Designing Porch Railings with Victorian Style
Victorian style porch railings are one of the most fun and ornate ways to dress up a house. The Victorian style refers to the period of Victoria’s reign as queen of England. When designing with this style in mind, think opulent. Today, there are many acceptable variations on Victorian style for porch railings. The use of different materials, patterns and colors give a sense of sophistication and elegance to your home. This type of porch railing is best suited for a home with existing Victorian Style architecture.
Hard wood, usually oak, and iron are the most common materials used for Victorian style porch railings. Wood should be treated and painted before installation, then sealed afterward to insure durability against the elements. Iron is an excellent choice for managing design and maintenance. Weather resistant cellular PVC is a very popular alternative. Cellular PVC material may have a slightly higher purchase cost than iron or most wood; however, future maintenance savings make the expenditure well advised. All of these materials will give you the look you desire. The choice is solely based on personal preference.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Victorian Style is the added details. Porch railings consist of newel posts that are generally curved, resembling soft serve ice cream, balusters have well crafted stencil cut openings, and often corners are filled with triangular shaped patterns. Fleur-de-lis is one of the most famous patterns from this era. Many porch railings of this style extend to the ceiling, allowing the addition of archway panels referred to as spandrels. The fine details can be mixed and matched. The wraparound porch, usually on the front and side of a house, provides the most space to use many different combinations of added details.
Color plays a big part in the authentic look of Victorian Style porch railings. A safe choice is Victorian white, a soft white often referred to as oyster. Brilliant White was not available until WWII thus it is not a good choice for this design. Iron railings do not need to be black; dark blue, red and chocolate brown are very acceptable colors. Hidden green, as it has been referred to, was one of the most used colors of porch railings during the Victorian era. The railings were painted green to blend in with the foliage. Bronzing is also a popular finish for very majestic homes. The most outstanding porch rail painting is done with a combination of colors, as an example, 3 colors can be used on 1 baluster. Typically red, dark blue and gold are used to allow the design of the each rail piece to stand out.
No matter what personal choices you make when designing your Victorian Style porch railing, it is sure to give all of your family and friends a warm inviting feeling.