How to Decorate a Victorian Style Bedroom

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Large graph paper for floor plan
Color swatches
Patterned fabric samples
Wallpaper samples

Flowered fabrics, wallpaper, and modestly covered tables are the hallmarks of a Victorian style bedroom. The tips below will guide you toward creating your own Victorian decor in your bedroom.

Step 1: Decide How Authentic Your Victorian Bedroom Will Be

If you want to go for historic accuracy in your Victorian style bedroom, take out modern vertical and rolled blinds, chrome lamps, metal-framed mirrors, and broadloom carpeting. For Victorian ambiance with modern comforts, you can replace the window coverings and bedspread, and add some Axminster, dhurrie or Oriental area rugs. A wall canopy behind the bed adds wonderful Victorian flavor, and is simple and inexpensive to install.

Step 2: Measure Carefully and Draw a Floor Plan

Measure your room carefully to be sure you have room for all the furniture and drapery you want to include. Measure meticulously for flowered wallpaper, because you must match up the pattern on these papers perfectly when hanging it.

Step 3: Choose Your Upholstery, Wall Coverings, Linens and Drapes

Soft, sun-faded colors represent the Victorian period. Choose dusty rose, faded blue, subtle yellow or olive green as your main color, with cream trim instead of white. Find upholstery fabric in large flower patterns for comfy stuffed chairs and ottomans. Find a combined floral and stripe pattern for wallpaper, much smaller in scale than the upholstery. Choose textured drapery in a soft solid, subtle stripe or brocade if you decide on flowered wallpaper. Add cream or white lace or net sheer panels to windows for privacy, with velvet or silk tiebacks on the main panels. If you decide on a wall canopy for your bed, buy enough fabric to make a matching bedspread. Drape your bedside tables in floor-length tablecloths in a complementary pastel solid shade. Your bed should be a massive piece in dark oak or walnut, or choose a highly polished brass bed with railed head and footboards.

Step 4: Furniture

Dark walnut and mahogany are the trademark woods for Victorian style furniture. Choose curved and ornate dressers and chairs with turned legs, and elaborately carved arms and backs, and brass hardware. Round or oval tables are best, in wood, wicker or bamboo. Hunt for a vintage armoire that will fit your TV and stereo system at antique sales and auctions. For real Victorian ambiance, put as much furniture into the room as will fit. Victorian style is the polar opposite of minimalism.

Step 5: Lighting and Accessories

Place cream or pastel-colored ginger-jar lamps with porcelain or ceramic bases on tables, each atop a finely crocheted doily. Ask older family members to share some of their doilies with you. Don't forget to conceal the electric lamp cords. Ornate wall sconces that look like candlesticks are also suitable for a Victorian style bedroom. Also place crocheted doilies over upholstered chair backs. Add shadow boxes and narrow wall shelves to hold small trinkets and figurines, popular Victorian decorating motifs. Other wall art can include sets of botanical prints, including flowers, herbs or tree types. Place pillows and cushions everywhere. They should have tassels, ruffles, ribbons, or braided edging.