London has a mixture of different houses from different eras, over the past few weeks we have looked at How to Renovate a Tudor House and How to Renovate a Georgian House today we are going to look at How to Renovate a Victorian House.
One of the most popular houses we see today in London is a Victorian House
Some of the topics we will cover in this article as well as how to renovate a Victorian House are as follows
- What Age is a Victorian House?
- What Does a Victorian House Look Like?
- How to Restore a Victorian House
- How to Modernise a Victorian House
- How to Decorate a Victorian House
What Age is a Victorian House?
The period of 1837-1901 is what is known as the Victorian era. Why? Queen Victoria I reigned through this period when she was 18 until she died 68 years later.
The railways opened and new manufacturing processing local produced building materials could be transported across the UK, allowing for houses to be built with different materials.
Many new houses were constructed in the Victorian Era as the industrial towns had work and lots of people were moving in, so to save space terraced houses were built.
There was still a wide divide between the rich and the poor. The poor were in the very small and narrow terraced houses, the middle class had superior terraces often with front and back gardens. The servants normally stayed in the attic. The rich went for what is known as Villas.
What Does a Victorian House Look Like?
There were still very few cars in the Victorian Era so you will not find original garages and driveways on a Victorian House.
The Victorians did not have central heating and so most rooms would have a fire to keep the place warm, therefore you will normally find a chimney on the roof of a Victorian House.
The roof of a Victorian house is normally very distinctive. Victorian roofs were mostly made from slate. The roofs were often decorated with carvings and ornate features to really make them stand out.
You will often see a high, pitched roof on a Victorian house
With the railway allowing people to import bricks across the country, patterned bricks were introduced.
You will often see Victorian houses with fancy brickwork and patterned with the coloured bricks.
Many people would have sash windows in the Victorian era.
With the introduction of plate glass, the window panes could be much larger than the Georgian period. 6 and 4 pane sliding sash windows were introduced.
Bay windows were also very popular in the Victorian period. The ground floor bay windows would often have a roof.
You will also find a lot of decorative stained-glass windows in the Victorian era
The front door in Victorian times was an important feature. We mentioned earlier that wealth and status were very important in Victorian times, so the front door said a lot about their wealth position.
Doors were often panelled and with elegant carvings with a door frame surround. Sometimes they would have stained glass and often the door furniture would be made of brass.
Many of the doors would have fan lights like the Georgian era.
Many Victorian houses would have a porch
You will often find black cast iron railings on Victorian properties and sometimes with gates.
How to Restore a Victorian House
If you have an original Victorian house that needs restorations the first thing you need to do is see if it falls under conservation. These properties are protected, and your local authority will need to approve any repairs or modifications.
Try and restore the original features if you need to have a refurbishment and do your research to match existing. Repair instead of renewing where possible as some items can be difficult to source.
Have a building survey done with someone who knows what they are talking about. There are lots of decades in the Victorian era alone so even one Victorian House to the next will differ and you do not want to confuse something with the Georgia or Edwardian eras.
Bear in mind when Victorian houses were built so things will not be aligned with straight lines. Embrace this as part of the character.
How to Decorate a Victorian House
Traditional Victorian interiors were dark and ornate. Dark rich tones like navy, plum and dark greens were used.
Ornate cornices were big in the Victorian era so pay attention to these if you are restoring or bear them in mind if you are refurbishing or creating the Victorian look. Your bog-standard plasterer will not be able to recreate this so hire a specialist this will really stand out in a room.
Flooring should be hard wood in a Victorian House, again if you can restore the original try and do that but if not then don’t go for a carpet go for wood.
A bare room in the Victorian era was considered poor taste so each surface would be filled with ornaments.
Hallways were often decorated grey and simple so as to not compete with the other rooms.
Often the walls or woodwork were marbleised.
There was a lot of influence from the gothic style
How to Modernise a Victorian House
In the 70’s and 80’s in many homes some of the beautiful period features were ripped out and
Replaced with plywood and cheaper materials in a bid to modernise the properties. Today people are starting to respect the period features again, but still want to add some modernisation.
