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Queen Victoria reigned during a time of progress. From the factory floor to the home environment, many things changed over the six decades of her reign. Among these changes we can see clearly that the home became a place of much greater comfort than in previous generations. Sumptuously upholstered Victorian sofas finished in thick damask and the softest of velvet are just one example of this new way of life. Many Victorian sofas, of an astounding array of styles and sizes, were so well built that they are still in use today. Take a look at the always-changing selection of beautiful sofas from the 1800s here at Vinterior. Browse seating that stretches back through the decades and discover how you might incorporate a Victorian sofa in your interior design.
Why choose Victorian sofas?The Victorian era witnessed the Industrial Revolution, which had a profound effect on British society. Mass production and new machinery meant upholstered furniture was no longer the preserve of the super-rich. Gradually, the middle-classes found themselves able to afford comfortable chairs, and even upholstered sofas with arms, seats and backs filled with steel springs, and stuffing held in place using innovative new lashing techniques.
Prestigious names like Howard and Sons, and Gillows of Lancaster, set the benchmark for exceptionally well-made sofas in numerous styles to suit all tastes. Wooden frames were carved into ever-more elaborate shapes with scrolls, turned legs and undulating curved backs created from solid walnut, rosewood and oak. The decadent chaise longue grew in popularity, as did large, sturdy armchairs with winged headrests to provide protection from icy draughts.
Quality sofas were seen as lifetime investments that would ultimately be passed on to the next generation. With this in mind, the better off Victorian would spare no expense, ordering the very best fabric in the most fashionable colours and patterns to adorn their sofas. This commitment to quality is why it is still possible to enjoy an authentic Victorian sofa in your own home today. The variation is quite remarkable. One of the most frequently selected styles, and one that works with ease in a modern home, is the Chesterfield sofa. This style is recognisable by the fact that the leather upholstery (often in ox-blood, inky blue or bottle green) is pierced in a diamond formation by large buttons.
There are also rare finds to be made. How about a corner chaise longue dating from the 1860s, with a buttoned back, glossy turned mahogany legs and original brass casters? Thanks to the sheer variation in Victorian sofas, you’ll be able to find one for any space. For the very well-to-do, a boudoir sofa was a favourite. Petite, with ultra-feminine curved backs and slightly splayed elegant back-legs, these make a striking addition in a generously proportioned bedroom or hallway.
Shop for Victorian sofas with VinteriorFor many people, buying vintage furniture is an excellent way to avoid buying the same items as friends or neighbours, which all too often results in an homogenous home. Often totally unique, renovated antiques bring premium design into your space, lending it an unbeatable sense of style.
If you are on the lookout for a stunning Victorian sofa to bring a area of your home to life, be sure to make Vinterior a regular haunt. While you’re searching, take inspiration from the many glorious pieces of furniture and home accessories, new and old, across our marketplace.