The History of Victorian Homes


The middle-class demand for suitable homes away from inner cities brought the suburb and, with it, a massive building boom took place during the Victorian age. Because of the Industrial Revolution and its increase in manufacturing on a large scale, Victorians wanted large, lavish homes.


  • The term "Victorian" does not refer to an architectural style but to the era during which the home was built, namely the period during Queen Victoria's reign, from 1837 to 1901.


  • Victorian homes were built with some or all of the following features: an asymmetrical facade; textured shingles; a steeply pitched, irregularly shaped roof; and a one-story porch.

Social Status

  • Victorians took home design very seriously, as proper etiquette dictated. The more elaborate the home, the greater the owner's wealth and social standing.


  • There are a variety of Victorian home styles, including Gothic Revival, Italianate, Stick, Second Empire and Queen Anne. The most popular was Queen Anne, with its steep gabled roofs, elaborate gingerbread trim, bay windows and circular towers. These were painted in multiple colors, which gave rise to the term "painted ladies."


  • The interiors of these regal homes were just as elaborate as their exteriors, with intricately carved woodwork, decorative tiles, stained glass and ornate furnishings.

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  • Photo Credit Photo Courtesy of Cathy Smith
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