Obsessed with Victorian Architecture


I’ve always been obsessed with architecture. I’ve always dreamed of owning my own home someday. And I always wanted it to be a Victorian. I have a passion for older houses. There is something so magnificent and charming about them. They have character and style. Grace and elegance. Mystery and antiquity. The years from 1870 to 1906 produced the bulk of San Francisco and Alameda's Victorian houses. The photo above and below is of Halliwell Manor from the TV series, Charmed. (Yes, I am an obsessive former fan)

The Victorian architectural period spans 1825-1900.


The Victorians drew deeply from history, nature, geometry, theory, and personal inspiration to create their designs. Prior to 1890, designers, though properly trained in the academics of standard architectural systems, still managed to employ their own creative ideas. Prior to 1890, designers, though properly trained in the academics of standard architectural systems, still managed to employ their own creative ideas. The years from 1870 to 1906 produced the bulk of San Francisco and Alameda's Victorian houses.


I love the smell of old wood, the feel of a mahogany banister worn smooth by hands over the years,  and discovering all the tiny intricate architectural details that were handcrafted so long ago like the steeply pitched roofs and arched bay windows. Gables and decorative trusses abound. To me these are works of art not just homes.
The term Victorian did not start out to describe a design, but a time in history. It refers to the years 1837 to 1901 when Queen Victoria ruled in Britain. There are many designs found in Victorian architecture. The three dominant themes are the Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, and Italianate.
My favorite style is the Queen Anne.
The characteristics of architecture in a Queen Anne Victorian are tall, rambling houses with porches that wrap around the width of the frame. In San Francisco and Alameda, California these types of homes can be seen in abundance.
Queen Anne (1870 - 1910)
Queen Anne style residences have gabled roofs, shingles, angled bay windows and sometimes a turret (or tower). It’s open and spacious porch was one of its most striking features. By the end of the 19th century, most Queen Anne homes featured classic Victorian porches adorned with gingerbread trim, brackets, ornate spindles and spandrels, intricate sawn-wood balusters, fluted columns, or turned and painted posts.
Some homes also added cupolas or gazebos to their property. Even the little touches in a Victorian home were meant to project a sense of exoticism and sophistication. Elephant statuettes, hanging ferns, and peacocks embroidered on pillows were not uncommon. Lace doilies, pewter candleholders, enormous chandeliers, and antique dolls also characterize a Victorian home.

All of my novels have at least one Victorian home in them. In my make-believe world, I get to walk the hardwood floors, admire the detailed crown-molding,  sit in a window seat and look out stained-glass windows.

I may never own the home of my dreams, but my characters can...


4 comments

  1. Wow that looks exactly like the Halliwell Manor from Charmed. Is that the place they filmed it? I loved the house from that show.


    Beautiful pictures.

    ~Kayla

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yup, Kayla, it is Halliwell Manor from charmed. Love that house!!

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  3. These houses are so so beautiful! They're definitely my favourite as well.

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  4. If I were to buy a house, I would so want it to be a Victorian one. They are so beautiful and whimsical. I really enjoyed your post and learned a few things. ;)

    -jehara

    ReplyDelete

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