If you have a home built sometime between 1860 and 1900, it is most likely in the Victorian style. Victorian design and architecture was a style that arose in the mid to late 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria, and in the US encompassed several different styles such as Gothic, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Shingle style towards the end of the Victorian period, to name a few.
In looking at Victorian interiors, some of the most common design elements of these homes are rooms that are very separated from each other, often based on purpose (common areas vs. private). Heavily detailed woodwork and plasterwork, elaborate accessories, including furniture, framed art, window treatments, and decorative accessories, are also hallmarks of Victorian construction.
For today’s homes, much of this elaborate detail wouldn’t work for a lot of people and can also feel a bit old fashioned. But you can absolutely update your own Victorian home’s entry foyer with a more modern feeling, yet respecting the architectural roots.
Victorian Lighting Applications
I love this foyer. The pendant fixture feels modern and up to date, however it has lines that perfectly compliment the leaded detail of the restored glass sidelights around the door.
They’ve gone a bit more traditional with the classic lantern pendant fixture and coordinating sconces. Incorporating sconces if you can will add to the brightness of some of these smaller Victorian entries.
Victorian Foyer Lighting Options
Pendant / Chandelier Options
Victorian homes commonly had at least 9’ ceiling heights, so having a small lantern or chandelier in your foyer would certainly work. I believe in mixing old with new, so you don’t have to be afraid to lean towards modern fixtures. Of course, if everything else in the space has traditional lines, you’re best to keep with that feel.
Cyan Designs “Vertigo” in Silver Leaf - $658.00
Quoizel “Biltmore” in Imperial Bronze with Aged Copper accents - $370.00
Crystorama “Paris Market” in Venetian Bronze with clear
If you prefer to do something closer to the ceiling, a semi flush is a great choice. These still offer some drop, but eliminate stems or chain. And again, it can really be traditional, or a little more fun and modern.
You really do have a lot of options for lighting a Victorian. Take advantage of the ceiling height, and get creative mixing and matching styles!
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