Victorian Stick in New Haven, Connecticut
The boxy silhouette, prominent eaves, and stickwork that seems to mimic a half-timber are hallmarks of the Victorian Stick style. Emerging during the transition between the Carpenter Gothic and Queen Anne styles, Victorian Stick style incorporates elements from both movements. On this house, for example, note the Queen Anne-style wraparound porch and a Gothic mansard roof. The residence was constructed in 1876 for Dr. Blair Moody, the first female physician in New Haven, which only adds importance to an already significant historic home.
Minimalist Victorian in San Francisco, California
Not every Victorian home fits the over-the-top stereotype. Although many do have fancy cornices, corbels, cupolas, and extensive trim, others, like this handsome house, are more simply adorned. You won’t find extravagant ornamentation on this mint-colored abode, recently redesigned by Martinkovic Milford Architects. Yet, though the home is minimalist in comparison with some of its Victorian brethren, each thoughtful flourish on this house makes a grand gesture. From the gilded details and patterned bargeboard to the intricate ironwork above the garage door, the property’s striking details quietly convey the grandeur of the Victorian era.
Butterfly Effect in Wilmington, North Carolina
Victorians can come in any color—from bright purple and pink to bold yellow and green. Here, the homeowners chose a more subdued palette of classic blue and white to contrast with the red brick and offset the drama of the inverted butterfly roof. Square ivory columns and the slender porch banister artfully define a spacious wraparound porch primed for summertime relaxation.
Pink Lady in Eureka, California
Perched on Humboldt Bay, this blushing pink Victorian has an air of romance typical of the period. The home’s graceful turrets, bay windows with fanciful cornices, and intricate front porch pillars are an excellent example of the Queen Anne architectural style, while the gently sloping cupola atop the prominent turret seems to draw inspiration from the iconic onion domes of Russian architecture. Built as a wedding present for its first residents in 1889, this home has since earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, so it should be around to delight people for years to come.
Sunny Queen Anne Victorian in Galveston, Texas
This canary yellow nest typifies the distinguished Queen Anne-style homes that line the Silk Stocking Historic District in Galveston. Its sunny color palette aside, the home also makes a bold statement with its painstakingly maintained architectural details. A fanciful covered porch, prominent bay windows, pronounced eaves, and the hypnotic radial pattern of the gable vents make the historic property a sight to behold.
“The 4 Palms” in Oakland, California
The petite proportions and steep staircase of this unassuming house in Oakland make a sweet statement. Look closely, and you’ll spot distinctly Victorian flourishes that give the dainty dwelling timeless charm. Bold teal paint, a gilded gable, and a bay window highlighted by its trim of red-painted poinsettias add a touch of pomp to the property.
“Four Seasons—Winter” in San Francisco, California
All four of the picturesque Queen Anne-style properties that make up this row of Victorians known as “the Four Seasons” are must-see architectural spectacles. Yet this particular four-story property sets itself apart from its neutral-colored neighbors with its winter-inspired design elements. Navy siding creates a striking background for the second-story carved snowflake centerpiece, and an interior marble staircase lends the Victorian home evergreen charm.
Queen Anne Victorian in Seattle, Washington
Built in 1892, this meticulously maintained Seattle home epitomizes the Queen Anne architectural style that enjoyed its heyday between 1880 and 1910. An unconventional color scheme of yellow and salmon, elaborate dormers and gables, whimsical fish-scale shingles, and a turret topped with a steep cupola paint a pretty picture of life in the old Pacific Northwest.
Armour-Stiner House in Irvington, New York
The Armour-Stiner House, an 1860s-era Victorian residence and National Historic Landmark, is one of the few surviving examples of an octagonal house, an archetype popularized by Orson Squire Fowler. The octagonal base is topped with an eight-sided roof with eight dormers and wrapped with a generous porch, resulting in an impressive structure fit for those with a flair for the unconventional.
Vintage Victorian in Cape May, New Jersey
Lovers of historic homes will recognize this sprawling house, redesigned by Degnan Design Group, as an illustration of all things Victorian. The roof encompasses a mountain range of dormers, cupolas, and other architectural flourishes. Above them all, a widow’s walk—a railed roof platform—serves the practical purpose of granting access to the chimney and rooftop while adding an air of elegance.
Yellow Victorian in Austin, Texas
The mellow yellow exterior of this two-story property in the Deep South lacks nothing in the way of embellishments. Lacy railings frame the facade while widow’s walks and a Juliet balcony add romance. Hooded windows along the upper stories unify the distinct wings of this grand structure.
Pretty in Purple in Ocean Grove, New Jersey
For all its stateliness, this prim and proper Victorian has a wild side. Variegated shades of eye-popping violet and ribbons of red roof tiles make this historic home the most colorful on the block and set the color palette for the garden below.
The Northrop House in Southport, North Carolina
This iconic home, which appeared in the acclaimed 1986 flick Crimes of the Heart, is a perfect blend of drama and romance. Known as the Northrop House, the Victorian structure pairs a serious square cupola and dormer with playful features like pink paint, gingerbread detailing, and a whimsical detached gazebo. The end result resembles an intricately carved dollhouse brought to life.
Rhapsody in Blue in San Francisco, California
Built in 1900, this bold blue and plum Queen Anne-style Victorian is one of the oldest and most distinguished residents of the Buena Vista neighborhood in San Francisco. At 7,600 square feet, it’s also one of the largest, with architectural flourishes that make as big a statement as the home’s size. The expansive windows, fanciful dormers, and a staggering three-story spindle-like tower capped with a steeply pitched cupola are enough to make jaws drop.
Contemporary Queen Anne in Christiansburg, Virginia
From the asymmetrical facade to the sprawling wraparound porch, this charming bed-and-breakfast exemplifies the Queen Anne architectural style of the late 19th century. Despite its age, the property projects a fresh face with white, green, and honey-colored paint that lets the well-maintained house shine.
Second Empire Victorian in Atlanta, Georgia
The tiered, wedding-cake-like construction of this Victorian is a fine example of the Second Empire architectural movement, which stretched from 1852 to 1870. In keeping with the tastes of its time, which called for unrestrained embellishments, the property boasts a mansard roof with elaborate cresting, generous eaves supported by corbels, and tall windows with narrow louvered shutters.
The Allyn Mansion in Delavan, Wisconsin
Converted back into a single-family home from a beloved bed-and-breakfast, this Victorian estate was born of the Eastlake Movement, an offshoot of the Queen Anne style introduced by architect Charles Eastlake. In keeping with the Eastlake appetite for bold angles, the home’s steeply pitched roofs, protruding dormers, and Eastlake’s own favorite feature—an abundance of spindles—present a geometric appearance.
Brick Victorian in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Redesigned by Eberlein Design Consultants Ltd., this stately Victorian can thank its brick construction for its solid mien and refined appearance. But it’s the exterior embellishments, from the intricate gable vents and gingerbread cottage trim to the carriage-house-style shingles, that bring whimsy and imagination to the substantial exterior. A wrought-iron fence surrounding the brick beauty lends an air of mystery to the property.