Style Traits of Victorian Houses in London

There are a variety of different styles of architecture in London today. The traditional architecture that London is most known for is that of the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods. Home renovation specialists should certainly be familiar the style traits from these different periods. We thought we would talk you through some of the style traits from properties that were designed and built during the Victorian era. To learn more about the different periods of architecture, read our blog which discusses the difference between the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture eras.  

Home extensions are often built for one key purpose – to increase space within the property. In addition to this, there are tons of other benefits that come with the home renovation. Lots of clients are excited to incorporate modern features into the extension design, such as bi-fold doors and large skylights. Likewise, practical solutions are another key advantage to undertaking a home extension. The most frequent request we receive alongside a ground floor extension design is to incorporate a ground floor WC into the design. It’s important to acknowledge that every single design is unique and tailored to fit the individual homeowner or family. What is right for one family probably won’t suit another. While an extension is a fantastic opportunity to add functional space and pretty design features into the home, it should merge seamlessly into the original design of the property. Extensions should complement the host property, not detract from it. 

The reign of Queen Victoria saw the biggest building boom in the country’s history. Within 75 years, the UK built more than six million homes, with the majority still standing today. Victorian properties are typically terraced, tall, sturdy and with generously proportioned rooms. They established a core design which is often still used in modern architecture today. They are also typically built on generous plots of land which make them well suited to extension opportunities.

Traditional features include items such as decorative cornicing, ceiling roses, skirting boards, dado rails and picture rails. Sash windows and stained-glass windows on front doors are another iconic design feature. In the Victorian period, chimneys were necessary in every room as it was the only method to heat the property. Nowadays, with central heating systems installed in almost all family homes, the chimney stack has become redundant in its practical use. Many homeowners chose to remove the internal chimney stack to free up space within the home. While a chimney stack is fairly small and maybe takes up 1 to 2 SQM of floor area, their placement means you can’t organise the room as effectively. With that said, a lot of homeowners invest in creating a modern function for the chimney, by installing a gas fire within the breast. There are lots of specialist mantlepiece companies that restore or create traditional style mantlepieces or chimneypieces. Cast Fire Places have a wonderful range of traditional style mantlepieces. Fired Earth also do a wonderful range of tiles that mimic the traditional features of a period property.

The kitchens within Victorian properties are typically small. They were created to house one function – to cook. Cooking was not seen as social during the Victorian era which is a vast contrast to what we see today. In modern day life, families often want to integrate functional areas to introduce open plan living into their home. The most common functions we see in our designs is the combination of kitchen and dining. If the property is large enough to allow it, we can get a living area within the design too. Another design option is to remove internal walls to open up the ground floor entirely. It’s all down to personal preference and how you want your functional area (dining, living and kitchen) to interact with one another. 

Loft conversions are another fantastic opportunity for additional space within a Victorian property. A loft or attic is typically the space found directly beneath the pitched roof of a property and the ceiling of the floor below. They were typically built to enable storage within properties, although they do also have a practical function, which is the help control temperatures in the house by providing a large mass of slow-moving air. The hot air rising from the lower floors is often retained in the loft. For this reason, they are often warmer than their floors below despite having no form of central heating within them. If the existing property has an outrigger (which many Victorian properties do), then you might be able to extend with an l-shape dormer extension. This adds two dormers onto your property which adds a huge amount of space onto a typical terraced property. We recently added 35SQM onto a property by doing just that. If you want something that is more suited to the original nature of Victorian architecture, you can opt for a mansard dormer extension. This has pitched walls which is considered to look more in keeping with the traditional features of a Victorian house.  

If you are thinking of extending your period property and want to discuss your options, get in touch with our friendly team today on 0207 043 2378 or email us at We would love to discuss your project in more detail. You can also book a telephone consultation directly via our live booking page here. We look forward to discussing your project in more detail. 

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