Interior Design Period Ceiling Detailing

Decorative cornice in Victorian home

Decorative cornice in Victorian home

Amanda Richmond from Balance Architecture + Interior Design is a specialist in creating sympathetic interiors for heritage homes and fully appreciates and understands the design elements of these lovely, historic homes. When it comes to Victorian houses she informs us that the front rooms of a Victorian dwelling, regardless of size, were generally considered more formal than the rear of the house. Their ceilings boasted elaborate plaster detailing such as gutter cornices, ceiling roses and corbel arches. This plaster work was complemented by wallpaper which was applied to walls and ceilings, adding visual richness to the room; this included highly detailed cornice papers. Solid plastering, wallpaper hanging and master painting were all considered highly skilled and valued decorating trades.


When decorating an interior to resonate with the original design elements of a Victorian home extensive preparation work is required to ensure walls and ceilings are smooth, clear of defects and dust prior to hanging wallpaper or painting. Stunning decorative statements are made by reflecting the colours that are in the wallpaper body and frieze. In the image you can see how colours have been chosen for the cornice to reflect the colours in the frieze paper, with a special ‘surprise colour’ of turquoise found in the body of the frieze copied onto the leading edge of the plaster gutter. The turquoise lifts the other colours, drawing the eye to the cornice.


Balance Architecture + Design designed these colourways for a recent interior design project completed for a lovely Victorian home. Haymes paints were used and the colours chosen were ‘Beech Forest, ‘Turf green’ and Rubicon; the surprise colour was Blue Sapphire.

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