4 Defining Features of Victorian Style Homes

August 14, 2023

One of the things that I love about the Richmond Virginia area is the wide variety of house styles you will find, especially in the City of Richmond.  One of the styles I have always loved in the Victorian style!

So how do you describe Victorian architecture?  Grand, eclectic and ornate are just a few of the frequently used terms that come to mind.  While it should come as no surprise that the iconic architectural movement emerged during Queen Victoria’s reign over the British Empire from 1837 to 1901, it can actually refer to several different styles that were prevalent during this period, such as Queen Anne, Second Empire and Romanesque.  There are, however, certain features that have become synonymous with Victorian-style homes.  Here are a few such characteristics that contribute to the endless appeal of these residences.

Towers and Turrets

The first thing you’re likely to notice when arriving at a Victorian-style home is a magnificent tower or turret defining the exterior.  Often rounded, though sometimes squared, they typically rise above steeply pitched roofs and create an assymetrical facade.  Scalloped shingles are also commonly used for the outside of the home, though some styles, like Romanesque, are built from stone.

Wraparound Porches

Everyone loves a wraparound porch.  Or at least, everyone should.  Many Victorian style homes are designed with such a porch in order to greet visitors with a spacious, covered seating area.  In addition to providing an elegant outdoor living space, this feature sets the stage for the grandeur that continues throughout.

Meandering Floor Plans

If you want an open floor plan, then a traditional Victorian style home may not be for you.  The interior of these homes often have elaborate layouts with rooms of various proportions, from grand parlors and reception rooms to intimate nooks and alcoves.  These days, however, it is not uncommon to find a Victorian that’s been renovated with an open living space on the main floor.

Intricate Details

An ornate aesthetic is always front and center.  Outside, you may see stained glass windows and intricately carved eaves, while the interior usually has impressive wood finishes and decorative moldings.

Where Can You Find Victorian Homes in Richmond?

There are lots of different neighborhoods throughout the city of Richmond where you can find wonderful Victorian homes.  For instance, if you go into the Northside of the City of Richmond and go into the Highland Park and Chestnut Hill areas,  you will find Richmond’s largest number of remaining Queen Anne style homes.  Driving through other northside neighborhoods such as Barton Heights, Brookland Park, Battery Park, Bellevue and Ginter Park, you will find Victorian and Queen Anne style homes throughout.  If you come down to the Fan area and drive along the 2900 block of Grove Ave. or the 0-100 block on E. Franklin St., you will also find many Victorian and Queen Anne style homes.

Have questions?  Thinking of buying or selling your home?  Feel free to reach out and let’s talk!