Victorian Modern A Design Bible for the Victorian Home

Jo Leevers, Rachael Smith

The ultimate “design bible” for the Victorian home sets period features in context and explores how today’s designers are adapting nineteenth-century homes to reflect a more contemporary style.

With millions still living in Victorian homes, the subject of how to style and adapt nineteenth-century properties to modern lifestyles is always on trend. In spite of this, there are very few books available on the subject to date. While Pinterest, Instagram, and magazines can offer flashes of inspiration to those looking to design their Victorian home, Victorian Modern provides in-depth and enduring information on not only why Victorian houses were built and designed as they are, but how today’s designers are adapting and styling them in fresh and innovative ways that bring properties up-to-date.

Jo Leevers mixes historical and cultural context with practical tips and plenty of visual inspiration drawn from projects by top interior designers, with chapters organized according to how we use our homes: living, dining, cooking, sleeping, bathing, and working. Sprinkled throughout are practical decorating tips and information on the origins of the architectural features of the period.

Victorian Modern reveals how the history and design of nineteenth-century homes and ways of life can help to inform our present lifestyles and home décor in fresh and interesting ways.


Elegant… Photos of the vibrant interiors are a treat, and historical tidbits enliven the proceedings. This colorful and informative survey delivers the goods.

— Publishers Weekly

Focuses on decorating in a modern, innovative, and functional Victorian way. The book includes many historical facts and explanations describing life in the Victorian era. With pictures and detailed notes, this title shares creative adaptations that employ a kaleidoscope of colors that one can pair with vintage and modern finds.

— Library Journal


Jo Leevers


Jo Leevers is a writer, editor, and stylist. She works regularly for Livingetc, Elle Decoration, the World of Interiors, Stella, Homes & Gardens, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Observer and is the author of Global Style.

Rachael Smith


Rachael Smith is a photographer who studied under Mark Power, winning the Nagoya Award for artistic achievement for her degree show. She works regularly for the World of Interiors, House & Garden, Elle Decoration, Homes & Gardens, and leading magazines in Europe and Asia. Her work has been published in several interior design books, most recently The House of Glam.