Houses built within the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, from 1837 to 1901, are known as Victorian houses and dwellings in this iconic style of architecture can be found nestled throughout many inner Melbourne suburbs. At Duncan Thompson Extensions, we specialise in bringing these beautiful old homes back to life, giving them a contemporary twist whilst maintaining their historical integrity and character. From stunning high ceilings to elegant detailing, here’s just a few of the wonderful original features that make many people fall in love with these classic period properties.
Elegant Stained Glass
During the Victorian era there was a focus on creating a striking first impression to demonstrate both wealth and status. The entrance hall was a very important part of the home and typically featured exquisite stained glass windows and doors. Stained glass has timeless appeal and when carefully restored, it still creates the same dramatic yet beautiful aesthetic today as it did over a century ago.
Opulent High Ceilings
Like most Victorian architectural design features, high ceilings were another way to showcase wealth. When compared to the lower ceilings of modest cottages nearby, high ceilings were grand and created a spacious and luxurious atmosphere that only the more affluent could afford. High ceilings also encourage natural ventilation, an innovative feature which helped keep houses cooler in summer long before the development of fans and modern cooling systems.
Intricate Cornicing and Ceiling Roses
Cornice, plasterwork and ceiling roses were handmade and very ornate, often featuring flowers, fruit and vines, all of which gave Victorian homes much of their iconic character and beauty. The original purpose of a ceiling rose was to protect the ceiling from the heat and soot of candles or gas lights, however these days, whilst purely decorative, they still provide a beautiful backdrop for lighting fixtures.
Bright and Airy Sash Windows
During the Victorian era, a key moment in architectural history took place – the window tax (a property tax based on the number of windows a house had) was abolished, making windows a much more accessible and affordable design feature. Both bay and large sash windows became synonymous with Victorian dwellings resulting in light and airy rooms, a characteristic that makes later Victorian homes still very appealing.
Statement Fireplaces with Detailed Tiling
Heating throughout the Victorian era was limited, so fireplaces were an essential feature in most rooms. Ornate surrounds and mantle pieces were another way to show off affluence and were usually made from cast iron or limestone, while more extravagant homes featured marble and intricately carved wood. Tiled panels and inserts added a pop of colour and textural element to finish the look.
Are you Considering a Renovation of a Victorian Home?
While Victorian homes feature fine detailing and exceptional architectural features, the floorplan of a traditional Victorian home is often not conducive with modern living. While the front boasts large sitting rooms, the rear is often home to a small and impractical galley kitchen, that lacks the space required to be the hub of family life. However, due to their layout, Victorian homes have excellent extension potential. The original rooms at the front of the house can be left relatively untouched to make impressive large bedrooms, while an addition at the rear can provide a spacious open plan kitchen and living zone which functions perfectly for the contemporary Melbourne lifestyle. There are a multitude of design options available and our team will be happy to discuss these in detail with you.
For a Superior Home Renovation, Melbourne Homeowners Trust Duncan Thompson Extensions
Specialising in extensions and double storey additions throughout Melbourne’s eastern and bayside suburbs, if you are considering home renovations in Brighton or home extensions in Caulfield, we are the local home extension builders who will deliver your home to the highest possible standard. Our highly skilled team will work with you every step of the way to achieve a dream home renovation that far exceeds your expectations. Get in touch with us by calling (03) 9836 8655 or enquire online now.