'American Dream Builders' Victorian, Before and After

american dream builders victorian dining room makover
ZillowThe designers embraced the ornate style of a traditional Victorian house in the dining room makeover.
By Erika Riggs

With one episode to left go, the playing field on "American Dream Builders" has narrowed quite a bit. Just four designers remained for the latest project: a stately Victorian home in need of a major makeover. Designer Nina converted a messy office into a nursery, transforming the plain, unadorned space into an elegant room that will work for a child for years to come.

"A little glamour -- maybe a chandelier -- is fun in a girl's room. Frilly can be beautiful if it's done correctly," she explained. "That said, there are benefits to sticking to major design elements that are gender neutral so you can use the same nursery for a second child."

Victorian homes are not often simple spaces. Designed in an era of gold and glamour, Victorians have ornate detailing inside and out. The designers embraced the ornate style, creating an entertaining space featuring gold, damask wallpaper and elegant drapery.

'American Dream Builders,' Episode 9: Before and After
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'American Dream Builders' Victorian, Before and After
The family had more need for a nursery than an office.
Pink patterned wallpaper and plush fabrics bring warmth and softness to the nursery.

1. The crib is the star piece. “You don’t want something too babyish,” said Nina. “Most cribs turn into full-size beds, so you want to choose a piece that will suit your child until at least age 4.”

This classic crib is the focal point of a nursery designed by Niche Interiors.

2. Create a sitting room. Nina’s tip: “Even in a small room, you need a sitting area where you can play or read with your child. You also need a play area, change area and sleep area. Thinking of the room in those zones can be a basis for good design.”

A small settee works as a place for reading and playing.

3. Think outside traditional color themes. While pink for a girl and blue for a boy is fun, it can be too predictable. Try teal, purple or green — each color works well in a nursery.

Soft green is a beautiful shade for a child’s room. Designed by DKOR Interiors.
Nina created a glamorous Victorian-style dining room.

1. Incorporate lighting from the era. Going for a Victorian-style room? Go for antique light fixtures, or at least lighting that has the same look as an antique.

Wall sconces are a great way to add more light in a room.

2. Add a bench. Just because it’s a formal room doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy. A bench is casual and provides more seating options.

A custom, upholstered bench saves space in a smaller dining room. Design by The Creative Edge, Inc.

3. Jazz up the walls. Install wainscoting, a chair rail or even a subtle-printed wallpaper.

Wainscoting instantly updates a room.

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