Blog

  • Home >
  • Blog >
  • Why We Love San Francisco Victorian Homes

Why We Love San Francisco Victorian Homes !

Why We Love San Francisco Victorian Homes

San Francisco is home to many architectural styles, but arguably the most popular is the Victorian house. This is a general term for houses built in the Victorian era, and there are in fact Victorian homes all over the world.

Victorian Architecture

Victorian architecture refers to styles that came out during the reign of Queen Victoria, a period between 1830 and 1910. It is interesting to note that although we talk about “Victorians” as if it is one style, there are actually several styles that fall under the Victorian label, some of the most popular being Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Volk Victorian, Shingle, Stick, Richardsonian Romanesque, East Lake and Octagon. You can learn more about each individual Victorian style by visiting the pin below.

Victorian Elements

If Victorian homes are actually multiple styles, how are they united and recognized as Victorian? While each style has its own variation, there are several key elements that group them together. This includes:

  • Large, imposing homes of two or three stories.
  • One story porches, often wraparound.
  • Steep, multi-faceted roofs.
  • Decorative trim often called “gingerbread.”
  • Vibrant colors.
  • Complicated and asymmetrical shape.

You can learn more about the Victorian architectural style including key elements and famous examples in the pin below.

Victorian Preservation

With a 105-185 year history, many Victorian homes have not survived over the years, but there are still many beautiful Victorians standing in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as all over the country and all over the world. They exist thanks to homeowners who have preserved and restored them over time. Helping the cause are several Victorian preservation societies, like the national Victorian Society in America, headquartered in Philadelphia.

San Francisco even has its own non-profit Victorian preservation society called the Victorian Alliance of San Francisco. The Alliance offers grants for restoring and preserving historical buildings as well as occasional house tours so residents and tourists can see inside the area’s beautiful Victorian homes.

San Francisco Victorians – The Painted Ladies

The most famous Victorian houses in San Francisco are the “Painted Ladies” – a row of colorful Victorians located at 710-720 Steiner St. They are also known as the Alamo Square Postcard Row, referring to the fact that this is a highly photographed area and a popular tourist attraction where photographers can get a picture of the famous houses with the city skyline in the background. You can learn more about the history of the Painted Ladies in the pin below.

And if you want an even closer look, check out this pin that takes you inside one of the famous Painted Lady Victorian homes.

San Francisco Victorians – Tourism & Media

If you travel to San Francisco then you can get an up close view of San Francisco’s Victorian houses via the San Francisco Home Walk – a historical walking tour where you can learn the history of San Francisco through its architecture.

But even if you haven’t visited San Francisco, you’ve likely encountered the city’s famous Victorians. The Painted Ladies have appeared in an estimated 70 movies and television shows, including the opening credits of Full House, Mrs. Doubtfire, Party of Five, and Pacific Heights.

MB Jessee San Francisco Victorian Painting

MB Jessee has been honored to work on several Victorian houses in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the project shown below. You’ll notice many of the classic Victorian elements – a large multiple story house with a one story porch, beautiful colors, and intricate detailing.

A closer picture gives you a better look at the ‘gingerbread’ patterns and details.

Victorian homes have inspired and amazed us for over a century. With proper preservation and restoration, they will continue to delight viewers for centuries to come.

MB Jessee offers interior and exterior painting for San Francisco Bay Area Victorian homes, including custom colors, wood stains, and decorative finishes. Call us to discuss your next painting project at (510) 655-7000, or get more information here.

Related Tags

Victorian architecture

Request an Estimate

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area

Why People Hire Us

Background-Checked, Dedicated Team Members

Clear Communication

Experienced Oversight of Every Job

Fully Licensed & Insured

Exceptional Service & Attention To Detail

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Best of Oakland 2018 BBB American Society of Interior Designers ASID Nolan Summit Services Inc Leadsafe Certified Firm EPA Community Associates Institute NARI Member

Customer Reviews

“The painters at MB Jesse are top notch! Cesar's team was super friendly and helpful. They were very polite and accommodating. Their expertise in everything painting related was evident in their attention to detail and efficiency painting tricky spaces. The apartment looks brand new!”

— Adam Swisher

“Hello Matt,Just another notice of thanks to your wonderful crew, Rigoberto, Javier and John. They did fantastic work, with Rigo providing meticulous and conscientious attention to the details and excellent woodwork finishing, as evidenced by the beautiful fireplace. Javier did a fantastic job in the bathroom especially, it looks "brand new," and John always does quality work, both with the interior and exterior. I can tell they care about what they do. Rigo's "punch out" was very thorough, too. I will call again when I need some more work and will definitely recommend your company and fine crew. I also felt as a homeowner, I could leave my house in their good hands during the day and that took a lot of worry from me, they were honest, prompt and reliable. They were also very kind, respectful and clean in their work, very professional. Thank you.”

— Beth Marx & Melissa Kirsch
Oakland

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara
Piedmont

“I just wanted to thank you all for doing such a phenomenal job on our recent house painting. We are very happy with the outcome and can't say enough good things about the crew. Everyone working on the project was outstanding and made it a great experience. Thanks to everyone.”

— Daylan
Piedmont

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“I just wanted to send you an email to say that John did such a great job over here today. He is truly a hard worker. He has the perfect balance of friendliness, honesty, and professionalism. I trust him. He takes the time to do the job to the best of his ability and that is what sets him (and your company) apart from the competition. He didn't make me feel rushed. He really made me feel like our job was the most important thing in the world. Thanks again!”

— Jo
Oakland

“Just wanted to let you know that the crew was great to have around the house for the past two weeks. All three of them were professional, courteous, and attentive to my thoughts/concerns and were extremely knowledgeable. They paid great attention to the detail and it shows.”

— Mark & Roberta Gross

“In all the years I've worked with MB Jessee, I'm always so impressed by your crews. They are so respectful of everything--you never even know they're there! Except that the paint looks amazing when they're gone. We've had one showing of our home and already have an offer. I'm sure it is because the paint looks so beautiful.”

— Erin T.
Pleasant Hill

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb

“Many thanks to Rigoberto and Damon and the extraordinary team who transformed my castle in the skies.They are magicians. I appreciate their work very much.”

— Kathleen A
San Francisco

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA