7 Dramatic Modern Victorian Decorating Ideas to Love

Design, February 9, 2024

Trust me when I say that these modern Victorian decorating ideas will add so much character to your home! Our previous house, which was a builder grade townhome, is proof of that.

The harmonious blend of Victorian opulence and contemporary vibes creates a space that screams sophistication with a modern twist. Now, let’s get into exactly how to achieve a modern Victorian style in your own home!

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Modern Victorian Design Style

The modern Victorian design style is a fusion of elaborate Victorian architectural elements with sleek, modern elements. Picture velvet sofas adorned with plush cushions set against intricately detailed wainscoting with an oversized modern light fixture. It’s really all about striking the perfect balance between old-world charm and contemporary chic!

This aesthetic is truly a celebration of the romance and grandeur of the past, infused with the functionality and simplicity of modern design principles. It’s a style that honors the timeless elegance of the Victorian period, while also adapting to the modern, contemporary lifestyle.

Think ornate mirrors, floral wallpapers, heavy curtains, and sleek modern accents. Let’s dive deeper into these modern Victorian decorating ideas so you have the tools you need to incorporate the beauty of Victorian design into your modern home.

Modern Victorian living room

Erika at peonyandhoney does the modern Victorian design style so well. You’ll have to go to her page to fully absorb all the goodness, but she just drenched her living room in this elegant blue and I can’t get enough of it!

Architectural Features

At the heart of modern Victorian decor lies a mix of classic Victorian elements with contemporary flair, resulting in visually beautiful and functional spaces. In modern Victorian homes, you’ll often find elaborate moldings, high ceilings, and ornamental trim adorning the ceilings, doorways, and windows. These all help convey an old and new vibe.

When it comes to millwork, the Renovation Husbands are one to admire! They renovated a gutted 1893 Victorian (see above!) and the couple wrote an in depth article about their trim profiles. This is a great resource if you’re looking for trim styles and wondering where to source them. 

Leaning into existing trim work would, of course, be the most ideal scenario. But you’re in the right place if you don’t have an older home with existing trim work! Millwork is my personal favorite and I happen to have plenty of tutorials that will help you replicate a similar look for your modern Victorian space.

box molding

We all know that box molding is a gorgeous way to add dimension and drama to your walls. It’s also easy to do! This classic look is a guaranteed great addition to your modern Victorian home. If you’re looking for a tutorial, check out my How to Install Box Molding blog post for step-by-step instructions!

bedroom modern

Picture Rail

Typically used to display pictures (hence the name!), picture rail is a quintessential Victorian feature that brings in the old-school vibes we are looking for. 

Picture rail molding was the perfect addition to our French vintage guest bedroom makeover. It was my first time installing a picture rail hanging system and I went into it with so many questions so if you’re also wanting to learn more about how to add picture rail to your space, check out this post: How to Install and Use a Picture Rail Hanging System.

Crown Molding

What is more classic and beautiful than crown molding to bring in the drama? Crown molding is gorgeous, and if you choose one with intricate details, it’ll definitely bring a vintage look to your space!

Check out our post all about adding crown molding to your space: How to Install Crown Molding (for Beginner DIYers)

how to install crown molding by yourself


If you’re feeling a bit ambitious, built-ins are a great way to increase your home’s storage, especially in a small space. Not to mention you’ll also be bringing in the beautiful lines and arches so common to this decor style. 

Our Arched IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack is going to be your best friend if you’re interested in upcycling bookcases into beautiful, custom built-ins!

Bold colors

Adding dark colors to a modern Victorian home adds a layer of depth and personality to the entire room, bringing in so much vibrancy and character.

While Victorian aesthetic often favors rich and jewel-toned hues, modern interpretations take this color palette to new heights, embracing shades like deep blues, emerald greens, and regal purples to create a sense of drama and luxury. 

modern Victorian decorating idea using colored bookshelf

Speaking of rich colors, Ispydiy chose a stunning dark purple for this beautiful Victorian library as a part of her makeover for the last episode of Makeover by Monday!

There are so many ways to add deep, rich, bold colors into your designs. Whether adorning walls, upholstery, or accent pieces… bold colors serve as focal points! They’re a powerful tool in design, drawing attention and adding visual interest to every corner of the room.

Renovation Husbands have the most incredible Modern Victorian parlor. It has everything we’re looking for; a rich color scheme, box molding, and bold curtains for a perfectly modern Victorian look. 

modern Victorian decorating idea using deep paint colors

You can also see the modern Victorian influence in our recent modern vintage bedroom reno. The deep burgundy color, vintage furniture, velvet bedding, and of course, trimwork, give this room an elegant, luxurious feel.

Modern Elements

Now we’ll focus on the modern influence of our modern Victorian space. My personal favorite ways to incorporate modern design is with light fixtures, furniture, and decor.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the elaborate chandeliers and ornate sconces from the Victorian period. But modern light fixtures can also be dramatic, and they introduce a sleek and minimalist contrast to the more intricate lines often showcased in traditional Victorian homes.

