The Victorian era was known for many changes and transitions, from the old to the new and technological advancements. One of the most important rooms in a typically Victorian era homes were the dining rooms. The drawing rooms, more popularly known as living rooms nowadays, were also of utmost importance.
The women during the Victorian era were always going around the house, cleaning and beautifying. However, all stops were pulled out during Christmas time. And the highlight of Christmas was food; hence, the star was the dining room. It was done up extravagantly with no stone unturned.
The people who visited during the festive season were directly ushered into the dining room. Food, drinks, decor, knick knacks, furniture pieces, vases, and also servants, all these were displayed to the best of advantage. Food would be served in the best china, silver and crystal. The same was used for decorating the empty spaces in the room, often fit to burst.
There was no middle ground, nor was the showing off tempered to appease sensibilities. But the main aim was to put on display one’s wealth and ability to spend money on beautiful things. The dining room was the perfect place to decorate as all dinner guests would be there and while sitting down to eat could look around.
Use of flowers in decoration
Flowers were a very important decorative item in a Victorian household. The colour in the room all came from flowers, fresh and sprayed with water. The Victorian era saw the rise in popularity of botany and horticulture. The denizens who lived during that time were widely read and highly informed about a lot of subjects. It was a matter of pride for them to be cultured and educated.
Puttering around in the garden was earlier restricted to gardeners only. However, soon, women began to take to the garden and cultivate rare and exotic plants. Most houses started boasting a greenhouse and hothouses. Those who were amateurs used to take it up as a hobby. These flowers can also be taken to be decoration due to their beauty and rarity. The most expensive and rarest of flowers garnered a lot of attention.
The flowers were either arranged in a vase or en plateau, which means these flowers were put on the big silver, mirrored or adorned tray. They were used as centre pieces and around candles. Epergnes were also commonly used. Tiny bouquets were kept in the seating area so that all guests could take it home with them.
The industrial revolution also brought in numerous changes that extended to the decorating styles of Victorian homes. The middle classes were earning quite a lot and therefore began to alter their homes to resemble that of wealthy ones.
However, since they did not really have an idea as to how to go about it, they usually ended up aping the style and designs of the wealthier homes. They covered up all the space with chandeliers, statuettes, odds and ends with no sense of coordination and match. This was done in the belief that an empty or threadbare room was indicative of non-refinement.