Townhouses in America have been around for over one hundred years, even before cars. They are usually taller as opposed to wider, and have more than one floor. They tend to have large living spaces with high ceilings. Many have quarters for servants. Because they don’t have a large footprint, they provide an ideal balance of functionality (near transit and business centers in cities) with luxury, as most are the purview of the wealthy. Today, however, in areas undergoing gentrification, they can be had by middle class members who are willing to put in some work renovating.
The most important element to the “town house look” are the windows. These are the most distinctive feature, both from inside and out. Make sure that you keep the original windows if they are still in place. If not, do not replace them with non-Victorian-era style windows such as UPBC windows.
Flooring is very important as well if one wants to keep the feel of a Victorian townhouse. This means parquet tiles, hardwood flooring or re-finishing the original flooring. Either way will mean beauty and functionality.
When decorating, bear in mind how to best use the large walls that the big spaces of Victorian townhouses provide. The best way to do that is avoid clutter and not to use lots of little pieces or knick knacks. Better to use fewer, larger pieces and put them at eye level.
The ceilings of Victorian townhouses are higher than most homes. This means one can take advantage of decorating with lighting fixtures of many different styles. Don’t be afraid to use large, sumptuous fixtures, and more than one, like chandeliers, to create an atmosphere of style and luxury. Dimmer switches are also a good idea to help create different moods. It’s important not to be afraid to install modern era elements to keep a Victorian style house functional in todays world. For example, since there are often multiple levels, don’t hesitate to turn one of the floors upstairs into a modern day office space. Using narrow stairways to connect the floors is another elegant and functional option to help advance that Victorian era flavor.
Kitchens of the Victorian era focused almost entirely on functionality. In keeping with this, it’s a good idea to maximize the kitchen space you have. Try not to clutter too much and a breakfast bar in the center of the kitchen is a good way to do this as well as for entertaining and dining.
The façade is important as well. Brick is often the most attractive as well as true to the original concept of these beautiful homes. Entry doors should be large and wooden. Glass adds to the feel and style while adding light and warmth to the foyer. One can add cornices to the outside entry as well as re-doing the steps and rails in marble. These details can do nothing but enhance the look and value of the townhouse.