The sudden prosperity in the 19th century during the Victorian reign brought about by the Industrial Revolution in the life of the middle-class is clearly depicted in the manner in which they maintained their homes.
One of the important changes that took place because of the Revolution were the changes in the architecture and furniture found in the homes of these middle-class people which previously only the aristocrats could afford but, after the revolution formed a part of the middle-class life.
During the Victorian era, the interiors reflected their owners or builders. There were two styles of interior designing prevailing then- the Italian or the Renaissance and the medieval or Queen Anne. Interiors of the Italian style were based on light colors. However, there was a remarkable influence of the French during 1870-1880.
The interiors done would depend upon whether a room was public or private. This was evident from the fact that the public rooms were more ornately and lavishly decorated while the private rooms were less fancy. Interiors also include the color of the house and the type of wall-paper used.
Colors were determined on the basis of the location of the house and the kind of materials available on site. Also, light color schemes were used in towns or cities having pollution problems. Wallpaper in the early and mid-Victorian times was more of floral patterns with a red, blue, green background. In the later half of the 19th-century rich earth colors came to be used with leaf and floral patterns.
Another aspect of interiors was that the fireplace and stoves were in every room of the house. The mantels were made of wood, marble or slate painted to look like marble. These fireplaces also form the central point of the room wherein people would warm themselves.
After 1870 the concept of wall-to-wall carpet became a fashion. Rooms that had plenty of windows would be ornamented in deep red, olive green and brown. Windows were made from stained glass and the window dressings varied from simple Greek to heavy French. Lace curtains were also used to decorate the windows.