What are Victorian doors?

Queen Victoria reigned between the years 1819 and 1901 and so the Victorian era saw a lot of changes in terms of decor styles and design. An outward display of wealth and status was essential to those living during these 63 years and the front door to the home was the perfect way to display your success and status in society to all who passed or approached. 

A Victorian front door had to convey the right impression. Hence, they were typically intricately detailed and opulent in design with panels, stained glass, and carvings, and were surrounded by impressive-looking architraves to match. 


Victorian front doors were often painted matt or semi-gloss or grained – a technique that allows the original texture of the wood grain to show through the paint or wax – but other colours were also used during the mid-Victorian period. Until the end of the 1860s, other colours such as dark blue, chocolate brown, deep red, and olive green became popular in many homes.

In the 1860s, a new style became popular – The Aesthetic Movement – which aimed to escape the ugliness and materialism of the Industrial Age by focusing instead on producing art that was beautiful rather than having a deeper meaning. Supporters of this movement began using more simple tones such as black or off-white for their front doors. 


Stained glass was a popular addition to Victorian-style front doors. The colourful glass panels allowed light to enter while still preserving the privacy of the residents. Stained glass was complex to make and involved intricate detail work that cost a lot of money. Therefore, it often served as a way to show wealth and status as those in lower social classes could not afford such embellishments to their residences at the time.

Stained glass panels weren’t just used on front doors, however. They were often found in picture windows as well as in foyers, bathrooms, and even staircases. Often, those who could afford stained glass, and any other type of luxury decor, would use them in large amounts around the house to show off their wealth. Because of this, the Victorian home was renowned for its cluttered decor.

Hardware and handles

Cast iron and brass were the metals of choice for Victorian-style doors. In the first half of the century, cast iron was most popular with designs of door knobs, knockers, and hinges echoing back to the previous century – sporting designs like lion heads, dolphins, and even urns. Despite the popularity, however, by 1850, brass was becoming more popular and widespread and doors began to sport gleaming brass bell pulls, finger plates, and letterboxes – polished to perfection by servants. 


Hardwood was the most sought-after material to make front doors out of and continues to be today. Hardwood is sturdy and durable, capable of withstanding everyday use easily, especially when treated properly. 

Browse Leader Doors’ range of hardwood front doors to find the perfect front door for your home. Finish it off with long-lasting, stylish door knobs to give passersby the ultimate first impression of your home. 

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