to create your own innovative look such as: