The Victorian architectural style and the home hardware produced during this time (1825-1900) is not one specific type of hardware but rather an eclectic mix of various styles that were popular and classified as Victorian Era hardware after the fact. Most notably during this time home decorating became more ornate and reflected the changing social and economic revolutions that were occurring in the United States. The industrial revolution brought mass production of goods and beautiful home hardware was no longer only accessible to the “upper class” of society. The newly formed middle class in America embraced these new architectural styles and filled their home with a variety of popular trends.
Depending on the taste of the inhabitants the doorknob sets, cabinet hardware, window hardware and home hardware could vary widely. In some homes a very ornate style (sometimes referred to during this time as romantic because of the emphasis on flowers and nature motifs) was used while in others more geometric designs (such as the Eastlake design) were extremely popular. Solid brass was used for its strength and the ability to cast in a wide variety of designs and patterns. Some of the most popular styles included Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne and Stick Style. The trademark features of each style varied slightly with different emphasis being placed on window design, roofing, exterior decorative elements and interior home hardware patterns.
Victorian style hardware is produced today and can be used in both older Victorian homes and modern houses. It is a timeless addition to any room and can transform an entire room with little effort. Older and worn furniture can be transformed by replacing the original knobs with elegant designs and doorknob sets can be easily replaced to become a wonderful focal point. Interior and exterior Victorian style is available and makes it extremely easy to create a new and beautiful theme throughout your entire home. Remember that these styles were used interchangeably during the Victorian era so you can use a variety of patterns and shapes throughout your house and it will tie itself together nicely.
Victorian era hardware is readily available online and in many home decoration catalogs. Search for solid brass construction to ensure high quality and strength. Solid brass hardware is available in several finishes and can coordinate well with your existing hardware. These pieces are available online through LookInTheAttic & Company and they offer free design assistance and help.