With its subtle Victorian style, Patty Bigelow’s 1892 home is casual yet traditional for an elegant modern lifestyle–and believe it or not, Patty created the look on a budget.
After dinner, guests linger with a cup of coffee in the living room, which shows Patty’s lighter take on the Victorian style: she invites natural light with soft, balloon shades, and recessed lighting helps gives a “lovely, warm atmosphere.” Though the couch is modern, the floral print subtly hints at Victorian brocade.
Next to the couch, a faux bamboo table adds visual depth. The chinoiserie is an antique Chinese style. “The Asian influence has been really important to design, and especially in Victorian times,” Patty explains. “Now, it adds a timeless element.”
Victorian Style on a Budget
Six ways to whip your spending into shape without sacrificing Victorian style.
1. Faux bamboo, also known as “chinoiserie,” is an inexpensive Asian-influenced style. Use it to get visual depth and an expensive look without emptying your bank account.
2. Bigelow’s small, 1800s side table cost quite a lot, but she encourages this simple alternative: buy a large, Victorian tray and then “have an inexpensive stand made that looks very like the table that I have upstairs.”
3. Visit garage sales, tag sales and inexpensive auction houses to find antique trays, or any other décor that you need.
4. When decorating your dining table, delicate flowers are lovely, but they die much too soon. Choose carnations, sunflowers and Peruvian lilies, which have greater longevity. Keep contaminants out of the water to keep the flowers from drooping before their time.
5. “Old wicker looks terrific in a room—just an old wicker chez or chair painted the same color as the walls,” Patty says, and recommends americanantiquewicker.com. And the best part is that you get a lot of bang for your buck.
6. A good coat of paint sets the tone of the house, and is a relatively inexpensive project. Remember to sand the walls, skim coat as necessary and tape edges for clean corners. A fresh palette of subtle colors will give you the perfect background for your décor.
Written by Sarah Yoon
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel
Photographed by Eric Striffler