Gallery » How to Furnish a Victorian Parlor
Linda Jennings has dressed her 1881 home’s living room’s windows with draperies she made from wedding dress fabric, which was the perfect texture and weight to balance the height of the windows in an elegant fashion. By Meryl Schoenbaum; photo by Mark Tanner.
Cathie and Dennis Caldwell call their front parlor the “Lady of the House” room. When their Orange, California, home was built in 1886, the parlor was for receiving guests, and the room’s accessories were used to emphasize the owner’s relative wealth. The two settees are original antiques: on the right, the “Fainting Couch” was used for ladies who succumbed to the pressure of their corsets. The other couch has been reupholstered with fabric suited to the period, but it retains the original goosedown pillows and horsehair padding in the backs and arms. By Dennis Myers; photo by Mark Tanner.
Steve Goodyear redecorated his neglected Queen Anne cottage’s parlor with layers and layers of color and fabric to conjure a luxurious aura. The reproduction sofa and chairs are accented with pillows made with antique fabrics, while the footstool is covered in a vintage tapestry. By Rebecca Ittner; photo by Jaimee Itagaki.
According to Heritage House Museum curator Lynn Voorheis, “The parlor was reserved for very formal affairs and, similar to today’s living room, would probably have been used infrequently. [It] was a room where [lady of the house] Mrs. Bettner would have served formal tea to her visitors.” Photo by Jaimee Itagaki.
Wilma and Tony Burton’s Victorian home was built in downtown Riverside in 1893. Fully restored, their parlor now features period furnishings, including this gold Queen Anne chair. Tony, an avid chair collector, believes that all chairs are special works of architecture that need to cooperate with their home’s architecture. By Melissa Quinlan; photo by Jaimee Itagaki.
The front parlor of Chris Mullen’s Queen Anne home has a relaxed, comfortable feel with its French-style leather sofa and velvet loveseat. A large armoire near the side window is the first antique Mullen ever purchased. The draperies were styled after some he had seen in an issue of Victorian Homes. By Karen van Alstine; photo by Mark Tanner.

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