The 19th Century was something of a golden age for British interior design and architecture, and it’s a testament to the quality workmanship of the era that so many Victorian houses are still standing today. Very few have their original wallpapers, but designs in the Victorian style are extremely popular.
The great thing about period properties is their versatility. Unlike newer, more modern houses and apartments, original 19th Century homes give you a greater opportunity to experiment with styles, allowing you to opt for a contemporary look or something more in keeping with the property’s age and heritage.
In recent years there has been a revival of interest in classic 19th Century décor, and a great many designers have responded to this with Victorian wallpaper designs that echo the aesthetic of the age. Here are four of our favourites:
Taking its name from a Royal Borough, there’s definitely something a little regal about this design, with its handsome motif of hand-drawn flowers in a soft, watercolour shade of green, with metallic detail grey leaves.
If green, grey and cream aren’t to your tastes, you’ll be pleased to know Kensington
comes in a variety of colours, including red, grey and beige, grey and white, grey and blue, and – for an ultra-modern touch – white and grey flowers against a vibrant yellow background.
Strictly speaking, this beautiful wallpaper was inspired chiefly by a design from 18th Century France, but we’re willing to bend the rules a little because it really is an exceptional choice, and one which has a genuine antique feel to it.
showcases a gentle and flowing motif of gorgeously illustrated blue and pink flowers, birds and butterflies against a pale blue background, typical of the Victorian designers’ interest in the natural world.
Another very contemporary take on a Victorian-style classic, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s suggestively-named Kinky Vintage
wallpaper features a stylised arabesque floral pattern in black flock against a dark grey background.
For a real taste of Victorian wallpaper opulence there are few designs more luxuriant than Palais
, a damask wallpaper featuring a classic, stylised floral pattern in autumnal shades of chocolate and black against a textured, silk-effect background. This gorgeous design is fit for a palace and every bit as regal as its name suggests!