Trend I Love: The “New Victorian” Look a la SchmiedskiGreystone

When planning the interior design of our greystone over a year ago, I definitely saw myself drawn to very traditional pieces. I had always loved traditional decor–especially those reminiscent of London and Paris throughout the last two centuries. Gilded mirrors, traditional banquettes and armoires, settees and wingback chairs, grandfather clocks. I love it all.

I’ve even owned a few traditional decor pieces myself–this French gilt mirror, the traditional buffet we use as a media console, a marble pedestal table, silhouette art, and more. Most recently we added this gorgeous white and wood frame settee to our master bedroom!

But it’s a fine line between stiff and uncomfortable, and cozy and lovely, and I think most people have been fearful of the former that we’ve gone away from this trend the past decade in favor of a more relaxed vibe.

Well, I am happy to say traditional is back. In a relaxed, lived in sorta way.

I had never fully attempted to tackle the traditional look in my own home until this place. Probably because a. I’ve been in my twenties and this really is a bit more of a sophisticated/older look and 2. I never had a home with the architecture to go with it.

Obviously that all changed when we moved into #schmiedskigreystone complete with 12′ ceilings, windows just as high, marble fireplace mantels, and a grand staircase.

I remember seeing the photo above in an old issue of House Beautiful and taking a photo of it with my phone to use as inspiration for our house.

design by Alaina Kaczmarski, photos by Aimee Mazzenga


As you can see, I instantly gravitated toward what is now the “New Victorian” trend. Velvet and silk textiles, gold and brass hardware, a crystal chandelier, a roll arm sofa, and art reminiscent of the Victorian name (I even collaborated with Chicago artist Josh Young to bring my own unique piece of art, the “Alaina,” to his shop). And in my opinion (and I think you can ask any guests who have been over)–it’s quite cozy! Not too stuffy.

As the year went on I realized I had been saving more and more “New Victorian” images into my Instagram file and Pinterest board.

I didn’t incorporate the trend as conspicuously in every room of our house. But even the French dining chairs, floor mirror in our master bedroom, and moody floral bedding in our guest room are all a nod to my appreciation for the traditional look.

Here are a few of my other favorite rooms also getting this look right (including kitchens and baths!)…


New Victorian Inspiration


1. marble pedestal table
2. vintage silhouette art (similar here, here, and here)
3. brass bridge faucet
4. cupboard latch
5. decanter
6. distressed wool rug
7. gild mirror
8. found flatware
9. Roman bowl (currently 25% off)
10. cashmere throw
11. etched wine glasses
12. silver tray
13. faux roses
14. brass wire frame eyeglasses (I call these my Sherlock Holmes glasses)
15. brass curtain rod
16. Victorian art
17. iron canopy bed
18. black classical bust
19. roll arm chair

A few other items I love or own: this cloche to display unique items, this velvet roll arm chair, and this mirror.