What is a Victorian-Style House? Types, History, Characteristics

Last Updated on July 15, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Do you know what a Victorian-style house is? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone! A lot of people are unfamiliar with this type of architecture.

In this blog post, we will discuss what makes a Victorian-style house unique, and some of the most famous examples of this style.

We’ll also provide some tips on how to spot a Victorian-style home when you’re out and about. So if you’re curious about this architectural style, keep reading!

Related: 15+ Different Types Of House Foundations (Materials, Methods): Pros and Cons

What is a Victorian-Style House?

what is victorian house

There are many different styles of homes that were popular during the Victorian era. The Victorian style house is one of the most well-known and easily recognizable styles. These homes are often very ornate, with intricate details and lavish decorations.

Victorian style houses were typically built between 1830 and 1910, during the reign of Queen Victoria in England. This style of architecture became popular in the United States during the same time period.

Victorian style houses are usually two or three stories tall, with a rectangular shape. They often have asymmetrical facades, with bay windows and dormers. The roof is usually steeply pitched and adorned with decorative elements such as gingerbread trim.

History of Victorian-styles houses

The Victorian era was a time of great change in Britain. New technology and industrialisation had led to a growth in population and wealth, and the country was becoming increasingly urbanised. This new way of life resulted in a demand for different types of housing, and the Victorian-style house was born.

Victorian houses were usually built in terraced rows, with each house sharing walls with its neighbours. This was a more efficient way of building, and meant that more houses could be built in a smaller area. The downside was that these houses were often cramped and uncomfortable, as there was little space between them.

The Victorian era saw a huge growth in the number of middle-class families, and this is reflected in the style of housing that was built. Middle-class houses were usually semi-detached, meaning that each house had its own front door and garden. This gave families more privacy and space than a terraced house, and was a sign of their growing wealth.

Today, Victorian-style houses are some of the most popular in Britain. They are often highly sought-after by families who want to live in a historic home with character. Many of these houses have been carefully restored, and are a valuable part of our architectural heritage.

What makes a house Victorian-style?

There are many features that can identify a Victorian-style house.

One of the most commonly recognized features is the use of decorative gingerbread trim. This type of trim was used on homes built during the Victorian era as a way to show off the skill of the carpenter or builder.

Other common features include bay windows, wrap-around porches, and turrets.

Victorian-style homes are often built with a variety of materials including wood, brick, and stone.

Victorian house layouts

The layouts were often very grand and included a variety of different rooms. The number of bedrooms would vary depending on the size of the house, but usually there were at least four.

The living room was typically the largest room in the house and was used for entertaining guests. Other rooms would include a dining room, library, study, and morning room. Servants’ quarters were also usually located on the lower level of the house.

Bricks and tiles in Victorian houses.

victorian style house bricks

There was a time when the most popular house style in England was the Victorian house. These houses were built during the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901. They are characterized by their tall, narrow shape, and by their use of brick and tile as their primary materials.

Brick and tile were both widely available and relatively inexpensive, which made them the perfect choice for Victorian builders. Brick was also seen as a more durable and fire-resistant material than wood, which was an important consideration in a time when houses were often heated by open fires.

Tiles were used both inside and outside of Victorian houses. They were often used to decorate the exterior walls, and were also used to line the fireplaces and chimneys. Tiles were also used to create decorative patterns on floors and walls.

The use of brick and tile in Victorian houses was not just a matter of practicality or economy. These materials were also seen as symbols of progress and modernity. In a time when the Industrial Revolution was changing the face of England, Victorian builders used brick and tile to show that their houses were part of the new era.

Windows and doors in Victorian houses.

The typical Victorian house design features large windows and doors. These were often decorated with stained glass, leaded lights, or other intricate designs. The windows and doors allowed for a lot of natural light to enter the home, which was important during the winter months when days were shorter.

Today, many homeowners are opting for more energy-efficient windows and doors. While these may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the original Victorian designs, they are more practical and can help to reduce your energy bills.

Victorian tiled floors.

There are many different types of Victorian floor tiles, each with their own unique designs and patterns. Many of these tiles were made by hand, and each one is slightly different from the next.

The most common type of tile used in Victorian homes was the encaustic tile, which was made by pressing colored clay into a mold and then firing it in a kiln. These tiles were often used in hallways and on fireplace hearths, as they were very durable and easy to clean.

