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Book Fetish

Design Your Own Victorian Manor Reading Room

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The Victorian era is one of my favorite historical periods. Set between the years of 1837 and 1901, during the long reign of Queen Victoria, it marked a time of enormous transformation that shook the foundations of the world.  The tumultuous political landscape led not only to global change, but also to a real wealth of literature that even today is considered some of the best in history. It led to a décor style that continues to set trends today, too: ornate, luxurious, with a terminal case of horror vacui. Let’s put it this way: minimalist is not the name of the game when it comes to Victorian style.

A Victorian manor doesn’t do subtle. Think elaborate wallpapers, rich colors, chintz tapestry, carved furniture in dark wood, oil paintings in gilded frames. Few of us would like to decorate our home completely in the Victorian style today: for one thing, the manors’ size and high ceilings were the one thing that kept them from looking hopelessly cramped; for another, keeping the sheer amount of stuff in them clean required a full time cleaning staff. However, if you would like to incorporate small touches of Victorian décor in your own home to build the reading room of your dreams? Keep reading.

Let's Cover Those Walls

a living room with beige patterned wallpaper

It's not a Victorian manor without patterned wallpaper. This beautiful removable wallpaper remains subdued thanks to its beige color. $56+

living room with bookcase wallpaper

Have you always dreamed of a library like the ones in Beauty and the Beast or Downton Abbey? Perhaps the actual thing is out of your budget for now, but you can imitate the look with this bookshelf wallpaper. $56+

Tapestry is a Must

Handmade chair cushions

The Victorian penchant for all chintz all the time is too much for modern tastes, but a good floral design remains beautiful and timeless. These handmade chair cushions give just the right touch. $16+

Victorian blue toile, area rug

For the Victorians, beauty ought to go all the way down to the ground. This gorgeous blue toile area rug will bring that same beauty to your own floors. $33,70

Light the Way

vintage style candleholder

No self-respecting Victorian manor lacked candlesticks. This beautiful zinc option will make you feel like you're in a Brontë novel. Wife in the attic not included. $65+

Art, Art, and More Art

Printable gallery wall

Most of us don't have the kind of money to invest in an art collection. But a Victorian manor without art? Perish the thought. This printable vintage gallery wall will help you achieve prime Victorian manor-ness. $12

Vintage picture frames

You can't have a Victorian gallery wall without vintage picture frames. $13+ each

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Two golden mirrors of different sizes

Is it truly a Victorian manor without at least one ornate wall mirror where you can see ghosts? Disclaimer: these mirrors come ghost-free. It's up to you to decide whether that's a good or a bad thing. $40+

Time for Tea

Chintz tea set

To the Victorians, tea time was an event in and of itself. This stunning chintz tea set will make you feel like you're a guest of Queen Victoria's. $100

The True Art of Letter-Writing

Vintage stationery set

If there's a group of people who wrote a lot of letters, the Victorians were it. There was something ceremonial about letter-writing. I'm grateful to live in a time of emails and texting, but I do wish we wrote more letters today. This stationery set provides the perfect ambiance for you to take up this habit. $14


Are you interested in more things Victorian? There you go.