Modern Victorian Dining room

I can’t think of a more perfect example than thesalthaus modern Victorian dining room. The dramatic modern light fixture amongst all the ornate trim creates the perfect juxtaposition.

When it comes to furniture in modern Victorian design, you’ll want a blend of both modern furniture and ornate furniture and I’d recommend choosing one as a dominant. Coffee tables, often with minimalist designs and cool metal or glass details, become eye-catching modern centerpieces that are both useful and stylish!

modern diy wood coffee table

This Fluted Coffee Table I DIY’d a couple of years ago was definitely a focal point of our modern Victorian living room. I’m all about the deep, rich wood tones and a reeded look.

Oh and don’t forget statement rugs, with bold patterns or subtle textures, to ground the room and complement those Victorian-inspired architectural elements! Lastly, no modern Victorian space is complete without decorative elements; art pieces, quirky sculptures, and eclectic decor accents… aim for decor pieces that are unique to you and your personality! For me, that means brass cat sculptures 🙂

Gold Frames

Incorporating gold frames into your room decor can instantly elevate the ambiance. Whether adorning artwork, mirrors, or photographs, gold frames add a touch of luxury and sophistication to any space, particularly in modern Victorian houses.

modern Victorian decorating idea using gold frames

The warm, radiant hue of gold frames enhances the richness of colors and textures within the room, creating a sense of opulence and grandeur. Against a backdrop of all the Victorian architectural details you’ve been adding, gold frames serve as exquisite focal points, drawing the eye and adding a timeless allure to the overall aesthetic.

That is exactly the case in this gorgeous modern Victorian bedroom design by Emily Made Home. She also has a great tutorial for a DIY Gold Frame you can make for your TV!

Floral Wallpaper

Floral wallpaper is perfect for modern Victorian interiors, infusing your space with charm, personality, and a touch of whimsy. Whether adorning wall panels or enveloping entire rooms, floral patterns evoke a sense of timeless beauty and romance reminiscent of the Victorian era’s love for nature and intricate detailing. You can really get the vibe of Victorian rooms in your own home by using different colors and different styles of wallpaper. 

modern Victorian decorating idea using floral wall paper

In contemporary settings, floral wallpapers come in many styles, from traditional botanical motifs to bold, oversized blooms in vibrant hues. Paired with sleek furnishings and modern accents, floral wallpaper adds depth and dimension to any room, transforming it into a cozy sanctuary.

If you’re ready to go bold and dramatic, wallpapering a bigger room is always hugely impactful! Check out Sarahs Haven Interiors post about her wallpapering her office space for some inspiration! It’s incredible to see how much the floral wallpaper changed the feel of this room.

Modern Victorian powder room

If you’re not quite ready to commit to wallpapering your entire space, start small with a powder room or laundry room. I’m completely in love with From Grit to Pearl’s modern Victorian powder room! The William Morris inspired floral wallpaper, the vintage vanity, and the gold sconces… every detail is perfection.

Ornate Mirrors 

Ornate mirrors are quintessential elements in modern Victorian décor, not to mention that they’re my favorite part of modern Victorian decor (aside from trim, of course!). They serve as functional pieces and striking focal points that reflect light and visually expand the room.

modern Victorian decorating idea using mirrors

With gold frames adorned with intricate carvings, ornate mirrors capture the opulence and grandeur of the Victorian era while seamlessly blending with contemporary design. Placed strategically in entryways, living rooms, or bedrooms, ornate mirrors become statement pieces that elevate the overall aesthetic. If you ask me, you can never have too many 😉

modern Victorian decorating idea for dinning room

Adding a large ornate mirror can instantly make a room feel bigger and brighter. We did this with our dining room, and I love how it turned out! A smaller, more ornate mirror was perfect for our guest bedroom, serving both as art and a mirror for the vanity.

Heavy Curtains

Fashioned from lavish materials like velvet, brocade, or damask… heavy curtains that elegantly cascade from ceiling to floor add both drama and sophistication to a space. They provide a means to evoke the Victorian essence of grandeur and coziness.

In addition to their ornamental charm, these curtains also fulfill practical roles such as insulation against drafts, blocking light, and the creating an overall cozy atmosphere.

Modern Victorian design style

Do you see how these thick, pleated drape add so much grandeur to Rachel from beetrootandblack living room? She’s renovating an old Victorian home and has spectacular taste!

Whether framing tall windows in a living room or adorning a canopy bed, heavy curtains evoke a sense of timeless elegance and refinement. All while making them an essential element in creating the rich atmosphere of modern Victorian interiors.

modern Victorian decorating idea for bedroom

These are my favorite velvet curtains. They’re thick, soft, and come in so many rich colors. You can see them here in our guest room, but I’ve had several sets and i’ll definitely be getting more for our new home. Don’t underestimate the power of curtains, they truly make a space feel complete and add so much coziness!

Modern Victorian interior design combines the luxury of the Victorian era with contemporary elements to create luxurious and functional spaces. Using these modern Victorian decorating ideas, you can start offering a cozy retreat within your home that you’ve always dreamed of.

So, which one do you plan to try first?

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