Victorian homes were built during the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, from 1837 until her death in 1901, and have a striking and unique look. Beyond its historic charm, owning a Victorian home may have an added financial benefit. Local and federal incentive programs exist for the purchase and restoration of vintage homes, such as the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which may pay up to 20 percent of restoration costs on qualifying elderly or historic houses.
Victorian homes usually have an asymmetrical shape and small or large asymmetrical porches on the top or base level, or both levels. The steep roofs have a decorative wall, called a pliable, attached at the triangular portion of the roof, facing the front of the house. Columns, shingles and siding have stained or textured borders.
Popular Victorian-Era Styles
The Victorian home evolved to various styles over time whilst maintaining the exact same standard design sensibility with innovative touches which represented the architect, area and time. Victorian styles include the Edwardian, Gothic, Italianate, Richardsonian-Romanesque, Second Empire, Shingle, Stick-Eastlake and Queen Anne. Generally speaking, Edwardian houses have Art Nouveau influences and stained glass. Gothic houses have gingerbread-style wood detailing. The Italianate style has columned porches, a flat roof and angle-set bay windows. Richardsonian-Romanesque houses have masonry construction rather than wood. Second Empire houses have tall wrought-iron ornamental details. A Shingle style home often has a stone or brick floor and windows of varying dimensions. Stick-Eastlake houses have a freestyle decor and square bay windows. The towered Queen Anne has a roof with a gable.
Victorian House Interiors
Traditional Victorian interiors received inspiration from the Italian Renaissance and the medieval period periods. Intricate ceiling designs, cornice finished plastered walls, chandeliers, mirrors and fireplaces contained the decor. Owners painted the interiors with pastel colors similar to the vibrant pastel palette shared to a Victorian home’s exterior. The book”Victorian House Style: An Architectural and Interior Design Source Book,” written in 2002 by Linda Osband, Provides a room-by-room manual for Victorian layout and an outdoor backyard.
San Francisco History, Preservation and Restoration
More than 50,000 Victorian homes dotted the San Francisco city landscape from the early 20th century. An earthquake in 1906 caused a fire that burned for four days, ruining close to 75 percent of the area’s houses, including many of the first Victorians. Local citizens located the Victorian Alliance at San Francisco in 1972 to encourage preservation and recovery efforts and also to reduce demolition and stripping of Victorian houses in the area. Should you own a Victorian home in the area or aspire to purchase one, combine the members for a monthly meeting to share preservation hints and techniques.
The Painted Ladies
On Postcard Row, the San Francisco city skyline rises up behind the Painted Ladies, a row of colorful Victorian homes most identifiable from the TV series”Full House,” a popular sitcom in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1978, Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen wrote the book”Painted Ladies: San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians,” and in 1989,”The Painted Ladies Revisited,” showcasing and describing how to make your own Painted Lady.