Perhaps you want to keep the original features like windows and roof etc, but you also want to modernise your Victorian house if the gothic style is not your thing. What works well to modernise a Victorian house without completely losing its character?
If you want to make the most of the Natural light coming into a Victorian House, then use white or light neutral colours. Whilst this is certainly modernising it looks great on Victorian Houses.
Have long curtains to highlight the windows and perhaps wooden shutters.
For bathrooms and kitchens (even hallways) tiles are very popular in Victorian houses go for a geometric pattern.
As Victorian houses usually have high ceilings you can be very bold with your lighting and make a statement to ensure they stand out.
If you are adding a house extension, you do not want it to look like a bolted on extra so go one way or the other. Either make sure your builders blend the extension in so it looks like it could have been with the original property at a glance or go the other way and make a bold statement with a striking contrast extension so it’s clear this is a modern extension on a period house.
You can consider exposing the original bricks walls or just one wall in a room and make this a feature wall that will really stand out and add the rustic look.
There is a lot of modern furniture that is available in the Victorian style, that way you will have a fresh modern look, but your property will still be within the style
There were many houses built within the Victorian era with beautiful period features. Renovating a Victorian property needs to be properly researched and planned to get it right but the benefits with good results are well worth it.
Harvey decorates new Astrazeneca lab
Henley-in-Arden-based Harvey UK worked in the development laboratories, restaurant and staff facilities at the new centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, on behalf of contractors Overbury.
The new centre shares the Cambridge campus with Cambridge University’s School of Clinical Medicine, Addenbrooke’s Centre for Clinical Investigation, Cancer UK’s research facility, and the Heart and Lung Research Institute as well as several other medical research centres.
Harvey UK managing director Tony Harvey said: “We have considerable experience in the medical and clinical sectors, and it’s a privilege to be involved in preparing a facility which will carry out such important work.”
Harvey UK has also carried out work at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.
‘Fur and foie gras bans must follow animal sentience legislation’
Some events can really renew your optimism as an animal rights advocate. Hearing the commitment to bring forward new legislation to “ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare”, in the Queen’s speech during the state opening of parliament this week, was one of them.
The significance of the government’s recognition that, as our understanding of other animals has evolved, our laws must evolve, too, can’t be overstated. The simple and glaringly obvious acknowledgment that animals are like us – with families, intelligence, emotions, and their own cultures and languages – means we must provide them with greater legal protection from human exploitation, abuse, and neglect. And delivering on its commitment to recognise animal sentience in law and put it “at the heart of policy making”, as the government has pledged to do, is a vital step in our society’s moral evolution.
In addition to the introduction of the much-anticipated animal welfare (sentience) bill, animal protection groups are expecting to see several other important bills brought forward during this new parliamentary session as part of the government’s “ambitious and wide-ranging plan for driving forward reforms in the … Action Plan for Animal Welfare”, including, we hope, a ban on fur imports.
Fur farming has been illegal in the UK for almost 20 years, but bizarrely we have continued to import around £55 million worth of fur, including from countries where animals still spend their miserable lives frantically circling in cramped, filthy cages, being driven mad by the confinement. For the fur trim adorning Canada Goose’s parkas, sold in its Regent’s Street shop and by a small handful of other unscrupulous retailers, including Harvey Nichols, coyotes are caught in steel traps that would be illegal here and can suffer for days while enduring blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, and gangrene.
Medical Defence Union (MDU)
National Office of Animal Health (NOAH)
The bears still being gunned down to make the Queen’s Guard’s caps are often mothers whose cubs are left to starve or die from predation without her to protect them – utterly indefensible when their namesake, the Queen herself, refuses to purchase fur. Surviving bear cubs are known to wail when hunters shoot their mothers in front of them and will moan and cry for weeks afterward in apparent grief. And of course, bears are not alone in mourning the loss of loved ones, just as we do.
