11 stunning Civil War-era Victorian house floor plans from the 1860s

Home plans from the Civil War era

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Victorian house floor plans: When they were new

Below, see floor plans and exterior views of 11 Victorian homes from the Civil War era, designed by prominent architects and built during the 1860s. This curated selection of Victorian house floor plans offers a fascinating glimpse into architectural history and domestic life of the past.

These plans reveal intricate details and layouts that were cutting-edge for their time. Interestingly, many of these homes featured bathrooms, a luxury in an era when such amenities were uncommon. It’s also notable that kitchens were often situated in the basement or cellar, keeping the bustling heart of the home separate from living spaces. The presence of studies and libraries in these floor plans reflects the period’s emphasis on quiet study and intellectual engagement.

These Civil War-era Victorian floor plans were clearly intended for those who were well-off. The level of detail and thought put into these designs speaks to the era’s commitment to beauty and functionality. Our collection highlights some intricate examples of these designs, showcasing the elaborate nature of Victorian architecture, and providing  insight into the lifestyle and social structures of the Civil War period. It’s a bridge to the past, allowing us to understand how people of the era balanced elegance with practicality in their living spaces.

Victorian villa design for Worcester, Massachusetts (1867)

This design has been fully prepared in detail for a gentleman residing in Worcester, Mass., and it is to be executed by day’s work, in brick and brown stone, with wooden trimmings to the roofs, bays, verandas, etc. The roof is intended to be covered with green and purple slates, arranged as shown on the perspective view.

Victorian house floor plans: Villa design for Worcester, Mass (1867)

Main entrance and first floor plan

The principal entrance is formed by a recessed porch, which has been designed in connection with a gabled projection and a hooded balcony over the main arch, so as to give due prominence to this part of the design.

The hall connects with a drawing room, a library, a dining room, a reception room, and a main staircase. The principal rooms communicate with each other. The library and drawing room have access to a plant cabinet and terrace, and the library and dining room open onto a veranda.

Pantry and service areas

The pantry arrangements are more than usually roomy and complete, as the proprietor was desirous that this part of the plan should not be in any way cramped or restricted. There is a small veranda over a garden entrance, which has a dressing room near it, and which can be reached from the principal staircase hall.

A large kitchen and wash room, with a storeroom and pantry, complete the accommodation on this floor. The chamber plan supplies five large bedrooms, a dressing room, a bathroom, and a linen closet in the main body of the house. Three inferior bedrooms are provided in the wing.

Victorian villa floor plan for Worcester, Mass (1867)

Victorian house floor plans #21: A wooden country house from 1867

This design was prepared for a gentleman residing at Worcester, Massachusetts, and has been executed by him, under his own immediate supervision, on a valuable site in the vicinity of that thriving city. The leading idea of the plan was suggested by the wife of the proprietor.

A porch under the tower opens into a principal hall, and contains an outside door to a business office that is accessible from the staircase hall in the interior of the house. A veranda, extending around three sides of the drawing-room, also connects with this porch, so that a promenade of considerable extent is provided by the design.

Design 21 - A wooden country house from 1867

The hall and principal staircase are so designed that they form one symmetrical composition, and a light, open, airy effect is thus produced. The drawing, or summer room, is a handsome apartment, with windows on three sides; two of them, at opposite ends of the room, open onto a veranda, and the third is a bay, commanding an agreeable view of the distant landscape, and fitted up with a permanent settee, or lounge.

The library is supplied with bookcases recessed in the wall, and has a door to the dining-room, which is supplied with a pantry and china closet. The servants’ wing is above ground, and contains kitchen, back kitchen, pantry, and store-room. In the basement are cellars and a furnace room.

The second floor plan provides in the main body of the building one bedroom, with dressing-room attached, also a large room used as a study, and three other chambers of moderate size, all furnished with closets. In the wing will be found a bath-room and water-closet, a children’s bedroom, a linen closet, and a servants’ bedroom. The attic is not finished off at present, but several agreeable rooms can be arranged here whenever they are needed.

The house was built of wood, filled in, and the interior has been fitted up carefully and completely, the work being done by the day under the proprietor’s supervision.

Floor plan for a wooden country house from 1867

Small bracketed villa

Designed expressly for Godey’s Lady’s Book by Samuel Sloan, Architect, Philadelphia

This little villa, so picturesque in appearance, would make a very appropriate residence for a family of moderate size.

The round-headed windows and porch arcades architecturally forbid the use of such a pitch as the main roof has; but it will be seen that this piquancy is obviated by the truncation of the latter, thereby agreeably subduing the otherwise discord and composition.

First floor: Ample hall, fine drawing room, dining room, kitchen, library. Second floor contains five very good chambers, and a number of appendages, such as closets, etc. rarely found in a dwelling of this magnitude.

Classic home design Small bracketed villa (1862)

Beautiful large Victorian house floor plans from 1867

This is a design for a square house executed at Staatsburgh, on the Hudson River. This house contains five rooms on the principal floor.

Beautiful large Victorian home design from 1867

The house is approached through a porch connecting two verandas, which thus afford a lengthened covered promenade. The principal hall, seventeen feet square, with windows commanding an agreeable view, is intended to be somewhat more than a mere hall.

It is designed with recesses on three sides, in which easy, simple lounges might be fitted. This allows the hall, which is on the westerly side of the house, to be used as a cool morning room in summer, if desired.

Vintage 1860s home design floor plans (2)

Drawing room, library, dining room and service areas

The drawing room opens from the hall and is connected by folding doors with the library. The library has a separate approach from the inner hall and thus, when the folding doors are closed, is private and retired.

