Bed & breakfast decor in the US: why the prevalence of Victorian/granny decor?

The title is the question. It seems like the vast majority of bed and breakfast inns in the US have a decorating/design theme that I describe as “grandma’s attic” - frilly, foo-foo, kountry kitschy and/or Victorian, lots of knick-knacks, and the like. Why is that school of design so prevalent?

I’m asking because I was looking at fly-and-drive vacations in Ireland, and the B&Bs there tend to have more neutral decor. It’s not nearly so … okay, flame me if you must, but not even a tenth as feminine as what I regularly see here in the States.

I’ve always assumed they’re trying to decorate the way they think English/Irish B&Bs are decorated.

Never saw a modern B&B…are there any Art Deco-themed ones?

I’m sure there are. I’ve seen B&Bs that have arts & crafts, Southwestern, and lodge/mountain decor. However, the majority seem to be Victorian/granny.

My B&B is different. I think you’d like it.
You make your own bed, & get your own damn breakfast.

The two that I have stayed at were maybe 80 or 90 year old houses converted to B&Bs, so maybe they are trying a decor to blend in with the old house.

A couple of possible reasons:

  • the houses converted to B&B’s are often large, old victorian ones – so that kind of Vctorian over-decoration fits the house & its interior.

  • the primary customer base for many of these B&B’s is older, retired couples. A decoration style like this reminds them of childhood visits to grandma’s house – it’s a nostalgic style that makes them comfortable. Perhaps future generations of customers will be attracted by B&B’s set in suburban ramblers, decorated with orange shag carpet & avacado or harvest gold appliances. :eek:

Did the B&B driving vacation to Ireland maybe 10 years ago. Decor was varied. A couple were Ye Olde England style, and one was early Salvation Army and the others were what you might call “neutral”.

I’m not a fan of B&Bs in the US, too expensive for want you get and new hotels have great weekend rates and are more convenient with more ammenities. One exception is a B&B I stayed at in Americus, GA. Yes, the decor was a bit on the frilly side, but location, property and service was awesome.

They have us well trained don’t they ?

When a POM visits us, its like the queen visiting.

When we visit them, its like we are their servants, and we are only getting into their house because of some great flood or other natural disaster… well the money is just an ‘well of course you have to pay… you don’t count for anything…’

They treat their emmigrants as ‘good riddance’ … They have never felt sorry for throwing out (to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, ) people who didn’t marry well…

Well there may be other reasons. eg someone in UK can just go to visit their grandma to stay in a grandma house.

While this was a valid General Questions thread, I’m moving to Cafe Society.

Let’s givet hem guys a whack at it.

samclem, moderator

I’ve stayed in quite a few, none of which had this kind of decor. In fact on Monday night we stayed in a caboose - which was decorated in a Casablanca theme. I suppose some owners think Victorian is what people want.

In the minds of many Americans, Victorian equals Posh.

Traveling in Ireland, I either go B&B or self-catering. Keep in mind I,m seriously cheap, but most of the places I’ve stayed in fell into the “I raised eight kids but now their gone and these beds might as well earn some money for us” category of decorating.

Which is really what I prefer. As long as there’s a clean bed and warm shower I’m happy. Why pay extra for lace handing off the bedframe?

I have seen some B&B type places that were not Victorian, but the vast majority are…

… and the people I know who most like B&B’s wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’m not sure which came first in this chicken-and-egg scenario, but it’s definitely a self-reinforcing pattern at this point. People who want comfortable and neutral go to a hotel. If you want overheated, cluttered, fussy and claustrophobic you seek out a B&B.

I was shopping around for a B/B to stay at in southern Missouri last fall, and experienced the same thing. Mostly frillygrammavictorian, and a smattering of lodge style with heavy log furniture.

I would go for an art deco B/B in a freaking heartbeat.

I definitely shop for Arts & Crafts-style B&Bs. That’s the kind of house I want to live in, with Stickley furniture and Steuben lamps and Grueby tile, and if I can have it for a night for $150, I’ll take it. REAL Victorian with incredible woodwork and stained glass I’ll go for, but ersatz with lace and gloves and pearls draped all over the place, I’ll save my money and stay in the Holiday Inn.

And yes, Sicks Ate, I’d go for a Deco B&B too. Miami might be your best bet.

I look at a site on FB showing abandoned, decrepit, yet romantic old houses and mansions, closed up and overgrown with ivy, big porches, towers, turrets, widows walks, and weeds in the yard. Like ‘haunted houses’, and some of them are heart renderingly beautiful in their own way. Someone should buy a few, fix them up inside, and advertise Gothic Haunted Macabre B&Bs. :smiley:

I’d stay at one of those - it’d be like staying with the Brady’s!

Are any Frank Lloyd Wright houses open as B&Bs? That’d be cool.

Yeah. I think I deserve an apology. How dare they throw my ancestors out of rainy, dull, overcrowded England and force them to go live in this sunny, warm and sparsely populated hellhole we call “Australia”!

I think one of the other reasons for the annoying overstuffed Victorian look is that many B&B are in restored Victorian houses and they are trying to recreate the ‘original’ look.

My favorite B&B stay was somewhere in Washington DC back in 1988, in a craftsman decorated restored pair of row houses somewhere in the northwest corner. I know it was near a metro station, and was surprisingly reasonable to stay there.

My guess at this is that most people who stay at B&B of the ‘victorian type’ are there on a ‘romantic getaway’. Which means 9 times out of 10, the woman picks it as equating ‘romantic’ decor.

I am a chick, and my idea of a romantic get away is a Sheraton, but then I spent to many nights in the field or in remote military billets. D*n it, I want a decent mattress and room service and Diet Cherry Coke for breakfast.

Women who stay in the city and read romance novels have unrealistic ideas about romantic decor…and boyfriends probably, too.