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Queen Anne Victorian Houses

Queen Anne Victorian Houses are characterized by several distinctive physical features. They differ from regular Victorian homes because they are more eye-catching and often feature decorative accents and embellishments that stand out.

 

Frequently these houses are made with thin wood-plank exteriors. They are often white, but also can be pastel shades. They are generally two or more stories tall. The roof is typically steep and angled, and can even have multiple angles and sides. These are usually referred to as gables. Large, bay windows are found on each story. The homes are sometimes rectangular, but more often have a complex geometric shape.

 

Queen Anne Victorian House
Queen Anne Victorian House
 

The embellishments of the Queen Anne Victorian style home are one of its most recognizable characteristics. Spindles, the familiar accenting found on bannisters, the edges of roofs, railings, and porches, are also called Eastlake style accents. They have the appearance of being hand-carved, and are sometimes characterized as "gingerbread" decorations. Wood or iron brackets appear around windows and doors, enhancing an almost fairytale image.

Victorian homes often have porches, some of which are supported with columns. Often these columns are very thick. It is not unusual to find these columns decorated with ornate carvings, or in distinctive shapes. Many Queen Anne style homes have wrap-around porches.

These porches are best decorated with furniture that is consistent with the style of the home, particularly wooden furniture in light shades or with ornate carvings. Some Queen Anne homes have wrap around porches that have gazebo-like structures punctuating the corners of the house. In all types of Queen Anne home, the porch is covered.

Palladian windows are a popular Queen Anne feature. This style of window, so-named because of the Renaissance-era architect Andrea Palladio, has a rectangular bottom culminating in an arch. They are reminiscent of the arches of the Colosseum in Rome. Even if the windows are rectangular or triangular, Queen Anne homes usually have many of them. The high degree of interior light is characteristic of the style.

You may also see Queen Anne homes adored with turrets, fancy castle-like points on top of the roof. Sometimes these are attached directly to the house; occasionally they are raised above the roof on beams or a protrusion.

Though these homes take their name from Queen Anne, who ruled England during the 1700s, she had nothing to do with their design -- unlike Charles Eastlake, whose name was adopted to refer to the spindles that so resembled his creations. Rather, the name came to these homes by way of mid-nineteenth century designer Richard Norman Shaw.

He admired the period during which Queen Anne reigned, which was known for a minor renaissance in art and architecture. He began calling his own creations "Queen Anne style." Years later, when American architects created homes based on his designs, they adopted that name. However, the American versions of Queen Anne homes do not look very similar to the British versions.

Queen Anne homes are rarely built anymore. For this reason, a Queen Anne home, especially one that is in good condition, can command a higher than average price on the real estate market.


 
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