Other popular types of Victorian floor tiles include mosaic tiles, which were often used in kitchens and bathrooms; patterned tiles, which were used to create intricate designs on floors and walls; and glazed tiles, which were used to add a touch of color to any room.

Victorian exteriors.

From gingerbread trim to painted lady facades, there’s something so romantic about a Victorian home. But what exactly is a Victorian house?

In the United States, the Victorian era loosely corresponds to the years between 1860 and 1900. That said, most Victorians were built between 1870 and 1890. The style became increasingly popular as more and more people moved to cities during the Industrial Revolution.

Victorian architecture is highly detailed and often features elaborate decorations. Common design elements include:

  • Bay windows
  • Ornate trim work
  • turrets or towers
  • asymmetrical facade

Victorian interiors.

There are many features of Victorian interior design that can be identified in today’s homes. The most popular feature is the use of bold colors. This was done to make a statement and to show off the homeowner’s wealth. Other popular features include high ceilings, ornate moldings, and grand staircases.

What were houses like in the Victorian era?

The Victorian era was a time of great change for Britain. New inventions and ideas were transforming the way people lived, and houses were no exception. Gone were the thatched roofs and wattle-and-daub walls of medieval homes; in their place were brick buildings with slate roofs, glass windows, and chimneys.

Inside, Victorian houses were just as different from their predecessors. Furniture was increasingly mass-produced, and homes were filled with newfangled items such as clocks, pianos, and books.

But even with all these changes, houses in the Victorian era still had a few things in common with those of earlier centuries: they were generally cramped and overcrowded, and families often had to share beds.

Related: 41+ Popular Types Of Houses With Names and Photos

Types of Victorian Homes

1. Gothic Revival (1830-1860).

Gothic Revival victorian house

Gothic Revival is a Victorian style that emerged in England in the late 18th century. The style is characterized by its use of pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. Gothic Revival homes were built in a variety of different styles, ranging from modest cottages to grand castles.

The Gothic Revival style was extremely popular in the United States, where it was used for both public and private buildings. Gothic Revival homes were often built with local materials, such as stone or brick.

2. Italiante (1840-1870).

Italiante victorian house
Source: Oldhouses

The Italiante style is characterized by its low and stocky appearance, with thick masonry walls and small windows. This style was popular in the United States during the mid-19th century, and can still be seen in some older homes today.

Other common features of this style include decorative brackets and cornices, as well as a central front door with sidelights and a transom.

The Italiante style was named for its similarity to Italian Renaissance architecture, which was all the rage in Europe during the mid-19th century.

This style is actually a combination of several different European styles, including Gothic and Romanesque. The overall effect is a heavy, formal look that was well suited to the Victorian era.

3. Second Empire (1852-1870).

second empire victorian house

The style is named for the French Second Empire, which was led by Emperor Napoleon III during the mid-19th century. This type of home is characterized by its mansard roof, which has a steep slope and is often adorned with decorative dormers.

These homes also tend to have tall, slender windows and grandiose features such as turrets or bay windows. Second Empire homes were very popular in the United States during the Victorian era, especially in the Northeast.

Today, Second Empire homes are still sought after for their unique style and grandeur.

4. Stick (1860-1890).

The Stick style was a reaction to the ornate and mass-produced elements of the Victorian era. This homes were named for their use of linear “stickwork” on the exterior walls, which was often paired with shingles. The interiors of these homes were usually very simple, with little or no decoration.

5. Eastlake (1868-1890).

These Victorian homes were characterized by their ornate decoration, which often included carved wooden trim on the exterior and interior of the home.

This style was named after Charles Eastlake, who wrote a book called “Hints on Household Taste” that detailed how to achieve this look.

Many Eastlake homes also featured tall, narrow windows and porches with turned posts and spindles.

The Eastlake style was popularized in the United States by architect Alexander Jackson Downing, who wrote a book called “The Architecture of Country Houses” that outlined this new style.

While the Eastlake style was not as common as other Victorian styles, it did leave its mark on the American home.

6. Romanesque Revival (1840-1900).

Also known as the Neo-Grec style, this was a popular home style during the Victorian era. Romanesque Revival homes were characterized by their round arches, thick walls, and small windows. These homes were designed to look like they were built in the Middle Ages.

