Gothic Martha Stewart: starting, shopping, motifs, projects, resources, notes

Victorian Gothic

The Look
dark pattern

Victorian imagery has long been a part of the gothic style, from Baudelaire to Bram Stoker. Likewise, Victorian inspired decor is a lovely fit into a gothic home.

Sometimes Victorian decor is characterized as prim, pink ruffles and fussy details, but that's not an accurate picture of the true furnishings of the era. Victorian home decor is really all about overabundance and wealth. Victorian interiors are lush and rich, filled with lots of color, texture, and personal touches. Homes of this era were stuffed with wallpapers, panelling, velvets, damasks, fringe, tassels, picture frames, artwork, woods, laces, flowers, candles, china, etc., etc. It is the very opposite of minimalist! So, if you like to surround yourself with soft fabrics and attractively cluttered shelves, this might be the look for you.


Rich, warm, decadent, luxurious, over-stuffed, abundant, lush.


Warm, rich jewel tones of burgundy, purple, green, and blue dominate the gothic Victorian room, along with black and chocolate browns. The dark colors could also be accented with whites and creams, which can add to the drama of the decor. A wealth of patterns can be incorporated into this style, such as paisley, plaids, damasks, brocades, and stripes. A coordinating mishmash of patterns and solids make for a beautifully decadent Victorian look.


Victorians indulged their rooms with many different textures. Soft velvets can combine well with light cottons and nubby woolens alike. The more textures, the merrier.

Musical Background

Classical music, plus ambient gothic such as Cocteau Twins and Black Tape for a Blue Girl. Sisters of Mercy also seems appropriate, but not Nine Inch Nails.

You Might See...

Dresser scarves, tablecloths, small vintage lamps, lots of picture frames in wood or silver or antiqued brass, old bound books, hat boxes, silver and crystal candlesticks, cut-glass bowls of potpourri, dried roses in old-fashioned vases, teapots and cups, parasols, folding fans, persian or sheepskin rugs, framed Pre-Raphaelite prints, fringed shawls.

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