The dining room is disconnected with the other apartments and communicates with the servants’ offices through a roomy pantry. There is a private garden entrance, with a gentlemen’s dressing room and water closet in close proximity to it. The bedroom accommodation is liberal, but it has not been thought necessary to give the other plans.

Vintage 1860s home design floor plans (3)

Estimated cost and building materials

This house has been estimated, with simple interior finish, to cost about $16,000. It is designed to be built of brick, with a free use of brown stone for the angles, the copings, and the windows and other openings. The most harmonious arrangement of colors would be a soft, reddish brick, and a brown stone of as gray a tint as could be obtained.

The roofs are intended to be covered with greenish-gray slates, and the eaves, veranda, and other outside woodwork should be painted of a warm oak color.

Vintage 1860s home design floor plans (1)

Victorian Era Home Floor Plans & Illustrations: from 1880's Magazines a Collection of 20 House...
  • Frasier, Cassie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 78 Pages - 04/12/2023 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

Design for a rural residence from 1863

First story: Vestibule, sitting room, parlor, parlor, dining room, kitchen, hall, porch.

Second story: Roof, chambers, dressing room, nursery, bath.

home designs floorplans from 1863 (2)

A picturesque villa from the Civil War

Designed expressly for Godey’s Lady’s Book by Samuel Sloan, Architect, Philadelphia

We are indebted to Mr Sloan for the illustration of the residence of our present Secretary of State, Eli Slifer, Esq., who kindly permits the use of them for our readers.

The chosen site of this building is on the western bank of the Susquehanna River, in the suburbs of the town of Lewisburg, Union County, Pennsylvania. As will be seen by a reference to the plans, the house is designed as well for convenience as in its interior arrangements for beauty and picturesqueness, in part caused by its irregular outline.

The man who builds a country-house for a family consisting of eight persons would, perhaps, find the rear portions of this one unnecessary, neither would their omission impair its beauty.

1862 home plan - A picturesque villa

MORE: Rosedown mansion: A restored plantation home from the Old South

Design 23: Plan for a brick home in rural New York (1867)

The house was built of brick, covered with a limewash. The plan provides a brick porch that may be enclosed, communicating with a veranda and with a principal hall of moderate dimensions.

This hall opens into a parlor, a dining room, a library, and a bedroom, each purposely disconnected with the other. It also leads through a door into the principal staircase hall, and a back staircase provides a private garden entrance, and communicates with the dining room through a pantry, in which is a rising lift connected with the kitchen.

Antique house design for a home from 1867

The windows that open onto the verandas are glazed to the floor, and the dining and drawing rooms have bay windows. It was at first proposed to have a projecting window to the library, and to carry it up two stories, for this point commands a view clear down into the very heart of the glen, and in the early summer presents to the eye a wonderful waving sea of vividly green tree-tops.

The library and other rooms

The library contains bookcases recessed in the walls, and, as well as the parlor or drawing room, opens onto a veranda more private than the one communicating with the entrance porch. All the rooms on this floor were finished simply, the walls being prepared for papering.

Shades of the past: Authentic Victorian house paint color sample cards

The casings to the doors and windows are unmolded, and the woodwork is painted in plain tints, a liberal supply of room and plenty of fresh air being preferred throughout to any elaboration of detail.

1860s house design floor plan views

Bedroom and upper floor plans

The bedroom plan provides two chambers, with dressing rooms attached, two other good-sized sleeping apartments, and a smaller spare room, all furnished with permanent closets.

These, together with a bathroom, water closet, and linen room, complete the accommodation on this floor. The upper hall is open and airy, and communicates with the back staircase, which is continued to the attic story.

As the roof is of a high pitch, and a large flat is designed on the top to connect the various ridges, this attic is roomy, and provides several available spare bedrooms besides what are necessary for the use of the servants; and the free, uninterrupted, uppermost hall being cheerfully lighted and well ventilated, offers an available playroom for children.

Antique floor plans for a home from 1867

Roof and basement details

The general arrangement for the roof and the position for the proposed bell turret are shown on the roof plan. A rope could thus be arranged to pass from the bell down the side of the bathroom to the pantry below, where it would be most easily accessible when wanted.

The basement plan shows a kitchen, with windows almost entirely out of ground; a sink room, several pantries and store closets, a milk room, a wash room, a provision cellar, a coal cellar, and furnace room are also provided, and an open hall communicating with an outer entrance at the lower level. This entrance is shown on the side of the plan, and was afterward covered by a porch and rendered more commodious.

Gothic cottage design from the 1860s

Designed expressly for Godey’s Lady’s Book by Samuel Sloan, Architect, Philadelphia

This cottage is essentially Gothic in its character. Its appointments indicate its suitableness to the habits of northern life. It is quite picturesque in appearance, and would form a pleasant feature in almost any landscape.

Principal floor: Porch, hall, parlor, sitting room, dining room, kitchen with storeroom, summer kitchen, veranda. Second floor: Hall, chambers, bedroom.

Gothic cottage home plan 1862

Northern farm house plan & vintage design (1862)

Northern farm house (1862)

Victorian-era rural house near Philadelphia designed in 1863

First story: Parlor, sitting room, dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, washroom, porch, carriage porch, porch, washroom. Second story: Principal chamber, chamber, bath and water closet, bath, chamber, roof.

Victorian-era rural house near Philadelphia designed in 1863

Floor plans for a Pennsylvania home in 1863

Suburban cottage in the bracketed style (1863)

Designed expressly for Godey’s Lady’s Book by Samuel Sloan, Architect, Philadelphia

Cottage in bracketed style - 1862

100 YEARS LATER: 125 vintage ’60s home plans used to design & build millions of mid-century houses across America

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