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Designing 4 Beautiful Victorian Interior Spaces: Part 1

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

A Journey to Renovate - The Dining Room

Discover our journey in designing 4 stunning interior spaces for our clients' Victorian home renovation project. From Scotland to Ross-on-Wye, England, we offered an online interior design service to help reimagine their dining room, lounge, snug, and master bedroom.

Godwin Vintage interior designs - Dining Room

Our clients were impressed with our style, process, and commitment to repurpose and sustainability. They approached us after seeing our previous work, seeking our help to design four rooms in their beautiful Victorian home: the dining room, lounge, snug, and master bedroom. Despite being based in Scotland and our clients in Ross-on-Wye, England, we offered an online interior design service, conducting video sessions to work closely with them. Each space was designed to be both stylish and practical, taking into account storage needs and usage by the clients and their dog Cooper and 17-year-old son.

In this first post, we delve into the dining room, a grand space with high ceilings and original Victorian features. Our design ethos focused on practicality and style, while keeping in mind the space's intended use for formal entertainment.


Dining Room

Design brief

The objective was to revamp the dining room of this stunningly renovated Victorian home into a sophisticated and refined area suitable for hosting guests. The design had to be in harmony with the classic and timeless features of the Victorian era while incorporating contemporary elements to avoid an outdated feel. A touch of opulence was required, along with distinctive and unconventional conversation pieces to infuse personality into the space.

The design mock-ups below offer a glimpse of how the final designs will appear in the client's dining room. Additionally, we have included a photo of the current space for reference.


Walls & door

The lower and upper sections of the walls in the room are embellished with boiserie panelling, which showcases intricate wall mouldings, divided by a dado rail and topped with a picture rail. The walls and woodwork are coated in Farrow & Ball's Studio Green, while the upper part above the picture rail is painted in Farrow & Ball's Card Room Green. The ceiling and coving are adorned in Farrow & Ball's School House White. As for the door, it will be stained in natural wood and paired with a contrasting door frame painted in Farrow & Ball's Pitch Black, which matches the upcycled furniture.

Boiserie wall panelling
Boiserie wall panelling



Exquisite custom-made cabinetry has been seamlessly installed into the alcoves on either side of the chimney breast. These cabinets are a perfect blend of ornate and contemporary design, showcasing a grid of cubbyholes that serve as an excellent display for decorative items. The cupboards placed below the cubbyholes offer ample space for storing crockery and glasses.

To enhance the display of items in each cubbyhole, undercabinet lighting has been installed, and decorative moulding similar to the wall panelling has been used for a cohesive look. The cabinet doors have been adorned with contemporary flat gold door knobs, matching those of the upcycled furniture. The cabinetry has been finished with decorative moulding on the sides and cornicing on top, taking it to the same height as the picture rail.

Fitted cabinets in F&B Studio Green
Fitted cabinets in F&B Studio Green


Chimney Breast


The room boasts a striking centrepiece in the form of an original reclaimed black cast iron Victorian fire surround. The fire surround is accompanied by an original insert that has been retrofitted with a log burner stove, adding to the cosy ambiance of the space.

The sides of the insert have been adorned with indulgent decorative textured antique effect tiles, while the hearth has been tiled in traditional black and ivory porcelain tiles. This elegant tiling work complements the fire surround, completing the overall look of the room.


The wall panelling has been complemented by the addition of a large round brass sunburst design mirror, which is framed to accentuate the wall panelling. The mirror adds a stunning contrast to the dark tones of the room and reflects light beautifully, creating an inviting and spacious atmosphere.

Other accessories that have been incorporated into the space include timeless yet contemporary brass fireside accessories, such as a companion set and log holder. These accessories add to the luxurious feel of the room, while their modern design complements the overall aesthetic.

Original Victorian fire surround
Original Victorian fire surround



Repurposing and upcycling

The existing furniture, including the antique mahogany extendable dining table with chairs, a tall antique mahogany dresser, and matching sideboard, will be retained in the space. However, the furniture will be upcycled to add a contemporary twist while still retaining its authentic qualities and charm.

The design plans showcase the existing furniture with updated finishes, such as new upholstery or fresh coats of paint, to complement the overall design aesthetic. These subtle changes will elevate the existing furniture, breathing new life into it and creating a cohesive look throughout the room.

Dining table & chairs

To update the antique mahogany extendable dining table and chairs, the bottom of the table along with the legs have been painted in F&B Pitch Black. This modern touch gives the table a more elegant and contemporary feel, while the top of the table has been left in its original antique mahogany finish.

Similarly, the chair frames have been painted in F&B Pitch Black, and the seats have been reupholstered in Belvedere Fabric in Soft Truffle from Laura Ashley. This fabric choice complements the overall design aesthetic, adding a touch of sophistication and luxury to the dining chairs. Together, these updates to the existing furniture enhance the overall look and feel of the space.

Upcycled Victorain dining chair

Upcycled Victorian dining table and chairs

Dresser & Cabinet

The existing antique dresser and sideboard have been given an update to match the contemporary feel of the dining table and chairs. The pieces have been painted in F&B Pitch Black, with areas such as the top and doors remaining in their original wood finish. This creates a modern and sophisticated look that still pays homage to the pieces' antique charm.

Upcycled Victorian dresser

Upcycled Victorian sideboard

To further enhance the dresser's appearance, the back has been recoated in Belvedere wallpaper in Soft Truffle from Laura Ashley. Cabinet lights have also been installed underneath the shelves to illuminate displayed items and add to the overall ambiance of the room. In addition, contemporary flat gold cabinet door knobs have been added to both the dresser and the sideboard doors, providing a sleek and cohesive look throughout the space.


Window dressing

To complete the elegant and sophisticated look of the dining room, gorgeous velvet curtains in a timeless bronze colour and linen trim have been hung from a contemporary curtain pole. These curtains perfectly frame the tall Victorian windows and add a touch of luxury and opulence to the formal space.

In addition, Laura Ashley Belvedere roman blinds in Soft Truffle have been installed within each window recess. These blinds provide a beautiful contrast against the dark green walls and tie in with the dining chairs upholstered in the same fabric. This creates a cohesive and harmonious look throughout the room, adding to the overall atmosphere of sophistication and timeless elegance.

Bronze velvet curtains with linen trim



  • Wall-mounted picture lighting highlights framed artwork

  • Cluster chandelier with antique brass fittings and blown glass shades adds a timeless yet contemporary touch

  • Large brass sunburst mirror reflects light and adds joy to the space

  • Large Ficus plant in an antique planter adds organic architectural detail to the space

  • Vintage-style coal scuttle with a large palm plant adds character and contrast in line with biophilic design

  • Solid ebony beehive door knobs are a timeless addition to the fixtures and fittings

  • Replica Ziegler rug adds interest and grounds the dining table

  • Upcycled antique bellows camera floor lamp creates a unique ambiance and adds character to the space



Our clients were thrilled with the designs we presented and felt we had perfectly captured their brief. They can't wait to bring the designs to life and we'll share updates with actual photos once complete.

Check out the images below to preview our design mock-ups of different areas of the dining room, showcasing the space with and without the furniture.

Stay tuned for our next post where we'll explore the lounge, the next room in this exciting Victorian renovation.


Designing your perfect space


If you're looking for assistance in designing your ideal space, we're here to help! Whether you prefer physical onsite interior design services or remote online services for convenience, we offer both options. Contact us to learn more about how we can help bring your vision to life.


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