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Middle American Design
Arts and Crafts
Edwardian Interiors (1901-1910)
The Edwardian era saw the begining of a new century with a new King Edward VII and a new style of interior design.
On first appearances, early Edwardian interior design does not appear too different to Victorian styles, but as the era progressed there were huge differences in furniture, decoration and style. There was a gradual disapperance of "Victorian clutter", of surfaces crowded with bric-a-brac and the rooms crammed with furniture for thee emetgence of a simpler, more straight forward arrangement. Along with this went the gradual flattering of the apperance of walls and ceilings with a lightening of colour schenes. The heavy, dark, cluttered look of the
era was gone, and something much lighter and more cheerful took its place.
After the death of King Edward VII's mother Queen Victoria, Edward VII inlisted London decorator Sir Charles Carrick Allom to refurbish Buckingham Palace, saying "Get this tomb cleaned up!".
This early 20th century style had an eclectic feel to it , and drew from elements of Georgian, Medieval and Tudor styles. Light, airy and simplicity of detail were key principals of this era. Colours were fresher than during the Victorian era; pastel blues, lilacs, leaf green, muted yellows and pearl greys to name a few. Floral fabrics and wallpaper were complemented by the liberal use of fresh flowers in informal arrangements. Along with Sheraton, Chippendale, Queen Anne and even Baroque reproduction furniture, wicker and bamboo began to be widely used in Edwardian Style of interiors.
added a modern, original flavor to the historicism of this period. Inspired directly from nature, Art Nouveau designers adorned a vast array of ordinary household objects with stylized flowers, vines, leaves, birds and dragonflies. And therefore you would regulary see a Tiffany lamp, an Art Nouveau clock or a graceful, high-backed black leather chair of
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
, in a complete Edwardian interior.
Shifting away from the Victorian interiors, colours were fresh and light, with an informal feel. Patterns were feminine, with flowers and floral designs highly favoured. Colours were predominantly pastels: blues, lilacs, greens, yellows, and greys. Living rooms often took darker colours such as dark green for fabrics, complemented with cream walls.
Colour schemes were lighter with doors, skirtings, ceilings, panelling and picture rails were often painted using the new bright white enamel paint. Colours were softer, carrying on the trends from the Arts and Crafts movement, which helped achieve the Edwardian ideals of freshness and light. Houses that were in the Georgian revival style were decorated in typicall colours as pale blues, greens and greys. Although the main areas of the walls and woodwork were generally painted or papered in pastel shades, ornaments and details were highlighted in strong colours, for example black woodwork might have had gold or silver gilding to emphasise details.
The dining room continued to be the most rich hues of all rooms. For example, red and gold with yellow and white ceilings and cream cornice. In the hallways, green, blue, terracottas and dark golds were common.
Edwardian sash window
Edwardian Front door
In many Edwardian houses, windows were larger than those of preceding eras because large glass panes were cheaper. Stained glass was sometimes used, particularly for the upper lights in casement windows. However, particularly in mock Tudor houses, small porch and inglenook windows were sometimes added. Greater use was made of casement windows, with leaded lights, sometimes also stained.
Edwardian terraced houses had front doors not greatly different from those of the late 19th century although colours differed. The door was painted in a variety of greens and browns, with the panels often in a lighter shade or the mouldings were in a contrasting colour. Glass was typically leaded and stained with designs showing Art Nouveau elements. Door furniture was brass. Houses with Tudor and Jacobean influences had varnished door, glass was leaded but obscured more so than stained, and door furniture was in black iron.
Edwardian flooring was on mortar or concrete, or else over wooden joists. The flooring itself was of wooden floorboards, tiles or parquet. Floor coverings were rugs or carpets, and linoleum. Like people in the last quarter of the 19th century, the Edwardian preferred rugs which could be taken outside and beaten. Rugs and looses carpets were from Turkey and India and in subdued colours. However the grandest of houses began to have fitted carpets. Plain or decorative encaustic tiles were popular around fireplaces, in halls, kitchens, bathrooms, porches, and toilets. Designs were more plain and some colours were more pale than in Victorian floors.
Parquet flooring made from oak or walnut would be particularly seen in the cottage style houses. Some houses had linoleum patterened with stone and mosaic designs.
Furniture was widely made with bamboo and wicker. This added to the already delictae and breezy nature of the style. Other furniture was reproduction, drawing their influences from baroque, rococo and empire styles. The wing chair is the classic shape and upholstery was predominately chintz and damask in pale colours.
Other furniture manufactured was of oak, with minimal carvings with less ornamentation. Metal hinges, drawer and door handles and upholstery tacks were more exposed.
Edwardian Fabrics and Curtaining
The Edwardian period saw a major revival of chintz. This is a painted, multi-coloured fabric with a glazed finish. Chintzes were teamed with matching floral wallpapers. Other fabrics were often luxurious, for example satins, silks and laces. Fringes and tassels were also widely used in decorating fabric coverings. Fabric designs from the late 19th century from companies such as
Liberty & Co.
were popular. These included japanese and indian designs on silk, as well as fluid Art Nouveau patterns. These designs came from people such as
, Lindsay Butterfield, Voysey and the Silver Studio.
Edwardian window treatments reflected the desire for light. However, the three element treatment persisted for the rooms visible from the road; curtains, lace abd blinds. Less public rooms would have just the curtains and the blinds only. The curtains were in plain designs, for example straight from the ceiling to the floor, with a tie back and box pelmet. Fabrics were simple paterns such as chintz in wwhite with floral design or plain damasks, silks or muslins.
Curtains would hang on simple brass poles. Lace was aslo used, but mainly on the lower half of the sash window. Blinds were a cloth or wood, in roller and venetian styles.
Modern Edwardian Interior
Famous Designers of the Edwardian Style
Louis Comfort Tiffany-
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