Victorian Style Architecture: Innovation and Excess

Victorian Architecture

The Dramatic "Carson House"

The Victorian Era spans from early 1820 to about 1900—roughly the years of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901). The Victorian Era is known for being an age of innovation and wealth: photography was invented, Darwinism was founded, Neptune was discovered, and woman writers gained public attention. Despite being an era of prosperity, living conditions did not necessarily improve universally. Coal mines were at large, the Irish potato famine struck, and the US suffered the Civil War to name a few. Culture has adopted and developed many Victorian innovations, like photography and home electricity, but the lasting image of the Victorian era is in its excessive architecture style.

The beginning of Victorian style architecture is difficult to date accurately because the neo-gothic style predates it so closely. The gothic influence on Victorian homes is plain. It draws upon the ornate, busy-looking exteriors of gothic structures. But the design extends farther than that—there are key visual cues that separate the exterior of Victorian homes from others, to name a few:

Architecture of Victorian Era

Note the Turret and Geometric Construction of this House


  • Ornate facades, unlike colonials
  • Gabled roofs
  • Reject the colonial style of symmetry
  • Most are 2-story, sometimes 3
  • Most have roofed porches
  • A turret with a spire attached—the defining image of Victorian homes


The interior of Victorian homes are typically as decorated and ornamental as the outside—reflecting the lavish economic climate at the time. Rooms were often built very far from each other—giving the homeowners a sense of privacy. Eventually, the Victorian style fell out of favor in part because homeowners sought a more personal and close feel with their families—something Victorian houses cannot offer. Among others, Victorian interiors are most well know for:

Victorian Interior

Lavish Decoration


  • Excessive ornamentation
  • Rich, dark colors like ruby red or forest green
  • Rooms crowded with furniture
  • Fireplaces filled with dry flowers (I don’t understand it either)

Atlas Signs and Plaques works to accommodate owners of all styles of houses. If you are a Victorian homeowner seeking a sign for your Victorian house then look no further—our Classic Arch Address Plaque is the absolute best matching Victorian sign that we offer. The design is not as lavish as most Victorian homes—but the arch in the middle of the sign is very indicative and reflective of the Victorian style—a perfect match.

Arch Sign

A Great Compliment to Any Victorian Home

A victorian example of arcitechture

Many Victorians Resemble Castles

Like most movements, the Victorian style was rejected by architectural critics but was loved by the public consumer. It’s easy to see why—Victorian homes have a deep beauty to them. They command a striking sense of awe and wonder simply by their appearance. If every house has at least 1 mystery, a Victorian has 3.

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