The popularity of period dramas on TV means that many people are looking at the interiors of their homes and taking inspiration from what they see on the screen. Victorian style is finding its way into many homes at the moment with dramas such as Great Expectations, Penny Dreadful and Jane Eyre being popular with viewers. In particular, the Gothic aspects of these dramas have proved to be appealing, with many looking to capture the feel in their own homes.
Capturing the Gothic style
Most do not want to recreate the entire Gothic look from their favorite shows and books, this might be a little too much in the standard family home, but there are a few elements of Gothic design that can be utilized to great effect and color is a great place to start. Consider richer, darker shades that help create a feeling of warmth, such as burgundy, forest green and navy. Finding these shades is much easier than it used to be as many of the leading paint manufacturers have a range that is inspired by the past.
Remember that in TV dramas the rooms are far larger than those in most of today’s family homes; so do not decorate the whole room in these colors as you can make it feel small, dark and oppressive. If you just want to include elements of the Victorian design, concentrate on a feature wall. Dark wood furniture like bookcases can then be placed on other walls to continue the darker theme without it becoming overwhelming.
You could also consider wallpaper, as this was very common in Victorian homes from the 1840s onwards. Consider designs inspired by William Morris, with floral or animal motifs. Again, you do not need to do the whole wall to capture the effect. A feature wall would suffice in most homes; alternatively, you could paper the walls up to a picture rail, another popular feature of Victorian décor.
Creating the mood
The Gothic and Victorian décor has a rather dark feel to it and if you want to recreate that atmosphere in your own home you need to consider how the room is going to be lit. The central light in the ceiling will produce too much light to give the desired effect. Wall lights are a good choice as they will add more of a glow to the room. Place the wall lights in recesses and you can create that warming glow without the lighting being overpowering. Another alternative is a standard lamp; they are readily available in a Victorian style. You could also consider the careful use of candles to create the right ambiance, although they will not give enough light on their own.
It is not necessary to run out and try to recreate everything you see in Gothic TV dramas. Decide what effect you are trying to achieve and determine which elements would suit your home and which will be easy for you to recreate. Add in a few elements at a time and see how they work before adding in others. You may find that just one or two elements will give the effect you are looking for.