Victorian House Style – Meaning, Types, Characteristics, Pros, & Cons

Architectural Styles, Blog

It appears that the love we have for the Victorian home is as long-lasting as the love we have for the Queen herself. Though she no longer sits on the British throne, the homes erected during her tenure remain a popular choice for many homeowners today.

There is something about the Victorian house style that appeals to everyone. With the regal, captivating appearance and the bright colors. It is no wonder you might be looking to use this home style for your home build or renovation project.

But the Victorian house is not really a specific style; it is more like an era. The era, of course, refers to the time when Queen Victoria ruled Great Britain from 1837 to 1901. Let’s take a closer look at this unique home style, its characteristics, the types, pros, and cons. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

What makes a home Victorian?

A common question asked by many is, “What exactly falls under the Victorian category?” This is a tricky question as its definition can be sort of vague. But I will do my best to explain better.

Basically, a Victorian home is named after the Victorian era. It is not a specific style; rather, it embodies the era (in which Queen Victoria of Great Britain ruled) in its entirety. These homes carry an electric design but prioritize form over functionality.

What are the characteristics of the Victorian home style?

Although the Victorian home style is not necessarily a style but rather an indicator of an era, there are common features that will help you spot the home style. They include the following;

  • Multiple stories, at least 2, if not 3, even Glazed bricks, which make the home stand out, adding an element of beauty to the home
  • Bay windows, in order to give the home an elegant look while still letting in an abundance of sunlight
  • A large wraparound porch with ornamental spindles and brackets
  • Steep gabled roofs, designed to draw your attention
  • Intricate woodwork, designed to give the home character
  • Vibrant colors

Then, on the interior, some common characteristics include;

  • Stained glass windows
  • Large grand staircases
  • Fireplaces
  • Small rooms with closed floor plans
  • Tall ceilings
  • Heavy drapes
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Intricate wood panels and trims

Types of Victorian-style houses

There are a handful of subcategories under this home style, and a few of the most popular variations in the United States of America include the following;

1. Queen Anne

You might be confused as to how Queen Anne has been included in another topic of discussion. But you must understand that the Queen Anne style is considered to be the quintessential Victorian house. This home style is characterized by its asymmetrical shape, steeply pitched roofs, exaggerated ornate details, colorful palettes, etc.

2. Italianate

The Italianate home style draws inspiration from 16th-century Italian Villas. The main structure of this home style tends to be boxier with low-sloping or nearly flat roofs. The roof usually protrudes quite far out from the exterior walls. Then there are uniform windows, all ornately adorned with trim to complement the design scheme throughout.

3. Gothic revival

The Gothic revival style is distinguished from other revival styles by its use of elements from medieval cathedrals and churches. This home style has a number of gorgeous features, including pointed arches, a spiky silhouette, a tower or turret, a steep roof, and ornate detailing.

Why buy or build a Victorian-style home?

There are many reasons why the Victorian house style is highly sought after. But just like other home styles, it is best to carefully consider the pros and cons associated with the Victorian home style before doing so.


Some possible advantages of the Victorian-style home include;

1. You are preserving history

As I mentioned at the start of this article, the love we have for the Victorian home is as long-lasting as the love we have for the Queen herself. Buying or building one means you have been tasked to perverse a piece of history itself. You may even come across people who have a fond memory of staying or visiting someone with this home style.

2. Owning a home with character and charm

The regal that comes with owning a Victorian home is simply unmatched. Since they are not all that commonly seen like other home styles, Victorian homes tend to stand out in a very unique way. Be ready to capture the attention of everyone as they pass by with the captivating appearance of this home style.

3. Variety of architectural styles to choose from

Another big up with this home style is that there is a wide variety of styles to choose from. You can go with the quintessential Victorian look, which is the Queen Anne style. Or you can go for others like the Gothic Revival or the Italianate, whichever architectural style best appeals to you.


1. Smaller rooms

Victorian houses are built upwards, which means they are often higher and not wider. This might be an issue as most homeowners prefer ample space and an open floor plan rather than closed-off rooms. It also means that you have smaller storage space in the house.

2. Maintenance and repairs

Another issue with Victorian homes is the maintenance and repair cost. Since they are old, they will require a bit more TLC to keep them in a safe and livable condition. So, as a potential Victorian homeowner, you ought to be prepared for any issues that may arise along the road.


Why are Victorian homes so popular, even up to date?

Their unique characteristics make them stand out among other home styles.

Where are Victorian homes most common?

They are most common in Old Louisville Kentucky.

How big are Victorian houses?

They vary in size and can range from less than 1,000 square feet to more than 6,000 square feet.

Conclusion – Is a Victorian house style the right choice for you?

In many ways, the Victorian home style remains as inexhaustible as our love for the Queen herself remains. With its charm and character, the Victorian house style is a romantic piece of an American past. And if what you are looking for in a dream home is found in this unique home style, it just might be the right choice for you.

If you are prepared to take the step to get your dream Victorian home, then it’s time to familiarize yourself with the home-build process. See our Home Build Process page, then get in touch let’s get you your dream home.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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