Popular Styles of Victorian Houses

When people think of Victorian houses, they usually picture the storybook Queen Anne, with its fanciful angled bay windows and turret or tower. But these homes were only one of several fashionable house styles that swept through this period.

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The first of these was the Gothic Revival, which echoed the shapes of mediaeval castles and cathedrals. Its popularity paralleled a romantic movement in all the arts, including music, plays and novels. The style was also aided by the availability of detailed plans and elevations in pattern books such as Downing’s Cottage Residences (1842) and Alexander Jackson Davis’s (1850) Home Designs.

A French influence crept into residential architecture in the Second Empire style. These houses often had mansard roofs, which rose from a low base to a point at the top. They also had a strong line of symmetry, a square or rectangular shape and a central entranceway with a staircase. For your own bespoke home design, consider Residential Architects London and visit www.rbddesign.com/architects-design/residential-architecture-london

Another trend was the Italianate, which was based on the picturesque country villas of Italy. The house bodies were arranged in picturesque, asymmetrical blocks to mimic the sprawling appearance of centuries-old villas that had been modified and enlarged over the years. These houses featured a flat, hip or low-sloping roof; heavy supporting brackets under the eaves; arched 2-over-2 double-hung windows with elaborate crowns and pediments; and a first-floor porch.

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A third style, the Stick Eastlake, developed from simple Gothic designs by incorporating elements of the Italianate and Queen Anne. Its defining features included large, wrap-around porches with bold panelled brick chimneys and decorative shingles on the gable ends.

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