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See some popular exterior color schemes for 18 Victorian houses (1886)

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Vintage home exteriors See the decorator colors chosen for 18 Victorian houses (1886)

Bold, rich coloring for houses of the Victorian era

The day when nearly every building was painted white, and window blinds green, has passed away. It was followed by the use of tints, and this, in turn, has now given way to the employment of bolder and richer coloring.

The style in favor at present is really nondescript, but may be designated as English Cottage, or Queen Anne. Contrasts of striking and original character are now sought for, and there is relief from the sameness which previously existed.

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (5)

The change is a good one; but there have been obstacles to its effectual carrying out, which have hampered progress and brought about, in many cases, the use of incongruous combinations of colors.

The main difficulty with the owner of a property is in determining the contrasts which he wishes to arrive at. He may have an idea in his own mind of what he desires, but cannot put it properly in practical form. The terms buff, drab, olive, etc., applied to colors, are indefinite; they apply to so many different shades or variations — light or dark — that they are not sufficiently descriptive.

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Even when the colors themselves are shown by means of what are known as “Sample Cards,” there is still bewilderment owing to its being impossible, from such samples, to determine the effect of the colors when applied upon a building; nor can the result of different contrasts be arrived at.

Even if the choice of colors is left to the painter, the result is often unsatisfactory, because, though perhaps an excellent workman, he may be deficient in taste or originality.

In many cases, some building which has attracted attention is taken for a guide, and the design copied without regard to the applicability of style or surroundings. In this way frequently comes the sameness or incongruity, which so often offends the eye, even in residences of pretension, where, from the means and taste of the owner and opportunities presented by the architecture, something better might be expected.

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (7)

Paint by area

The illustrations show different varieties of buildings in various combinations of colors, thus enabling suitable selections to be made, according to desire and circumstances.

The publishers believe that the method adopted for the presentation of the different styles of painting, will do away with uncertainty as to the effect of the contrasts produced by colors, serve to educate and direct popular taste, and prove a most valuable aid to the painter and property owner in questions of decoration.

ALSO SEE: Our Victorian Vintage Home adult coloring books

When planning decorative paintwork for a house, the following areas may be specifically defined:

  • Upper Body
  • Lower Body
  • Trimming and Shading
  • Upper Trimming
  • Lower Trimming
  • Sash and Striping
  • Cresting
  • Brickwork
  • Blinds
  • Roof

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (18)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (17)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (1)

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Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (2)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (3)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (4)

 

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (6)

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Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (9)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (10)

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Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (11)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (12)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (13)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (14)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (15)

Painted Victorian homes from 1886 (16)

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