Victorian Decor Doesn’t Have to Break a Budget

Think about Victorian decor, one of the mainstays of the “new vintage” trend, and what comes to mind? Rich-looking, ornate styles, with big price tags attached, right? It doesn’t to be expensive if you know how to make the most of what you already have, along with fabulous finds from other sources.

As always with decorating on a budget, start by thinking about paint, one of the most economical yet striking changes you can make in a room. Vintage decor of the Victorian era is lush with deep, jewel tones such as emerald green, sapphire or ruby. It isn’t necessary to paint all the walls in these colors; in fact, it’s not a good idea to do so if it’s a smaller room you’re decorating in vivid vintage. If that’s the case, pick one wall as an accent, then paint the other walls in a light, but complementary tone. You’ll be surprised at how much an accent wall like this can convey.

Next, think as the Victorians did and get a brilliant Oriental area rug for the floor. Not only were the Vics fond of its ornate patterns, the vivid colors added more depth to the overall intensity of the room’s colors.

With a good rug on the floor, it’s time to think furniture. One way to keep to the budget is to get distressed tables and drape them with single-size white or floral sheets. You can tie them up here and there with ribbons (another Victorian touch) or let them pool onto the floor or area rug and top them with lace doilies.

For the larger furniture, wicker makes an economical and stylish option to the heavy carved (and expensive) walnut furniture common to Victorian decor. The trick with wicker is that it requires frequent maintenance to remove dust and dirt that collects in the curves of its woven pattern. Because of this, it’s essential to know what kind of wicker you have.

Wicker comes in three types: paper, reed and resin. Paper wicker is made by twisting paper into strips that are then woven. Reed comes from natural fibers that are soaked until pliable and then woven into the familiar crisscross pattern. Resin wicker is actually made from molded plastic, and is the most durable of the three types. All three types can be cleaned gently with a damp, but not dripping, cloth. Reed and resin wicker also can be hosed down if they get extremely dirty, but don’t hose paper wicker. As you might guess, paper wicker will soak up the water and rot.

With wicker you’ll also want plenty of cushions and pillows in floral patterns, as well as linens with embroidery, ribbons and lace in white or natural. Thrift stores, yard sales, even flea markets can be good sources for vintage linens with handmade embroidery. Linens with less expensive machine-embroidered patterns can be found at discount stores. Embroidered linens and fabrics are used on tablecloths, curtains and even upholstery in Victorian decor.

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Updating With Window Treatments

Updating the look of your house for personal use, or in preparation for selling, may sound like a tremendous amount of work. However, one easy transformation can take place just by changing your window treatments.

Window furnishings can help provide color and instant style to any room. While a well-designed window treatment may not increase the value of the home you are planning to sell, it can make its rooms more appealing to buyers. For instance, draperies can make a window appear larger, or offset imbalance, when they are hung either higher or wider than the actual window. Draperies hung at or near the ceiling even make a room feel taller by drawing the eye higher.

Draperies: An endless number of colors and patterns exist to choose from to help you transform a room. However, you should select a color and design that suits your home. If you intend to try something bold, your other furniture in the room should be neutral enough so as to temper the space. In addition, draperies help increase securities by providing privacy; help provide light and noise control, from and can help insulate your home from cold weather.

Blinds: If your home has outdated, metal horizontal or vertical blinds, strongly consider this an opportunity to update. Depending on the look you want to achieve, window blinds come in a variety of materials including wood, faux wood and fabric. Blinds allow you to easily adjust your view. They are also very easy to clean – just wipe or dust the slats. Choose a material and color that goes with your overall room design.

Shades: Window shades, depending on the fabric, can also allow you to control the light coming into your room, as well as privacy. They come in variety of shades from sheer to a little filtering to total light blocking to shades that block UV light. Woven woods are especially popular today. Cordless options are available too and you can choose from flat roman shades or roller shades depending on your budget. Compared to blinds, shades are easier to install but more difficult to clean.

Hardware: Window treatment hardware trends are becoming more sleek, creative and modern, compared to some of the more elaborate window hardware styles in the past. Window hardware can be made of wood, faux wood, metal and wrought iron. Use of non-standard hardware as curtain rods is also acceptable, from cup hooks, drawer pulls to doorknobs – just make sure to space the hooks evenly, check their durability and install them securely. Attach the fabric panels/draperies using metal rings, fabric tabs or grommets.

Consider your needs and your budget when shopping for window treatments. There are plenty other choices aside from the ones I mentioned above, so make sure to do your research and choose what works best for you. One thing is for sure, updating your window treatment can instantly change the mood and add life to an otherwise dull and dated room.… READ MORE