Guidance from Global

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  • Updating My Victorian Home

    After a few years of living in a Victorian style home, you may end up finding yourself yearning for bigger bathrooms, a more open floor plan and most of all more spacious closets.

    Older homes may be beautiful, however they aren't exactly designed for the modern family or modern living. The floor plan of a Victorian property can sometimes seem a bit cluttered and convoluted by today's standards. These particular styles of houses have less open spaces. Instead you may find a series of smaller rooms that are connected by an almost labyrinth of hallways and doors and passages.

    One of the biggest alterations that take place in modernizing a Victorian home is the bathroom and although indoor plumbing was available at the turn of the century, the toilets are generally very cramped by today's standards.

    A quick note that you'll want to remember when expanding the rooms in your Victorian are that many of the interior walls in these older homes are load-bearing. That means that they are key in supporting the weight of the upper floors. The building professionals in Victorian days didn't have the capacity to easily span large spaces, so the numerous walls really were essential to the health of the structure. If these walls are removed, the floors above can quite easily begin to sag and cause damage to the overall structure.

    There are really great ways to update an older home while preserving its structure and maintaining its ambiance so being creative in the ways you use the space can really bring these beauties back to life. If you think you may need a few suggestions on designing your interior space visit our Inspiration pages or contact us for our special Global Interior Design services.

    Perhaps the best idea for your older home is to cut openings or archways in the walls instead of knocking them down. Leaving partial walls or decorative columns to provide structural support could be great options as well.

    Since some of the older homes of the Victorian era have many very tiny rooms they are off times left without closets. How do I solve this you may ask? Although there are many ways to be creative with your space. One idea could be to convert the area beneath the main stairway into a closet for example.

    Other ways to maximize space is to install bookcases and cabinets around doors and windows. A wonderful way to add comfort and a twist to your living space is to open up window areas for more reading and seating. Also, don't forget the attic space! Luxury bathrooms aren't just found on the ground floor anymore with the proper engineering.

    Make sure to always have your new additions to your home compatible with the architecture of the original existing house. Take a close look at the plans and elevation drawings for any of the additions. If you need assistance in planning out your alterations of your home please contact us directly for free advice on what the next step is that you could take.

    The Tech Specs

    Victorian architecture is remembered as a series of architectural revival styles from the 19th century.  The styles usually included a mix of historic styles including the Middle Eastern and Asian influences. The name Victorian represents the British and French custom of titling architectural styles for a reigning monarch.

    Victorian architecture in the U.K

    During this century, the romantic medieval Gothic revival style was created as a reaction to the symmetry of Palladianism. Such buildings as Fonthill Abbey were built during this era as well and by the middle of the century, and because of new technological advances in the field, construction was able to now incorporate steel as a building component. You may already know that one of the greatest exponents of this was the Crystal Palace. In this new era of prosperity advanced methods of construction were being developed, but ironically the architectural styles were typically retrospective.

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