How to Decorate a 1800s Home

Love the old character of your home, but not sure how to decorate it in a way that is both true to its historic roots and stylish? Get some tips and ideas here!

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Although the 1800s home may seem outdated and in need of a serious update, there are actually many ways to decorate this type of home so that it is both stylish and comfortable. With a few simple tips, you can turn your 1800s home into a chic and inviting space that you and your family will love.


Historical design styles can give your home a feeling of sophistication, elegance, or grandeur. No matter what kind of look you’re going for, there are several design themes that are popular in 1800s-era homes. Here are some of the most popular:

-Georgian: Inspired by English architecture of the 1700s, Georgian-style homes feature symmetrical plans with formal living and dining spaces, as well as plenty of windows to let in natural light.

-Victorian: One of the most popular styles of the 1800s, Victorian homes are known for their intricate details and lavish finishes. Common features include stained glass windows, ornate fireplaces, and turrets.

-Edwardian: A more subdued version of the Victorian style, Edwardian homes focus on simple lines and understated elegance. Common features include bay windows and wainscoting.

-Queen Anne: Another very popular style in the late 1800s, Queen Anne homes feature asymmetrical plans with irregular rooflines and a variety of textures and colors. Common features include wrap-around porches and stained glass windows.


In the early 1800s, most walls were painted a neutral white or light cream color. This helped to reflect light, which was necessary since there were no electric lights. In the late 1800s, brighter colors such as yellow, green, and blue became more popular. These colors were achieved by adding natural pigments to the paint. Some of these pigments came from minerals, while others came from plants.


In the early 1800s, furniture was often massive and very ornate. Sofas were deep and comfortable, perfect for lounging. Chairs often had arm rests and springs for added comfort, while ottomans provided a place to rest your feet. Tables were large and multi-functional; many had drawers or shelves for storage.

Because homes were not electrified, lighting came from candles and oil lamps. These were placed on end tables, which were also used for storing books and other small objects. Cabinets were used for displaying china and other valuables.

Most early 1800s homes had at least one mirror, which was used to reflect light and make the room appear larger. Paintings and other works of art were also popular décor items.

Wall Decor

Wall Decor in the 1800s

In the 1800s, wallpaper was used to cover walls in homes. It was usually hung horizontally and was often made of paper or fabric. Wallpaper patterns were often repetitive and geometric, with roses, birds, and other nature-inspired motifs being popular choices. Paintings and other artwork were also commonly used to decorate walls. These were often hung in rows or groups and were often landscapes or portraits.


In the 1800s, most homes had hardwood floors. If you are lucky enough to have this type of flooring in your home, you can either refinish it or leave it as is for a more rustic look. If you do decide to refinish your floors, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your floors. Instead, opt for gentle, natural cleaners such as vinegar and water. Second, be sure to protect your floors from scratch and wear by placing mats at entryways and high traffic areas. Lastly, if you have any furniture in your home that is particularly heavy or has sharp legs, be sure to place pads underneath to avoid damaging your floors.


One of the most important features of any room is lighting. In the 1800s, homes were lit with candles, oil lamps, and gas lights. Today, we have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to lighting our homes.

Candles were used for both light and heat in the 1800s. They were made from tallow (animal fat) and beeswax. Candles were expensive, so they were often saved for special occasions. Oil lamps were another option for lighting homes in the 1800s. They were filled with whale oil, vegetable oil, or kerosene. Gas lights were also used in some homes in the 1800s. These were powered by methane gas or coal gas.

Today, we have a variety of options when it comes to lighting our homes. We can use electric lights, LED lights, fluorescent lights, or even solar-powered lights. We can also choose from a wide range of styles to suit our personal taste. Whether you prefer traditional lighting fixtures or more modern options, there are plenty of choices available to help you light up your home in style.

Window Treatments

In the 1800s, homes were generally decorated with whatever was available. Window treatments were no different. If you want to give your home a period-appropriate look, here are some window treatment ideas that would have been popular during that era.

Shutters were common in the 1800s, both for function and aesthetics. They could be made of wood or metal and were often painted to match the trim on the outside of the house. Interior shutters could be opened to let in light and fresh air or closed to keep out the cold drafts in winter.

Curtains were also popular, although they were not as common as they are today. Curtains were generally made of fabric that matched the upholstery in the room and were hung on a rod that could be pulled open or closed.

Blinds were another option for window treatments in the 1800s. Blinds could be made of wood, metal, or fabric and usually had a cord or chain that was used to raise and lower them.


In the 1800s, homes were generally decorated with whatever was available. If you want to decorate your home in the style of the 1800s, you will need to use a variety of accessories.

You can find many of these accessories at flea markets, garage sales, and antique stores. Here are some tips on what to look for:

-Furniture: Look for furniture that is made of natural materials such as wood or wicker. Avoid plastic or metal furniture.
-Fabrics: Use ticking stripes or plaids for curtains and upholstery. Quilts were also popular in the 1800s.
-Flooring: Wood floors were common in the 1800s. If you have carpet, make sure it is a neutral color such as beige or brown.
-Lighting: Oil lamps were common in the 1800s. You can find replicas at many stores that sell antique items.
-Accessories: Look for old dishes, pottery, and copper items. Baskets, buckets, and barrels were also commonly used in the 1800s.


After you have decided on a style, the next step is to choose a color palette. timeless elegance, go for light and airy colors like pale blue, lavender, or even white. To make a bolder statement, consider jewel tones like emerald green or ruby red. And for a touch of whimsy, try using pastels.

Once you have your colors picked out, it’s time to start shopping for furniture and accessories. Remember to focus on quality over quantity – a few well-made pieces will last longer and look better than a bunch of cheap knock-offs. And don’t be afraid to mix and match – different styles can actually complement each other quite nicely.

As you can see, decorating a 1800s home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With a little research and imagination, you can create a truly unique space that reflects your personal taste and style.

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