Victorians are well-loved and have become landmarks for the cities in which they are located. And while styles come and go over the years, the Victorian has sustained its popularity and in recent years has seen a revamp to a more modern interior Victorian aesthetic, while still maintaining many of the beloved historical details.
Fresh approaches to the Victorian interior design style infuse the trending maximalism design aesthetic with theatrical, colorful design, and more modern artwork and lighting so it doesn't feel old-fashioned. However, the historical Victorian decor ethos of more-is-more still reigns with layers of fabrics and textiles including velvet, tufting and fringe, and ornate furnishings, as well a multi-hued exterior and interior color palette. The Beekman Hotel in New York City, NY is a beautiful example of a modern, romanticized Victorian aesthetic in a commercial setting.
Carson Mansion, example of Queen Anne Victorian. Photo Credit: LOSTDOGPHOTOS. OWN WORK, CC BY-SA 3.0
Although Victorian Homes can be categorized by different eras and styles, all have similar distinct exterior features including dramatic cupolas, looming towers, fancy turrets and rounded porches and balustrades and complex exterior color schemes. Interior features include decorative fireplaces, brighter color schemes, stained glass windows, and lots of trimwork throughout.
Brown Victorian Colors
Whether subdued and earthy or bold and energetic, Victorian palettes are quite varied, with the vibrancy and excitement of the paint colors matching the intricacy of details. The traditional Victorian color palette was dark and consisted of dark, rich and deep shades of maroon, red, burgundy, chestnut, dark green, brown and blues. Over time, color palettes became more subdued but contrasts and layers of decorating remained throughout the era. Here are 20 brown colors for Victorian architecture including historically accurate hues from our Then, Now & Forever Collection.
Brown Color Palettes for Victorian Architecture
To highlight the best of Victorian architecture and create a color palette using the color brown, consider these 4 ideas to get you started:
- Exteriors: Historic refresh using a palette of historically-accurate hues. The Bidwell Mansion is an example of the Italianate style of Victorian architecture featuring ornamental cornices, hooded windows, a wrap-around veranda on the second floor, and a two-story tower. The historical color palette consists of yellows and browns throughout.
photo credit: FRANK SCHULENBURG, CC BY-SA 4.0
- Warm, modern Victorian interior. Blending an eclectic range of historic and modern furnishings into a comfortable living arrangement add style and elegance to this space. Warm brown walls balanced against warm white molding details add the finishing touch to this restrained approach to traditional Victorian blending decor from a range of influences.
Walls: DE6117 Colorado Trail. Trim: DE6113 Alpaca Wool.
- Victorian Cottage: This interior blends a relaxed cottage style and infuses Victorian elements throughout as accents for subtle refinedment. The lighter color palette of sage, olive and celadon greens, warm white, rose and yellow, along with a range of brown tones on the furniture and hardwood floors creates a cozy, inviting space to call home.
Walls: DEW318 Cottage White.
- Historic Victorian: This living room in a historic Victorian located in the Angelino Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles boasts historic, original features with a few fresh updates. A warm neutral color scheme can beautifully bring out the details in the room including the hand-painted terra cotta fireplace surround and gorgeous mantel molding details.
Walls: DET668 With the Grain. Trim: DE6063 Black Walnut
To learn more about the historical Victorians critical to the development of the Then, Now & Forever Collection, and read up on the historic Bidwell Mansion and John Muir House. Also, take a tour of a historical landmark in San Francisco and how Dunn-Edwards worked with the Haas-Lilienthal House and Architectural Resources Group to renovate and update the color palette. Finally, learn more about why Art and Craft (DET682) was chosen as our 2022 Color of the Year.