In terms of interior design, the Edwardian period was only short, but very influential. Of course, these classic design periods of Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian are defined by the reign of their respective monarchs. In this case, Edward Vll reigned from 1901 to 1910, but many people say the design period actually continued until around 1918 because of its popularity.
The Victorian era was renowned for a huge shift in the housing population, with inner cities being built upon and designs intended to fit as many houses as possible into the spaces available. This largely meant that properties were narrower but taller, often three-storeys high with rooms notable for also having high ceilings. Inside, the Victorian era was dominated by heavy curtains and dark interiors, with rooms often cluttered by ornaments and furniture.
In contrast, Edwardian properties were built in a period where the housing boom had slowed down after the Industrial Revolution and was spreading to the suburbs. Towns and cities were growing larger, away from the bustling centres and hence there was more space on which to develop, a move away from the mass-production of the industrial revolution was also an important feature in spotting obvious interior design trends during the Edwardian period.
Here are three key design elements which make Edwardian properties so distinctive:
Wider, brighter properties
Because there was more space on which to build, in simple terms, Edwardian properties were able to build outwards rather than upwards. So instead of multi-storey townhouses, we saw shorter, squatter and wider properties, which were also able to accommodate front gardens and were typically set back away from the pavement. Internally, Edwardian properties were symbolised by wider and brighter rooms and hallways, and hence the design and profiles of features such as architrave, skirtings and rails was adapted to give these wider rooms better proportions and balance.
Carpets briefly went out of fashion in the Edwardian era as properties discovered a love of wooden floors and ceramic tiling. Parquet floors were very popular at this time. And again, Edwardian skirting boards became an important feature both functionally and decoratively as a result.
A renewed appreciation of handmade detail, rather than mass-produced materials, led to more ornate decoration for features such as porches, stained glass windows and doors and floor tiles. This led to the Edwardian period being renowned as a more opulent and elegant period, compared to the Victorian.
Red brickwork and houses built as a large, spacious development in straight lines, rather than squashed into existing spaces, also characterised Edwardian properties, and these features can all still be seen as we look around at classic houses and traditional homes in the UK today.
Bringing Edwardian style to your home
You can of course add your own Edwardian touch to your property by adding period detail. Installing Edwardian architrave, doors, skirting, ceiling mouldings and dado rails is a way to be faithful to a key design period in our history and also adding authenticity and elegance to your home. You can browse our range of Edwardian mouldings and speak to our experts about this design period, and how you can refurbish your home to be consistent and accurate in mimicking this period and bringing true Edwardian style to your home, so get in touch with our sales team today.