Sumner ResidenceVictorian Exterior, Los Angeles
Built in 1887 by Charles Burt Sumner, one of the founders of Pomona College, this Queen Anne-style Victorian home had fallen into neglect and disrepair. The College hired us to restore the home to its original grandeur in 1992. We even managed to uncover the original paint scheme and replicate the historic colors.
What Houzz contributors are saying:
VictorianThe Victorian style was most popular from 1860 to 1890. Shown is an example of folk Victorian style. These homes usually occurred in more rural settings between 1870 to 1910, built as materials became more affordable to working-class families. More people could afford to build homes with added ornamentation. Ready-made, elaborate, mass-produced wooden trim pieces made their way to rural areas on the expanding train lines.
Uncover your home's original color palette. Simply chipping away a bit of the existing paint can reveal the original colors of your home. You could take the (literal) paint chips to a paint store to have them matched, but be aware that the original colors were likely brighter than what you see today — after many years, the colors have surely faded. A historic renovation professional may be able to make an educated guess as to what the original hues looked like. If you are doing this on your own, a better bet may be to use the faded old colors as inspiration for a new palette.
Queen Anne. This authentic and distinguished California Victorian house is known as Queen Anne style. Interestingly, the refined fretwork that you see here is most likely an indigenous interpretation. Plentiful redwood, a naturally decay-resistant species, was used for many of these highly prized abodes throughout Northern California in the late 19th century. Classic to this style is the hipped larger roof with extending gables, one toward the front and the other at one side in the rear, creating a visually comfortable space in which to wrap a porch around on the main level. In any type of Victorian, forms are either very simple or clustered in varying sizes and shapes, which historically references the organic characteristics of medieval structures.
Take care updating older homes. Updating any part of your home's exterior should be done with care, but older houses can come with their fair share of woes. Rotted sills, leaky gutters, failed masonry joints and deteriorating windows can often be revealed through the updating process. "Older homes generally have some degree of damage from water infiltration over the years," says architect Jordan Parnass. "Renovating the exterior can be a great way to verify that vapor barriers and insulation are up to date — and inspect window frames, gutters and trim for any damage." Even painting can cause some problems. "Painting on an older home can be difficult, depending on how many layers of paint are on and how well it's been painted over time," says Human. "This can cause more prep work and material cost." If you're worried that your home's age may cause complications, it may be best to consult a professional.
Folk VictorianAs materials became even more affordable, working-class families were able to build and design their own homes. Victorian romanticism was combined with classic English cottage and American homestead style to create the Folk Victorian. These homes, usually found in more rural settings, blend functionality with ornamentation, including gingerbread-accented wraparound porches and the colorful use of local materials. However, these houses are often more simply designed than urban homes of the same period.