What real estate agents need to know about housing patterns circa 1900

According to mediator Gerard Splendor, Victorian architecture, with its roots in the British royal family, found expression in a variety of architectural styles. Today, you’ll recognize Victorian homes by their extensive range and ornate exteriors and interiors featuring fine craftsmanship.

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American housing patterns have changed, and continue to change, across the country and the evolution of homeowners’ tastes and lifestyles. As the country has gone through industrial and economic changes, whether good or not, housing patterns have adapted out of necessity.

In this new series, I will share with you Prevalent housing patterns The past 12 decades, starting in 1900. A basic understanding of each architectural style defines a decade that will put you in the position of a knowledgeable agent with your clients and make the search for a home with buyers easier for all.

Changes in lifestyle, such as multiple generations living in the same home and the need and desire for domestic servants, and the requirements to provide housing for them, were typical of American housing in the 1900s.

Queen Effect

As Queen Victoria of England has been on the throne for so long – from 1837 to 1901 – her influence on lifestyle, fashion, art, interiors, and architecture has been profound and long-lasting. In the 1900s, a Victorian home, with varying sizes, styles, and levels of decoration, was at its peak.

The desire to emulate Queen Victoria’s housing taste can be attributed to the increased social mobility and tastes of the newly affluent Americans benefiting from the Industrial Revolution.

Victorian-style homes feature steeply pitched roofs, ornate gables and ledges, bay windows, double over two vans (hanged by one ribbon on each sash), ornate tilework, stained glass, turrets and turrets, intricate woodwork and rich colours. The increase is a hallmark of Victorian architecture.

While the style can be attributed to the royal family of Great Britain, modest homes, even country houses, were constructed in the Victorian style. Row homes were built even for factory workers in the Victorian style.

Various styles of Victorian architecture

The different types of Victorian styles include:

  • Queen Anne Victorian, featuring winding arcades
  • Italian Victorian, which reflects the villa style from Italy and is characterized by columns, narrow windows, and ornate decoration
  • Victorian Gothic inspired by medieval churches, featuring pointed arches

Named Folk Victorian farmhouses, as the name suggests, they were smaller, less decorated, and located in rural areas. The Romanesque Victorians were also influenced by historic churches constructed in the Italianate style.

Interior features of a Victorian home

The interiors of Victorian homes had many separate spaces and a strict separation of public and private spaces from utilitarian spaces such as kitchens and laundries. Pocket doors—often with stained glass, ornate carving, and finely crafted hardware—allowed residents to separate rooms and areas from other parts of the house. The duality of rooms is evidenced by multiple lounges, dens, libraries, and billiard rooms in the same house.

The Victorian way of life was formal, with servants being taken down back stairs and hallways not used by family or guests. Eating in the formal dining rooms and breakfast rooms was the norm, with tea in parlors, garden rooms or tea rooms, further evidence of the duplication of spaces.

The old houses that inhabited in the modern era

Realtors in 2022 will recognize Victorian homes by their sheer size, ornate exteriors, and refined interiors. Carved balustrades, moldings, built-in ceilings and sideboards, and glass-fronted bookcases are sure signs that a home is of Victorian style or influence.

We hope that Victorian homes will be updated with modern heating and cooling, newer bathrooms and kitchens, and perfectly modern insulation. The large floor plan, high ceilings, and stained-glass windows will appeal to buyers who desire this style.

Victorian homes tended to be clustered in certain neighbourhoods. Be forewarned that some of the efforts in the past 100 years to modernize and modernize these homes may have resulted in less-than-ideal renovations.

Gerard Splendor is a licensed real estate broker with Warburg Realty in New York. Connect with him on LinkedIn.