Characteristics of Victorian Architecture

victorian architecture

Posted by LIVE Urban Real Estate on Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 7:04pm.

When you think of Victorian style homes, you probably imagine a Queen Anne home, complete with elaborate trim painted in a contrasting color and stained-glass windows. Victorian homes were built to impress, and they are still impressive today. The following characteristics are typically found in a Victorian style home:

Narrow and Tall

Most Victorian houses are narrow, which allowed these impressive beauties to be built on a small amount of land. They were often close to other Victorian homes, usually near the center of town. What these houses lack in width they make up for in height; a typical Victorian is three stories tall and perched on a full-size basement.

In Denver, you will find that although some neighborhoods, like LoHi, still have several Victorians built very close together on smaller lots, you will also find beauties like the one featured here. much larger than the typical Victorian but still boasting many of the original features. and this one is also on an oversized lot!

Because the Victorian was built to impress, in tricate or grand entrances were usually constructed. These stairways usually lead to wrap-around front porches adorned with turned wood or wrought iron railings.

Towers and Turrets

These unique rooms could be studies, bedrooms or libraries. They give Victorian homes a castle feel and recall the Gothic mansions that inspired early Victorian designs. Because these houses were often three or even four stories tall, these turrets can be quite impressive.

Decorative Trim

Although the trim was mass-produced, there were several different styles and designs. Everything from Italianate egg-and-dart molding to carved Gothic Revivial fascia can be found on a Victorian home. It's not at all unusual to find Queen Anne, Gothic and Italianate elements all on the same house, as the goal was to create something unique and unusual.

According to

Victorian design rules, the trim should painted a distinctly different color than the siding for emphasis. In most cases, three to five different colors of paint were used: one for the house, and the rest for the trim, according to

In Denver's urban neighborhoods, many of the Victorians have preserved their exterior beauty and charm, while updating the interior with modern floorplans and conveniences.  Often several small rooms are turned into a larger great room or bigger kitchen space, and smaller bedrooms are often combined to create a master suite, which is almost always in demand by today's buyers.

Bay Windows

Large windows, sometimes filled with stained glass or topped with stained glass panels, are a common feature in Victorian houses. These bays can either be walk-out versions or have a built-in bench.

Asymmetrical House Design

Victorian era architects loved the challenge of varied roof lines and asymmetrical designs. The houses were made to be individual and unique. Even if the basic design of a group of houses is the same, you can expect to find unique window styles and architectural details that give each house its own personality.

Classic Victorian homes have wrap-around porches with intricate trim and tiny balconies or crow's nests on the upper floors. Some of these porches, balconies and crow's nests were functional, but some were just for show. Nothing was too extravagant for a Victorian home.

Want to learn more about Denver's Victorian beauties?  Start your search at or call LIVE Urban Real Estate at 303-455-5483. one of LIVE Urban's awesome agents would love to help.

Featured home: 4422 Raleigh

Listed by Randi Goldberg.  If you would like more information about this home, reach out to Randi at

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