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.
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.