In the largest of Victorian houses, husband and wife slept in separate bedrooms with a connecting door in between them. In most cases each would have their own dressing room and a sitting room for the wife. In smaller homes there was one bedroom with a separate dressing room for the husband.
During the early and middle years of the 19th century, rich colors and strong patterns were popular. However, writers such as Robert Edis, who believed that, "bold patterns might be likely to fix themselves upon a tired brain, suggesting all kinds of weird forms", saw the widespread adoption of lighter and more delicately patterned paper by the 1870s.
Flooring in the bedroom was stained or oiled prior to varnishing and covered with small rugs. Patterned rugs such as Aubusson and Savonnerie types were popular, with color combinations including blue and pink or red, green and gold. Window treatments were pale pastel floral patterned drapes with lace inset or finished with hand painted borders. Furniture consisted of a bed, armoire, washstand and a dressing table. For much of the century, dark woods, in particular mahogany, rosewood and walnut, were fashionable. The main feature was the canopied four-poster bed. While most homes converted to the more typical open style bed by the mid 1800s, the wealthier homes kept the canopy. Another style which became popular was a cross between the two called half-tester. Whatever pattern was used for wallpaper was duplicated for the canopy, drapes, window treatments and sometimes the bed covers. Dust ruffles were common to control dust.
The dressing table or vanity incorporated drawers lined with fabric and scented with sachets.
The top was usually covered with muslin or lace and displayed ivory, tortoiseshell or silver combs and brushes.