Traditional Exterior by Downers Grove Design-build Oakley Home Builders


When it comes to bringing old world charm into modern homes, the neo-Victorian design remains a popular choice. What defines this style? The inspiration comes from a diverse mix of Gothic and Baroque as well as Old English influences.

Historic Homes

Victorian homes showcase turrets and towers that hover proudly; jarring asymmetrical facades; and ornate shingles, eaves, porches, and balconies that speak of extravagance. Inside, old Victorian homes exude romance through lavish furnishings and accent pieces in drawing rooms and bedrooms.

Original layouts from this era were, however, convoluted. These had a labyrinth of hallways and small, cramped rooms, particularly bath spaces known at the time simply as “water closets”.

Today’s revival of this classic architecture has prompted designers and builders to create more spacious, more functional dwellings fit for the modern lifestyle. My very own city of San Francisco is well known for breathing life into this old world aesthetic during the 20th century.

How does one incorporate the neo-Victorian look into a Balsam Hill home? Here are five surprising ways to put the “new” in neo-Victorian.

Neo-Victorian Home Exteriors

1. The Garage

Do away with conventional garage doors and go for a creative one that disguises itself as an oversized bay window with three sides. This clever design by Levy Art & Architecture welcomes light into the garage while retaining the traditional Victorian look.

Modern Garage And Shed by San Francisco Photographer Ken Gutmaker Architectural Photography


2. The Pool House

Most Victorian homes exhibit bold and often Baroque details in estates that come across as intimidating. But John Malick & Associates succeed in pulling off a contemporary twist on Victorian exteriors. The subtlety of the wooden scrolls creates a fun outdoor feel for this pool area and takes away the typical gaudy look of old Victorian accents.

Traditional Pool by Emeryville Architect John Malick & Associates


Neo-Victorian Home Interiors

3. The Drawing Room

Make every space in your drawing room functional. Drawing rooms, or areas where residents and guests typically hang out, are often rectangular and narrow but with the bonus of a bay window in front. This layout creates extra space for seating or, as seen in this example by Maurizio Pellizzoni Design, extra room for a stylish desk.

Traditional Exterior by Downers Grove Design-build Oakley Home Builders


4. The Kitchen

Go against tradition by adding a pop of color to your neo-Victorian kitchen. This design by Glenvale Kitchens makes use of a range that dons the silhouette of a classic Victorian stove, but the coating in fire engine red complements the black and white color palette of the space.

Traditional Kitchen by Dublin Kitchen And Bath Glenvale Kitchens


5. The Bedroom

If you find traditional floral patterns and pastel colors a little too conventional for your neo-Victorian home, try accent pieces with a hint of black, cream, and turquoise, and set them against a delicious chocolate wall color. This sumptuous bedroom by Maracay Homes includes not only the familiar elements of the old Victorian style, but also a novel combination of bold colors.

Eclectic Bedroom by Scottsdale Architect Maracay Homes Design Studio


Neo-Victorian design strikes a balance between the elegance of a bygone era and the sensibilities of modern times. You can find inspiration for your Balsam Hill home from a style that exhibits romance and reinvention.

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What makes every home special? In this series, the Balsam Hill blog shows you the most unique architectural and interior design marvels that are sure to inspire you as you transform your very own house into a Balsam Hill home.