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Doors Through the Decades: Victorian Opulence

With over a quarter of the British population living in Victorian homes, this period is one we are asked about particularly often. Many of our clients want to know how to stay faithful to their period home, without compromising on security or thermal efficiency. From glass designs to hardware and colours, there are plenty of design features that need to be considered to really achieve that Victorian look. The Victorian era was a time of grandeur and opulence, with intricate design extending to the very threshold of homes up and down the country. So, what influenced Victorian design and how can you capture this in your own front door?

Victorian Design Influences

The early Victorian period witnessed a transition from the Georgian architectural style, characterised by simplicity and symmetry, to the more elaborate designs that would define the era. During this time, front doors began to incorporate Gothic and Tudor influences. Victorian opulence peaked mid-way through the period, with homeowners embracing eclecticism and incorporating a broad range of architectural styles – from Gothic to Renaissance and even Middle Eastern design – the Victorians weren’t afraid of making a statement!

The late Victorian period shifted back towards more restrained and refined designs. The excesses of the mid-century gave way to a growing appreciation for the simplicity and symmetry reminiscent of the Georgian style that came before. 

Hallmarks of Victorian Door Design

Victorian homeowners used their front doors as canvases for self-expression, showcasing their individual tastes and social standing. Ornate wood carvings, stained glass and intricate ironmongery all came together to build a beautiful scene or narrative. As technology advanced, these features would be used to incorporate mythological motifs and depictions of the natural world – a fascination woven through Victorian imagination. In time, intricately patterned tilework surrounding the entrance became a common feature, working together with stained glass to create a colourful welcome. 

As the end of the century approached, cleaner lines and geometric patterns began to replace the more elaborate designs. The use of stained glass persisted, albeit in a more subdued manner. Patterns became more geometric, reflecting the influence of Art Nouveau, which was gaining in popularity.

A contemporary view 

Victorian style front doors really do bring the wow factor to a home.  If you already own a Victorian property, it makes sense to consider a front door that will achieve a cohesive look and defer to the architectural heritage of the property. Given the enduring popularity of the Victorian style, you can be confident your design choices won’t fall out of fashion. 

When it comes to colour, muted and rich tones are ideal. Deep hues like burgundy, black or navy resonate with the Victorian era’s affinity for opulence and elegance. These colours not only evoke a sense of grandeur but can also complement the surrounding brickwork or stone facade.

Glass panels play a crucial role in Victorian doors. Stained or leaded glass panels, often showcasing intricate patterns or floral motifs, can be a stunning addition. These panels provide a glimpse of the home’s interior, while maintaining privacy and delivering an authentic touch to the overall look.

When it comes to hardware, ornate and decorative handles, knobs, and hinges are a must. Brass, bronze, or even black hardware can accentuate the door’s period charm. Intricately designed knockers and letterboxes further enhance the Victorian aesthetic, creating a focal point at the entrance.

If your home doesn’t come with an original Victorian door, it is still possible to create that timeless look and feel.  The Ludlow style Solidor and Jacobean style Rockdoor offer period aesthetics combined with the latest technology to keep you and your home secure.


The Victorian era left an indelible mark on architecture and design, and front doors were no exception. From the early revival of medieval styles to the eclecticism of the mid-century and the restrained elegance of the late Victorian period, front doors evolved alongside the changing tastes and social dynamics of the time.

For advice about choosing a suitable door for your Victorian home, or bringing the Victorian aesthetic to a more contemporary setting, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team. 

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