Professor of anthropology Barbara J. King shares many other devastating accounts in her book How Animals Grieve. Only the animals born with it need fur, especially when we have so many humane, eco-friendly options that no one has to die for. A bill banning fur imports is absolutely necessary if the government is to fulfil its promise that “our high animal welfare standards are not compromised in our trade negotiations”, and with 95% of Brits opposed to wearing real fur, it would also be an extremely popular piece of legislation.
Our new status as an independent nation outside the EU also provides the UK with the opportunity to close its borders to foie gras and earn our status as “a global leader for international advocacy on animal welfare”, something the government is said to be considering as part of its animals abroad bill.
There is no doubt that, of all the many cruel practices involving animals on today’s factory farms, foie gras (“fatty liver”) production is one of the cruellest. In order to get the liver to expand to up to 10 times its natural size, ducks and geese are force-fed using a procedure known as gavage, in which a long pipe is forced down their throat and a large quantity of food is pumped into their stomach three to four times a day for several weeks until their liver becomes so large that it presses on their lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
The inhumane product is illegal to produce in 17 countries, including the UK, with 79% of the British public in favour of an import ban as well, which makes perfect sense given that a product too cruel to produce here should logically also be too cruel to sell.
Eighty per cent of the British public want post-Brexit government trade deals to have clear requirements that imported animal products meet or exceed British animal welfare production standards. It boils down to this: there is simply no justification for fur, foie gras, hunting trophies, or any other products of gross animal abuse to be allowed into Britain nor for shipping British animals on hellish journeys to be fattened and slaughtered abroad.
In 1822, the UK became the first country in the world to introduce animal protection legislation, and as the bicentennial of that landmark law approaches, the Queen’s speech served to honour that legacy and define the type of country that we want to be in the future. While you can be sure that PETA and other animal protection groups will hold the government to its commitments to animals, new statutes on the books to help break down the false barrier between humans and other animals are not really necessary: we can already refuse to support industries that treat them as mere objects instead of the sensitive, complex, intelligent individuals they are – just by leaving their body parts off our plates and out of our wardrobes.
Taziker lands HS2 jetty deal
Taziker will be supplying, fabricating and installing the steel deck component of a temporary jetty structure which has been designed to provide access for the building of foundations for the new viaduct where it crosses a series of lakes.
The temporary jetty will consist of four separate structures with an approximate total length of 990m. The works will also include safety barriers, pedestrian walkways and guardrails.
Thirteen additional working platforms will also be built to enable the construction of the cofferdams within the lakes, which in turn facilitate the construction of the permanent piers for the viaduct.
Working on behalf of VolkerStevin for the Align Joint Venture, Taziker was awarded the contract following a competitive Invitation to Tender process.
Align JV comprises Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick and is the main works civils contractor responsible for the delivery of the C1 section on HS2.
The C1 package of works consists of a 21.6km stretch of high-speed rail infrastructure including the 3.37km Colne Valley Viaduct; the 16.04km twin-bored Chilterns tunnel; and five ventilation shafts handling both intervention and tunnel ventilation facilities.
Jarrod Hulme, Managing Director of Engineering Solutions, Taziker said: “The construction of the viaduct in Colne Valley is a spectacular and essential part of the HS2 project.
“By supplying, fabricating and installing a major component of the temporary jetty, Taziker have the opportunity to show the quality and innovation we can deliver on major projects for major clients within our engineering division.”
Jason Worrall, Managing Director of Engineering Services, Taziker said, “Taziker has been working in the rail industry for many years now, and so we can appreciate the value that HS2 will bring to the country.
“By improving rail capacity, HS2 will enable better services to operate on local and regional networks, as well as improving freight services. I’m personally incredibly proud that our engineering abilities have been recognised for the Colne Valley Viaduct project.”
Engineers from HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor Align JV began work on the foundations earlier this year and Taziker is expected to begin work on site in June 2021.
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