Guide to renovating your Victorian home

As an owner of a Victorian house, you’ve certainly hit the jackpot! These architectural masterpieces are a real sight for sore eyes. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they are also incredibly well built, even according to today’s standards. In a nutshell, they were made to last. However, despite them withstanding the test of time, no one can argue that they are old. It would be impossible for these homes to remain in the exact condition as in the 1800s, wouldn’t it? With that said, renovating your Victorian home is something you’ll have to deal with sooner or later.

How to approach the process of renovating your Victorian home?

A typical Victorian-style house consists of multiple small rooms connected by hallways. Once upon a time, a build like that was considered practical. Nowadays, however, that isn’t the case. Modern homes are usually built with an open-space concept in mind, making the house feel more spacious. Living in a house with too many walls can make a person feel cramped. Claustrophobic, even. And that’s probably not something you want.

The goal of your Victorian home renovation project should be to transform it from an old-timey, impractical property into a luxurious, historical work of art. Certain adjustments will need to be made. Adjustments that can drastically increase your home’s value if done right. Bear in mind, replacing the old with the new can be costly. If you want to make inexpensive improvementsrestoring the existing content of your home is the way to go.

But how exactly should you approach the renovation process? What should you do first? Whom should you consult? We’ll try to answer these and some additional questions in this guide for a successful Victorian house renovation.

Open up the space

The majority of old homes are equipped with bearing walls that essentially support the weight of the floors above them. These walls must be preserved, or else you risk the entire structure collapsing!

So how can you open up the area when dealing with walls that can’t be torn down? Well, by being creative! For example, you can create a feeling of a larger space by getting rid of only a part of a wall. Still, don’t attempt this without a professional. Structural engineers should inform you on what home modifications can and should be done in your particular case.

When renovating your Victorian home, if possible, open up the space to bring light into the area.

Find room for storage

More often than not, Victorian houses lack storage. It’s up to you to find room for some while renovating. An excellent example of well-thought-of storage space is underneath the staircase. And since Victorian houses are no strangers to bay windows, these could also prove to be a great spot for keeping some of your items.

If you’ve been struggling with space, chances are you haven’t managed to bring all your furniture to the house yet. It’s after you’ve utilized your home’s every nook and cranny that you can finally have everything brought in! Of course, you want your furniture transfer handled with ease, which is why enlisting the help of experts is necessary.

Convert the loft

Does your Victorian property have a high ceiling combined with a large loft? If so, you are in luck! Depending on just how big the attic is, you can convert it into one or more rooms. It’s up to you!

An attic in a Victorian home
The majority of Victorian houses have large lofts. These can be converted into additional rooms

Basement conversion

It’s not only attics that can be repurposed, but basements too! Most Victorian houses are built with a cellar. One that you can successfully transform into a game room, for example. Should you decide to convert this area of your home, specialists at can provide you with a set of helping hands. Instead of moving your furniture yourself, let them do the heavy lifting for you!

Refurbish the sash windows

When renovating your Victorian home, pay close attention to the sash windows. They are what make these kinds of dwellings unique! If they happen to be in decent condition, restoring them could be an option. However, if you have the money, perhaps you should consider replacing them. By doing so, you’ll ensure better insulation. Of course, when you go shopping for windows, bear in mind that you want them to match your home!

Preserving the sash windows is a must for Victorian homes.

Spruce up the interior

Victorian homes are all about sophistication. That’s not to say you can’t make some improvements to make the interior extra luxurious! Despite what you may think, your options are limitless. Let your imagination run wild! Combine the old with the new, as modern additions will highlight the Victorian features.

Remember, the styles should coexist – not fight each other for attention. Achieving balance is vital. If you are unsure about how to do this, consider hiring an experienced interior designer. They should provide you with valuable advice on how to spruce up your Victorian house without losing its unique, historical elements.

Respect the roots

Restore, replace, rebuild, repurpose – but respect the historical roots of the house! You don’t want to drastically change the appearance while renovating your Victorian home. Slight improvements are what you should aim for instead! While making modifications, remember that you should, at all times, strive to keep your Victorian property looking old-timey. Whenever you can, restore rather than replace! And no, not everything has to be perfect. After all, these 19th-century houses weren’t perfect, to begin with, so why try to turn them into something they’re not?

Author’s bio: Melinda Jones is a full-time real estate agent and part-time writer. Her writing focuses on vintage interior design and restoration. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family, taking strolls at the nearby park, and traveling.

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