The Victorian Conservatory Is for the Romantic and the Whimsical
According to surveys done amongst conservatory builders, suppliers and even homeowners themselves, it turns out that the Victorian conservatory is the most popular of all the traditional conservatory styles. It is the conservatory style that these people claim to be the most versatile and the most adaptive, and thereby the most suitable regardless of the overall style of the home it will be attached to.
The Victorian conservatory does deserve its immense popularity amongst homeowners. It is a very beautiful style, and it harkens back to a time in British history when the United Kingdom is one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, when there is so much to see and discover, and when there is a lot of romance in the air.
The Characteristics of the Victorian Conservatory
The Victorian conservatory takes its name from the Victorian era, that period in history that is marked by the long reign of Britain's Queen Victoria that stretches from 1837 to 1901. There are so many architectural styles that emerged during that period, but all of them leaned towards decadence, excess and heavy ornamentation. Conservatories that were done in the Victorian style echo these two characteristics.
The most recognisable characteristic of the Victorian conservatory is its multi-faceted front. The front side of the conservatory in this design usually has three or five facets, but it is not surprising to find more facets to create a rounded conservatory that juts out from the house.
The roof of the Victorian conservatory can either be bell-shaped or rising in a high pitch and topped with an apex. The bell-shaped roof is more common with rounded conservatories. Whatever the style of the roof is, it usually has ornamental ridges at the apex that are shaped to look like a crown.
It is also typical for a Victorian conservatory to have a dwarf wall and ornamented glass panels. The ornamentation of the glass is often achieved through glasing, or through the addition of intricate details on the panels themselves.
In addition, the materials used in building an authentic Victorian conservatory are mostly hardwood with dark colours, detailed grains and polished veneers. All these details add to the ornamental quality of this kind of conservatory.
When to Build a Victorian Conservatory
Many homeowners find the cluttered and highly ornamental beauty of the Victorian conservatory to be very much appealing. You may even be one of those people who prefer this style of conservatory over others. However, it should be noted that this conservatory style cannot be made just for anyone.
For one, a Victorian conservatory would require a lot of space. Its faceted front alone would eat up a lot of space that you really would not be able to use. So, if you have a small property, building a conservatory in the Victorian style would be out of the question for you.
For another, a Victorian conservatory would be most suited to a house that is heavily ornamental on its own. In any house, the conservatory should serve as an addition to the house and should never steal the attention of anyone who views the house. If the house is designed along starkly simple lines, building a conservatory in the Victorian style would create many problems regarding the visual balance of the conservatory against the house itself.
Thus, as desired as it may be, the Victorian conservatory is not just for anyone. It really depends on the size of the property and the overall architecture of the house.
Furnishing a Victorian Conservatory
Despite the complications that can arise in building a Victorian conservatory, it can be fun decorating and furnishing it. The Victorian way of decorating home interiors is cluttered and over-the-top and totally fun.
You can start with choosing the furniture. A Victorian conservatory, especially the hardwood ones, would work well with heavy, wooden furniture and overstuffed upholstery. The chairs that you will be using for the conservatory, for instance, should be plump and should have ornate curves and carvings.
The colour palette that is typical of the Victorian style is made up of rich and dark hues. Ruby reds, deep forest greens, royal purples and navy blues are most suited to the Victorian style. For your Victorian conservatory, you can use these colours to paint the frames of your glass panels.
As for fixtures and other accessories, you can use anything that is made of brass, tin, pewter or cast iron. Accessories made from these materials are one of the high points of the Victorian style that should be present in your Victorian conservatory.
The key points of the Victorian style are richness and heavy ornamentation. You should keep these in mind when planning a Victorian conservatory.