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A Victorian Christmas: Victorian Architecture That Embodies The Spirit of the Season

Nayeli Cisneros

ARCHITECTURE 12/20/2019

It’s easy to imagine Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” floating through the halls of a Victorian house at Christmas. The Victorian style of the late 1880s holds handcrafted ornament that, even without decoration, caters to the opulence found in many of the most classic Christmas songs. Here are a few Victorian homes that capture the warmth of the Christmas spirit in their decoration and design.

The Bembridge House

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The Bembridge House, located in Long Beach, California, was built in 1906. Its architectural origins derive from Britain’s Victorian Era and are especially seen in the exterior of the house with its gable roof and wrap-around porch. This specific turn-of-the-century Victorian style, known as the Queen Ann style, was popular in both England and North America. The Bembridge house has, to this day, preserved its original Victorian features, and is widely accepted as a perfect example of a Victorian-style home in Long Beach.

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The Bembridge’s interior admirably preserves the tastes of the Victorian era. It is exclusively emphasized with ornate and extravagant ornaments, wreaths, lights combined with wood trim and ceiling coffers. The rich Christmas decorations only add to home’s magic.

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As Christmas approaches the city of Long Beach, this Victorian home takes on the holiday cheer as well. Neighbors, organizations and other members of the community get together to bring the holiday spirit to the already finely detailed home. Aside from decorating the house, they also give guided tours for the entire month, sharing holiday traditions from around the world.

 

The Armour-Stiner Octagon House

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The Armour-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington, New York feels like a real-life gingerbread house. The unique octagonal shape harkens back to the Palladian symmetry of the Victorian style’s Neo-Classical precedent and allows more light to enter the home.

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The home is lavishly decorated every year and is open to the public to enjoy. The wood paneling of the attic space creates a feeling of warmth and childlike wonder in its sloped ceiling. This space was actually originally designed as a dance room.

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The octagonal Victorian home sits on three acres filled with whimsical gardens and several auxiliary structures. The conservatory’s arching iron trusses feel like a miniature Crystal Palace made out of candy canes.

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Built in 1860, the mansion’s cupola is heavily detailed with patterned shingles and frosted with snow.

 

The Victorian House Museum

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The Victorian House Museum, located in Ohio’s largest Amish settlement, is a 28 room, Queen Anne style home decked out with the elegance and detail of the Nutcracker with refined Christmas décor.

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The preserved home is decorated with candles in the windows, an old tradition symbolizing the family members missing that holiday season, and that those not present are home for Christmas - if only in their loved ones’ dreams.

 

Merry Christmas from Everyone at BIMsmith

From our BIMsmith family to yours, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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Nayeli Cisneros & Taylor Wills

BIMsmith

 

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