start of the Edwardian period began when Edward
VII became king on the death of Queen
Victoria in 1901. This period was relatively short compared to
the long reign of Victoria but the Edwardian
style is generally recognized to have lasted until 1920 (10 years
after Edward VII's death).
the Edwardian period was much shorter than the Victorian
period, the housing boom at that time meant that the architecture
of that time heavily dominates our present suburbs.
was a rise in the new middle classes and a demand for airy, larger
homes that were easily commutable to the towns and cities. New suburbs
sprung up on the edges of cities and towns in leafy outskirts close
to the new railway lines.
were not easily accessible at the time so 90% of homes were owned
by investors and rented out to tenants.
new garden suburbs consisted of a mix of semis, villas and terraces,
built from local materials. Edwardian
houses tended to be shorter in height than the earlier Victorian
homes. Rooms for servants were no longer needed so gone were the cellars
and second floors. Edwardian houses were built on a larger plot than
the Victorians and were likely to be wider to accommodate a larger hall
and longer for a bigger garden front and back.
new middle classes wanted to show off there new found wealth. External
decoration was flamboyant and elaborate. Carved woodwork adorned balconies,
veranda, and porches. Multi paned sashes and casements with simpler
leaded glass sat within deep bay windows. Large panelled painted doors
with Art Nouveau
glass. Entrances were tiled on both walls and paths.
wonderfully built, beautifully designed, and they don't substitute tons
of fussy detail and ornament for a sense of proportion in the way that
Victorian houses do. They represent a return to the classical stylistic
were fewer but larger lighter spaces compared to the Victorian homes.
Heavy, cluttered, dark interiors were replaced with clean light simple
spaces. A need for cleanliness and more hygienic homes meant that decorative
detail became simpler. Ceiling and plaster work was still popular but
with less complicated designs that did not collect dust and dirt.
as a style became a necessity: the servantless, working woman wanted
a wipe-clean life, freed from ornate, dusty, labour-intensive bric-a-brac.
Unless you were the kind of free spirit who rejoiced in shabbiness and
dirt, clean lines meant exactly that: clean houses. Virginia
plots in the suburbs meant that a window could be set next to the front
door, creating more light to show off the wider hall and elaborate staircase.
became available after 1913 so before that Edwardian
homes had gas light downstairs. Internal bathrooms was still a new concept
and mains water supplies and sewers were often not able to cope with
the later demand of running water and plumbing around the house.
Nouveau designs rarely seen on the exterior of the house dominated
the internal decoration. Floral and other plant-inspired motifs could
be found on wallpaper, lincrusta, tiles, fabrics and lighting. Wallpaper
was very popular as was stenciling.
Fireplace Mantels: c20fires
Antique Lighting Company
parlour to boardroom, women have tried to define their place in the
world through decor By Virginia Nicholson