Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Eastlake Victorian Inspiration...

Frontispiece, "The House Beautiful" by Clarence Cook. Drawing by Walter Crane

I thought I would start a new feature on my blog called "My Eastlake Victorian Inspiration" in which I post a drawing or photo of something Victorian that has sent chills up my spine! You all know that feeling that comes over you when you see something that hits just the right chord within your gut?

For so many years now, I have been researching and collecting books, magazines, photographs and other items that have contained images of Victorian items, room settings, furniture, or simply some kind of Victorian "feeling" that I can't always put my finger on. These images give me the desire to someday acquire that look in my own home. I've always jotted down notes to myself, or bookmarked magazine articles, so that I can easily refer back to my inspirations.

But I have accumulated so much over the years, that whenever it comes time to refer back to my inspirations, I can't seem to find the source! Just look at my collection of Victorian Homes magazines. I have saved every one since 1985! Hey, that's 25 years! Every so often, I just sit down with a volume and glance through, recalling all the great articles and pictures that have shaped my love of Victoriana.

Our Roll-Top Desk
Binders full of my Victorian Homes magazine collection on the top of our desk.

So now, whenever I come across one of those great inspirations, whether from my collection, or from some new source, I will post it under "My Eastlake Victorian Inspiration."

Which brings me to the inspiration for this post. It is an 1881 illustration entitled My Lady's Chamber done by Walter Crane and used as the frontispiece for a book titled "The House Beautiful" by Clarence Cook (a great original reference book and still in print, by the way!).

Not that I want my house to look like this. But what do I love about this drawing? First, I think I love the busyness. There are so many patterns going on, which is one of the reasons I love the Victorian period, and why so many other people hate it! I love all the knick-knacks. I love the lady's dress, and that she's having tea in such a pretty room. And of course, I love the cat with the saucer of milk! I see the influences of the Pre-Raphaelite style in a lot of the illustrations from this period, this one included.

What can I gain from being drawn to this illustration? That I like busy patterns. That, I think, is the main focus. So, I can incorporate more overlaying of patterns in the wallpapers and fabrics I choose.

That was fun! This will help me gather my thoughts about the type of Victorian lifestyle I want to be living.



Blogger The Victorian Parlor said...

I love visiting your blog!!! I can relate to everything that you said although I never understood my Victorian self until I was older. Looking back through my life I realize I was a Victorian the entire time but just didn't realize it. I love everything about the Victorian style but I especially love the simplicity of life and the proper manners:). I look forward to more of your Victorian inspirations!



January 10, 2010 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...


What a unique thought... that you were Victorian your whole life but didn't realize it! I think that I was unaware of Victorian things until I was in my teens. At first, I thought a lot of it was creepy. But I was fascinated, because I loved history. Then I started dressing Victorian, and in my 20's, knew I wanted to buy a Victorian house. Unlike you and a lot of our fellow bloggers, I'm not into Victorian literature for some reason. I just love the history, customs, houses, furniture, clothing, styles, art, patterns, etc.

I love your blog, too, and think we have very similar tastes and feelings about Victoriana!


January 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Kim...thank you so much for dropping by today.
I have joined your little band of Merry Victorians too. ( smiling)
I am SO delighted we have found each other's blogs...we are such kindred victorian spirits when it comes to KNOWING we have loved VICTORIAN every since we could remember.

My best friend had the MOST FABULOUS ATTIC in the world..and we would go up there and pull out the old Victorian clothes and hats.. and have the best olde time pretending to be the "lady's of the house"...! ( We even had servants...! )



January 10, 2010 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger The Pink Birdhouse said...

I love the border on your blog too and admire it each and every time I come by for a visit!

That being said, I love even more your idea for posting some Victorian inspiration for us all. That illustration is just lovely, and simply suits you. As for your collection of Victorian Home magazines, what a treasure that is!!! 25 years of them, that is amazing. I would so love to sit down and flip thru page by page and see all the lovely things there. I was just checking an online book seller last night for anything books on victoriana, I just felt the need to being inspired by photos like that.

January 11, 2010 at 5:38 AM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...


Thanks for the kind words! I feel lucky that I started collecting those magazines so long ago, although sometimes I wonder if they'll ever stop printing them, or that I'll run out of room (whichever comes first!).

I have a lot of great Victorian books to inspire me as well. Maybe I'll round them up and do a post on my favorites!


January 11, 2010 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Kim, Thanks for dropping by today...I really appreciate and am FLATTERED that you admire my work.

I use to set up at Art Shows with my Still Life Photography ....and then later I opened a Portrait Studio..and until Fibromyalgia "took me to my knees" in pain...
Soon after..I had to close my studio ...but up until that time... I was happy just snapping away.
Now I just play with Still Lifes again mostly.


January 14, 2010 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

PAM...I am so sorry, I called you by the wrong name......this old brain of mine is fried tonight.


January 14, 2010 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Don't worry about it, Rose! You can call me anything, just don't call me late for dinner! (rim shot)

January 15, 2010 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger La Bella Vie said...

Oh my gosh , I feel like I have found "home", I love this site!
I have and Eastlake bed my husnabd and I are planning to make into a bench since its so narrow (full size?) Anyway I can't wait to start it and I'll be posting pictures of the project.
Ahgain, I love this site and will start following you...

May 13, 2010 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Terry-

I'm glad you found my blog! I can't wait to see your Eastlake bed-to-bench project. I'll be following your blog as well!


May 16, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

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