Victorian Holiday Decorating

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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zollydog
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:38 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA
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Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by zollydog »

Hi, everyone, and Happy Holidays!

Here's how we've decorated the outside of our house this year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85387627@N00/5252337336/

And here's the deal -- not only do we live in a victorian-era house, but we live in a town that celebrates Victorian Christmas. So, the second weekend of every December there are many events focused on commemorating the victorian era.

I, as a homeowner, would like to do "victorian-style" decorations on my house -- I mean, more than I did this year. Though white lights -- which obviously wouldn't have been available back in the day -- also seem to be necessary to the decor.

Any suggestions? Things I should definitely do? Ideas for my 3rd floor balcony and peak?
Proud owner of an ooooold house!
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Igloochic
Posts: 629
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:16 pm

Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by Igloochic »

What a great house to decorate! I love the tree on the deck.

Have you considered a large wreath anchored at the point filling the triangle on the top deck ( anchored from the top and sides). Also I can see a candle in every window (I do that) bau on a flat faced home with lots of windows you can also do a wreath in every window which looks gorgeous.

I try to have as many sparkly trees in the windows as possible (I have ten, all can be seen from the outside).

Bows on the doors or wreaths as well would be pretty.

Just a few quick ideas :).
The James House - 1889 "Modern" Queen Anne
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matchbookhouse
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: Greater downtown Dahlgren, VA

Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by matchbookhouse »

I agree with Igloo, especially on the candles in the windows. In historic downtown Fredericksburg, VA it is really common to see candles in the Colonial and Victorian homes, as well as lots of ribbons, sparkly trees, and wreaths. Go for it!

Fanner
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:18 pm
Location: WI

Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by Fanner »

I 3rd the candle in every window ~ that is the main decorating that can be seen from the outside of our house. I also "candy stripe" the pillars on my porches. Finally our tree is visible through one of the parlor windows. Some greenery at the 3rd floor peak would be a great touch too. It is so much fun to decorate for the holidays ~ and a lovely home like yours really doesn't need a lot to spruce it up. Have fun and post more pics :wink:

Here is our house (my camera is lousy at taking low-light pics) not the greatest shot, but you get the idea with the candles, I think!
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1904 Victorian :)
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1880 Stick Victorian
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:35 am
Location: Lyons, NY

Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by 1880 Stick Victorian »

if i had a choice between lights outside and candles in the windows.... it would be the candles in the windows...to me the candles add a lot of old charm, character and warmth. we took pictures on 11/27 without the candles in the windows and then again on 12/06 with candles in the windows...

11/27/10
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12/06/10
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Theo. & Alice Fries House
Lyons, New York - 1880

wletson
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:22 pm
Location: Ayr, Ontario

Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by wletson »

1880 Stick Victorian wrote:12/06 with candles in the windows...
What great shots you got that day! That's perfect with the snow coming down. Your porch would look super cool if you hung an ornament in each of the circle cutouts in the top trimwork.
Image1883 Schoolhouse, rural Ontario, Canada
warren

1880 Stick Victorian
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:35 am
Location: Lyons, NY

Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by 1880 Stick Victorian »

that is not a bad idea but i am really bad about putting nails in the house...as it is all of the hooks that hold the artificial roping and lights are rubberized so that they don't rust and then stain the paint....part of my "OCD" disorder :shock:

after last christmas my partner bought out the remaining stock of the local walmart and their plastic ornaments at 75% off regular price....they only had red and gold left....i think he came home with 50 to 60 boxes of these ornaments. We bought their "basic" evergreen roping for like $2 for 9 feet (made in usa), pulled it and fluffed it to look normal...he wired three ornaments together and had a few laundry baskets and boxes full and then went out and wired them on the roping (before the snow)...so now they will be ready for next year..

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Theo. & Alice Fries House
Lyons, New York - 1880

S Melissa
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Canton Michigan
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Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by S Melissa »

Scott, your house is just terrific! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the roping on the porch. Actually - I'm coveting it. One of my staff does the christmas ball wreaths, and I'm working up the nerve to have her do a couple for me to have, and give as gifts - they're right up the alley of your roping. What a great idea. I like the house with the candles - I would do them as well, but I have the skinniest windowsills ever, and it just doesn't work out.

As for the OP - I think the wreaths in the windows, or to be different, you might consider swags with a beautiful bow; they could be lit up too - that's pretty. Some do the wreaths with the pretty velvet ribbon "holding" the wreath on the window - that's nice. If you have window boxes on the lower floor, you could consider putting pretty greens in there, with sparkling lights. You might consider other ideas like doing a winter arrangement in your flower urns using greens and artificial stuff - you can go simple and use artificial fruits or with bling and use frosted and sparkling stuff. You could also do roping around your door with lights; paired lighted small trees at the door. You could do a nice sled with greens and some ice skates tied with red laces leaning up to the front; you could do a bigger sled with wrapped packages, just waiting to have the horse hitched up and the footwarmers from the fire to be placed for a "dashing thru the snow" evening. Somewhere you can find a pattern to build just such a sleigh out of plywood - a nice summer project. There's no end. Mostly, it is tasteful rather than "victorian" as back in those days, the tree went up on Christmas eve, with candles and came down pretty fast. Most of the "victorian" christmas is manufactured by Hollywood.
Melissa
Canton, MI
1860 Italianate - Reuben Huston Home
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zollydog
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:38 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA
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Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by zollydog »

Thank you guys -- so many good ideas! I'm totally thinking about wiping out the morning sales now...
Proud owner of an ooooold house!
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jade mortimer
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Location: hawley massachusetts
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Re: Victorian Holiday Decorating

Post by jade mortimer »

i want to find out what it is in our brains that produces that warm and cozy, 'all is well in the world, i smell balsam and spiced cider' feeling when we see a landscape like your gorgeously decorated houses and falling snow...same thing with warren's snow globe...

THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR PICTURES!
......jade

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