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How to Decorate an Edwardian House: Preserving the Period Charm

CEO Khai Intela
Edwardian properties are renowned for their ornate beauty and timeless appeal. However, renovating such a house can be a daunting task, as it requires careful consideration to maintain its period charm. In this article, we...

Edwardian properties are renowned for their ornate beauty and timeless appeal. However, renovating such a house can be a daunting task, as it requires careful consideration to maintain its period charm. In this article, we will explore the key elements of Edwardian style and provide tips on how to decorate an Edwardian house while preserving its unique character.

Understanding Edwardian Homes

An Edwardian property refers to a house built during the reign of King Edward VII, spanning from 1900 to 1910 and even extending to 1920. This era marked a significant shift from the dark and intricate Victorian architecture to a more open and fresh design aesthetic.

Rows of Edwardian era homes Rows of Edwardian era homes

Identifying an Edwardian house is easy, thanks to its characteristic features such as red brickwork, mock-Tudor cladding, wooden framed porches, spacious hallways, and bright rooms. Parquet wood flooring, geometric tiles, and ornate glazing on panelled front doors were also prevalent at the time.

Embracing Edwardian Style Décor

Edwardian interior décor can best be described as cheerful, elegant, fresh, and light. Pastel color schemes, floral wallpapers, and embossed paintings influenced by Art Nouveau designs were popular during this period. Fireplaces, although smaller in size, retained their appeal with the addition of iron and copper hoods. The rise of electricity introduced wall lights, table lamps, and central smoked glass fittings, which became fashionable in affluent Edwardian households. Polished wooden block flooring adorned with oriental rugs completed the informal yet elite look of the era. Stained glass and dark wood furniture were also iconic features of Edwardian interior design.

Decorating an Edwardian Property

Here are some top tips for decorating an Edwardian property while staying true to its unique charm:

  1. Let the light in: Edwardian homes were designed to maximize natural light, so embrace this by using sheer curtains or blinds that allow sunlight to filter through.
  2. Think simplistic symmetrical clean lines yet grand: Maintain the elegance of the period through clean lines and symmetrical arrangements.
  3. Experiment with softer palettes: Olive green, sage green, mustard, pale blue, pale deep pink, lilac, and violet were popular colors during the Edwardian era.
  4. Darker colors for the living room: Create a cozy atmosphere by using darker hues in the living room compared to the other rooms.
  5. Furniture choices: Bamboo, wicker, and mahogany furniture complement the Edwardian aesthetic. Consider adding quintessential "wing chairs" for a touch of elegance.
  6. Floral wallpapers and accessories: Choose wallpapers featuring roses, lilacs, or other bright flowers to add a romantic touch. Enhance the decor with silver candlesticks, photo frames, needlepoint cushions, and other Edwardian accessories.
  7. Large plate-glass mirror: A well-placed mirror can enhance the sense of space and light in an Edwardian room.
  8. Mix old with new: Don't be afraid to incorporate modern elements into your Edwardian decor to create a unique and personalized space.

Old record player Old record player

The Essence of Edwardian Style

After the ornate and cluttered Victorian era, Edwardian design focused on creating a sense of homeliness and effective use of space. The fireplace became a focal point of the Edwardian home, while still retaining some crossover elements from the Victorian era. This blend of styles adds a quirky charm to many Edwardian properties.

Edwardian Window Design

Interior view of an Edwardian style window Interior view of an Edwardian style window

Edwardian windows were known for their distinctive sash window style with six panes over two panes. This layout allowed ample light to enter the room while maintaining a classic look. Edwardian casement windows, often painted white or with contrasting dark frames and white highlights, were also popular. Double bay and bow windows became a favored feature, thanks to changes in building regulations during the time.

Colors that Define Edwardian Style

Edwardian interiors are typically adorned with floral or pastel colors. Popular color choices during the Edwardian period included lilac, chartwell green, pale yellows, grey, and duck egg blue. Lighter shades were preferred as they reflected natural light, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. Wallpaper with unique designs added character to Edwardian homes.

Embrace the Edwardian Era

If you own an Edwardian-era home in the South East and wish to rejuvenate its charm, look no further. With their extensive experience in transforming Edwardian properties, the SEHBAC team can help breathe new life into your home. Whether it's restoring authentic heritage windows and doors or adding space and value with an Edwardian conservatory, they have the expertise to preserve the period charm.

Edwardian living room

Preserving the period charm of an Edwardian house requires a thoughtful balance between maintaining its unique features and introducing modern elements. By following the principles of Edwardian style and incorporating your personal touches, you can create a space that exudes elegance and timeless appeal.