7. Folk Victorian (1870-1910).

Folk Victorian homes are a mix of vernacular and Victorian styles. They are usually two stories with a gabled roof and an asymmetrical facade. The front porch is often enclosed. Folk Victorians were built throughout the United States, but they are most commonly found in the Midwest and South.

Folk Victorians were built for middle-class families. They were usually constructed of wood, although some brick and stone Folk Victorians can be found.

Folk Victorians are often decorated with elaborate gingerbread trim, spindlework, and Eastlake-style hardware.

8. Queen Anne (1875-1905).

The Queen Anne style was named for England’s Queen Anne, who ruled from 1702 to 1714. This Victorian style combines several older styles, including the Elizabethan half-timbered style and the neoclassical Georgian style.

The typical Queen Anne home has asymmetrical massing, a complex roofline, and a wide variety of textures and colors. These homes often have wrap-around porches and decorative gingerbread trim.

The Queen Anne style was very popular in the United States from 1880 to 1910, especially in the Northeast and California. Many homes built during this time period were mass-produced using pattern books and pre-cut lumber kits. However, there are also many Queen Anne homes that were built by local craftsmen using the same techniques that were used in England.

Queen Anne homes are some of the most recognizable Victorian styles. These homes are usually quite large, and they often have a lot of decorative trim.

9. Shingle (1880-1900).

These homes were characterized by their use of natural materials like wood shingles and stone. They often had a more rustic look than other types of Victorian homes.


What is the difference between Victorian and Edwardian houses?

The main difference between Victorian and Edwardian houses is their age. Victorian houses were built during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), while Edwardian houses were built during the reign of King Edward VII (1901-1911).

Victorian houses are usually larger and more ornate than Edwardian houses. They often have bay windows, high ceilings, and decorative plasterwork. Edwardian houses are more restrained in their decoration, with simple cornices and architraves.

Victorian houses were built during a time of great industrial expansion, while Edwardian houses were built during a time of relative peace and prosperity. As a result, Victorian houses tend to be located in cities and towns, while Edwardian houses are more likely to be found in suburban areas.

The two styles of house also differ in their construction. Victorian houses were built using brick, stone, and timber, while Edwardian houses were built using a mixture of brick and concrete. This difference is most noticeable in the foundations of the houses.

Victorian and Edwardian houses are both iconic styles of British architecture. However, they have many differences, from their age and size to their location and construction. These differences make each type of house unique and special in its own way.

Why are Victorian houses so creepy?

There are a few reasons why Victorian houses may seem creepy to some people. First, the Victorians were known for their love of dark, heavy furniture and decor. This can make a house feel like it is closing in on you.

Additionally, many Victorians loved to collect oddities and curiosities. This means that there may be items in a Victorian house that you cannot identify or that make you feel uncomfortable.

Finally, the Victorians were very concerned with propriety and etiquette. This can make a house feel stuffy and oppressive.

Why do Victorian houses have high ceilings?

It’s a question that’s been asked for centuries, and one that still puzzles historians today.

One theory is that the Victorians were trying to imitate the grandeur of ancient Egyptian tombs. The Egyptians believed that the higher a person’s ceiling was, the closer they would be to the gods in the afterlife. So, by building houses with high ceilings, the Victorians were hoping to achieve a similar effect.

Another theory is that high ceilings were simply a status symbol. The wealthier you were, the more likely you were to have a house with tall ceilings. Not only did it show off your wealth, but it also made your house look more impressive and grand.

Why do Victorian houses have two front doors?

There are a few reasons for this. First, it was a way to show off the family’s wealth. Having two front doors meant that the family could afford to have servants who could open and close the doors for them.

Second, it was a way to keep the heat in. During the winter months, families would huddle around the fire to stay warm. Having two front doors allowed them to keep the heat in and the cold out.

Finally, it was a way to keep the noise out. Victorian houses were often located in busy city streets. Having two front doors meant that the family could have some peace and quiet inside their home.

Other house styles:


In conclusion, a Victorian-style house is a type of home that is characterized by its ornate and intricate design. These homes are typically quite large and often feature multiple stories. If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful home, then a Victorian-style house may be the perfect option for you! Thanks for reading!