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Modern Victorian Decor: Infusing Vintage Elegance with Contemporary Art

In the realm of interior design, there exists a style that has transcended time and trends, capturing the essence of opulence and sophistication—the Victorian decor. Originating in the 19th century, this distinctive style is an enduring testament to the grandeur of a bygone era. Victorian interior design, deeply rooted in the United Kingdom's Victorian era, is known for its lavish use of patterns in wall coverings and textiles, intricate ornamentation, and a rich palette of jewel tones. It's a style that immerses visitors in a world of unparalleled richness and elegance.

An Modern Victorian decor living room

The Victorian era, marked by the reign of Queen Victoria, was a period of economic prosperity in England. This prosperity, fueled by the Industrial Revolution, brought forth mass production, making decorative products more accessible to the middle class. What once required considerable time and expense to produce could now be acquired at a fraction of the cost. The result was an abundance of decorative elements that define the Victorian Decor as the interior design style we know today. Some might find it overwhelming, while others see it as a captivating departure from the minimalist trends of the early 2000s.

Victorian houses, aside from their handsome architecture, possess a unique charm rooted in their rich history. These homes evoke a sense of nostalgia, with the knowledge that generations of people have lived within their walls. There's a grounding feeling in this connection to the past. The generous proportions of Victorian interiors exude understated grandeur, demanding respect and admiration. These timeless spaces continue to serve modern-day living with grace.

The balcony and windows of a Victorian Home

Now, the question arises: How can one incorporate modern art into a vintage-style Victorian decor? The answer lies in striking a harmonious balance between the opulent past and the contemporary art world.

1. Antique-Looking Frames

One of the simplest ways to blend modern art with Victorian decor is to select art pieces framed in a manner that complements the vintage aesthetic. Ornate, antique-looking frames can provide a seamless transition between the old and the new, enhancing the overall ambiance of your space.

2. Vintage-Inspired Art. 

Opt for art pieces that evoke a vintage look, capturing the essence of a bygone era. These artworks, whether paintings or sculptures, can transport you back in time while infusing a fresh perspective into your decor.

3. Artist-Framed Works. 

Consider acquiring art that was framed by the artist in the past. These pieces often retain the original aesthetic intended by the creator, adding an authentic vintage touch to your interior. Some examples are:

Hunt Slonem's Small Bunnies: Hunt Slonem's small bunny sculptures are a delightful example of modern art with a vintage flair. Their whimsical charm and antique-inspired look make them an ideal addition to Victorian decor.

An abstract vs figurative bunny painting by Contemporary Artist Hunt Slonem, ideal for Victorian decor
Hunt Slonem, Charlotte, 2021 | The Collector's Room

Rare Pieces by Wolf Kahn: The rare and captivating works of Wolf Kahn, known for his luminous landscapes, can be an excellent choice. His use of color and texture can complement the rich tones of Victorian decor.

An abstract vs figurative painting of a landscape by Contemporary Artist Wolf Kahn, ideal for Victorian Decor
Wolf Kahn, Farmer Olsen's Field, 1980 | Courtesy of Manolis Projects Gallery

4. Emerging Artists. 

For those seeking more affordable options while still making a valuable investment, explore the offerings of emerging artists. Artists like Yoann Merienne and Francine Van Hove for a realistic painting or abstracts from Daniel Castan and Ralph Resch, often produce art that seamlessly combines contemporary elements with a touch of nostalgia. 

Yoann Merienne's paintings delve into human emotions—love, joy, fear, and regret, woven into the human experience. His aim is to convey these sentiments through brushstrokes, a unique approach. Remarkably successful at a young age, Yoann's recognition continues to elevate his art's value. Born in 1987, his work reflects passion, dedication, and innate talent.

A realistic painting of a woman in the shadow by Contemporary Artist Yoann Merienne, ideal for Victorian Decor
Yoann Merienne, Olysa, 2023 | Courtesy of Artsper

Francine Van Hove depicts young women, working closely with models to capture their poses. Her figurative nudes provide realistic glimpses of everyday scenes, tinged with an air of mystery. Influenced by classical traditions, her art evokes wonder through light, textures, and intricate details. Confidently rendered bodies exude harmony and perfection in their gestures, paying homage to the classical tradition and Victorian decor.

A realistic painting of two women by Contemporary Artist Francine Van Hove, ideal for Victorian Decor
Francine Van Hove, Prunes bleues, Prunes jaunes, 2017 | Courtesy of Artsper

Daniel Castan. During his early career, Castan traveled extensively to cities like New York and Hong Kong, developing a deep fascination with urban landscapes and their exaggerated perspectives. In his paintings, he skillfully recreates these dynamic environments, where building lines vanish into the sky, endless avenues stretch out, and vibrant colors collide. His art is a reflection of his memories and vivid imagination.

An abstract painting in blue tones by Contemporary Artist Daniel Castan, ideal for Victorian Decor.
Daniel Castan, Flatiron, 2022 | Courtesy of Artsper

French painter Ralph Resch, born in 1965, embarked on his artistic journey in 1983, drawing inspiration from jazz clubs and cafes. After pursuing a career in textile design and joining Paul Hargittai's Paris studio in 1992, his art underwent a transformation towards abstraction and warm colors in 1994, influenced by his travels to Africa. In 1995, he established his Paris workshop, delving into larger formats and mixed techniques. Ralph Resch's art has earned international recognition through exhibitions in Jordan, the South of France, Luxembourg, and regular showcases in Paris.

An abstract painting in orange and yellow by Contemporary Artist Ralph Resch, ideal for Victorian Decor.
Ralph Resch, En Fruite, 2023 | Courtesy of Artsper

7. Nostalgic Photographs. 

Consider incorporating nostalgic photographs into your Victorian decor. Artists like Richard Heeps and Yevgeniy Repiashenko capture moments in time that resonate with the Victorian spirit, adding depth and character to your space.

Richard Heeps' captivating artistry, marked by rich, saturated colors and impeccable composition, passionately embraces various subjects, from interiors to still life and landscapes. His unique approach redefines lens-based photography without digital alterations. With extensive exhibitions in renowned museums and galleries, along with four published books and prominent features in high-profile publications, Heeps is an influential figure in contemporary art and photography.

An shelf with decorative objects photographed by Contemporary Artist Richard Heeps, ideal for Victorian Decor.
Richard Heeps, Cats, Salford, 1987 | Courtesy of Artsper

Yevgeniy Repiashenko, a renowned fine art photographer, captures the timeless beauty of the human form and the grace of dance. His work embodies poetic beauty, grace, and harmony, drawing inspiration from the art of the Renaissance. In his series "SPIRIT," he combines classical sculpture textures with modern rhythm and emotions, choreographing ideas in synergy with his models. His photographs freeze the graceful lines of ballerinas and gymnasts in a dance, evoking strong feelings and passion. Yevgeniy's art can be found in private collections, photography books, and city murals inspired by his work.

A ballerina photographed by Contemporary Artists Yevgeniy Repiashenko, ideal for Victorian Decor
Yevgeniy Repiashenko, Arabesque, 2018 | Courtesy of Artsper

In conclusion, modern Victorian decor offers a captivating blend of timeless elegance and contemporary flair. By carefully selecting art pieces that align with this trend, you can create a living space that pays homage to the past while embracing the creative expressions of the present. Whether through antique frames, vintage-inspired art, or works by emerging artists, your modern Victorian decor can be a testament to the enduring allure of a bygone era.


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