Move Over, Minimalism: The “New Victorian” Look is On the Rise

published Aug 13, 2017
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(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

Are you tired of minimalism? You’ve come to the right place. As the pendulum of design inevitably swings, people have been scrambling to predict what look will replace the all-white, minimal, Scandinavian style that is so popular right now. A lot of people have pointed to maximalism, which is the inevitable foil to maximalism. But what kind of maximalism? I think I may have stumbled across the answer.

One day, while cruising Pinterest, as you do, I came across the image above, which brings together a lot of trends we’ve been seeing in interiors lately: maximalism, luxe materials like velvet, and moody, desaturated colors. They all come together neatly into a very cohesive look, something that feels almost… Victorian.

The Victorian aesthetic has been thought of as fussy, artificial, and overdone, in many ways the opposite of the bright, natural, hyper-minimalism that has been the ruling style for so long. But what we’re seeing, of course, isn’t a re-creation of Victorian style, but rather a reimagining of Victorian interiors, filtered through a modern sensibility. (Interestingly enough, there are other rooms in this Berlin apartment, spotted on My Scandinavian Home, that hew quite minimalist.)

To back up my assertion, here’s an actual Victorian interior (or at least, a faithful reproduction of one) from Rynerson O’Brien Architecture. It’s not exactly the same, but a lot of the elements are very similar: dark colors, small, intricate patterns, a general embrace of ornament.

(Image credit: Alvhem)
(Image credit: Alvhem)
(Image credit: Alvhem)

Here’s another example of the new Victoriana, this one from Alvhem. A lot of the elements, like the floral wallpaper, dark colors, and mismatched antique chairs, feel distinctly Victorian, but the addition of a few minimalist pieces, like the leather sofa and round mirror, freshens things up quite a bit. (What I’m saying is, if you like the look, don’t immediately throw out all your furniture for fusty antiques.)

(Image credit: Bolig)

Here’s another example, from Bolig, that neatly walks a line between a moody, Victorian look and clean-lined modernism.

(Image credit: Historiska Hem)

In this bedroom from Historiska Hem, intricately textured fabrics stand in for intricate patterns, but the effect is similar: delicate, absorbing.

(Image credit: Lovely Life)

In this room from Lovely Life, a William Morris-esque wallpaper sets a gorgeous, moody tone.

(Image credit: Ohhh Mhhh)

And one final space, from Ohhh Mhhh, that fits neatly at the intersection of minimalism and moody Victorian maximalism. On display are a Tulip table and Eames Shell chairs atop a white floor that you’re used to seeing (and maybe a little tired of?), but now they’re paired with dark walls, dark florals, and curiosities in cloches for a look that feels both familiar and exotic, a little bit old and a little bit new.

We’d love to know what you think of this look. Though not for everyone, we definitely can, at the very least, admire it from afar!