The drawing room, also referred to as the parlor, was the most lavishly appointed room in the Victorian home. The decor reflected the prosperity and status, as well as the aesthetic and cultural interests of the occupants of the house.
It usually was the most spacious room in the house with the highest ceilings, the most elaborate architectural designs and the most sumptuous decorations and furnishings.
Though styles of decor varied, the one thing that remained constant was the feminine touch. The decor was designed to create a feeling of comfort, therefore, the guests would chose to linger.
The favored wallpaper pattern incorporated scrolls, vines and birds and was generally small-scale and finely detailed. Ceiling moldings were elaborately carved and painted in lighter tones taken from the color of the walls. Applied decorations were added to the ceiling, usually in the corners and around the chandelier.
Window drapery was also a significant feature. The drapes were made of white muslin, during the spring and summer and, sumptuous fabrics such as velvet, brocade and silk during the fall and winter. Folded and held back with ropes or scroll shaped fitments embellished with tassels ribbons and festoons. Scrolled, scalloped or gilded valances adorned the tops and were usually made of velvet or lace.
Amongst all the sofas, chairs, footstools and tables, the largest item was the upholstered sofa. Typically, they were deep-buttoned medallion and serpentine-backed Queen Anne, or Sheraton style.
No where else in the house did the fashion for uninhibited ornamentation and deep, rich fabrics and color scheme find better expression. The intention was to create a room, which was ostentatious enough to be noticed and comfortable enough to be hospitable.