Victorian Home Renovation: The Rules You Need to Follow

The Balance Between Authenticity and Practicality

What makes Victorian houses so beautiful is their character. With elegant, ornate architecture, beautiful fireplaces and fantastic sash windows, there is so much to work with, but some of these authentic features are not always the most practical. Achieving the right balance between authenticity and practicality is incredibly important.

One way you can do this is with the windows! Victorian properties often have sash windows and while these are gorgeous, they can also be very inefficient and poorly insulated. At the Heritage Window Company, you can have these replaced with sash windows which are just as attractive, but also amazingly efficient when it comes to warmth and security!

Another traditional element which can be made more practical is the classic Victorian flooring choices. This style of property often has exposed wooden floorboards in living areas and tiled floors in hallways. To update the wooden floorboard look, all you need to do is stain the floors to match your décor. Authentic Victorian tiles can be difficult to track down, and expensive if you can find them. If you don’t have the originals or if they are broken, you could opt for Victorian-style tiles which are far cheaper and easier to find than originals.

What Not to Do

When it comes to Victorian properties, as well as these things that you should consider, there are certain things that you definitely should not be doing during the renovation. Victorian homes were built to last, so it would be counterproductive to look for short term solutions to problems. With this type of property, you should always be thinking about the long term.

Another thing you shouldn’t do is to rip out or cover original features of any kind. Unless they are damaged beyond any hope of repair, fireplaces, ornate plasterwork, cornicing, ceiling roses, deep skirting boards or tiles should be left as they are, or you may risk decreasing the value of the house.

As we’ve mentioned, it is important to have a balance between authenticity and practicality, but when it comes to a kitchen, practicality is slightly more important. Don’t try to produce a faithful recreation of a Victorian kitchen – it simply wouldn’t suit the demands of modern living! Instead, take inspiration from Victorian kitchens.

You also shouldn’t plan to extend or alter the house before you know the boundaries of the property and any building restrictions. One of the most popular changes is to knock down walls to maximise space. However, you must make sure your building will be structurally sound without these walls before you get the hammer out.  If it turns out that you can’t knock a whole wall down, consider an archway and/or an internal glass partition that will  add light.

Finishing Touches

Finishing touches can make your whole renovation come together!

Consider adding a Victorian or Victorian style front door, a traditional dado rail or a picture rail. In terms of paint, choose whichever suits you and your home, but know that dark hues are not only very on trend today, but look beautiful in combination with Victorian period features.

A successful renovation should preserve or enhance the original elements of your Victorian property and, while contemporary elements can be incorporated beautifully, it’s important not to have too many. Reproducing original elements like sash windows is an excellent way to go, allowing you to retain the character of your home, while adding some much needed practicality.