Edwardian Interiors: 8 Top Tips | Nichola Engert Interiors
Designing the look of your house takes lots of effort, creativity and thought, particularly if you want to show off the period features of your historic home. So here are our tips on how to bring out the best of your Edwardian abode, and really complement its fixtures and fittings with your interiors.
Bright and light
The Edwardian era began with the rule of King Edward VII at the turn of the 20th Century, marking the end of the dark and harsh Victorian period. As a result, the small rooms, cluttered interiors, heavily draped windows and formal style made way for brighter, more spacious homes.
As Real Homes recognises: “This would be emphasised through the choice of paler colour schemes and a better appreciation of light. The Edwardians wanted to bring sunshine into the house.”
Hallways were larger, and darker colours were saved for the living room, while kitchens, bedrooms, halls and dining rooms were much brighter.
According to Rooms Solutions: “Keep the colour palette soft with a lot of olive greens, sage greens, mustard, pale blues, pale deep pinks, lilac and violet.”
Most Edwardian houses boast dark, polished wooden floors, so if you have a carpet, this should be the first thing to go.
Instead, replace the flooring with a wooden floor and cover with large statement Persian rugs. The publication stated these quality rugs and cushions were intended to “soften the look” of the dark floor, while they also keep the house warmer.
The Edwardian era was when wallpaper was introduced. So, if you want to replicate period interiors in your property, it is a good idea to have a few statement walls in floral designs and motifs.
Choose wallpapers with roses, lilac, wisteria or sweet peas on, while stripes were also indicative of the era.
“Go for something simple but rich for dining rooms, such as a gold damask and white, and candy stripes for bedrooms,” it suggests.
The Edwardian era saw the introduction of natural pieces of furniture, such as wicker and bamboo. These grew very popular during this period, with homeowners moving away from more expensive woods.
Old wicker furniture can be revived by spray-painting them in an appropriate colour - a better alternative to using a paintbrush.
One piece of furniture that was very common at the turn of the 20th Century was the wing chair. So, if there’s one item you purchase to really give your home that Edwardian feel, let this be it.
Get one in mahogany for an authentic piece and re-upholster it in chintz or damasks in pale shades.
It is also worth thinking carefully about your textiles, as these particularly set Edwardian houses apart from those built in other eras. For instance, cushions became very popular during the early 1900s and were often embroidered with floral motifs.
If you’re creative, you could take up needlepoint or embroidery yourself, or look for cushions in an art nouveau style.
If your property was built during the Edwardian period, it will probably still have its original wall mouldings. However, if these have been removed, it could be a good idea to reinstall them and recreate the home’s original features.
Dado rails, ceiling roses, picture rails, and friezes became huge, and were considered status symbols.
HJ Jennings wrote in Our Homes and How To Beautify Them: “No middle class house was considered perfect without it... The lady whose rooms had dadoes looked down on the lady who had none.”
To add a touch of Edwardian glamour to your home, pay particular attention to your choice of lampshade. This was the time when soft fabric shades with tassels or frills became popular, as well as large ceiling lights and the world-renowned Tiffany lamps.
Real Homes stated: “With greater technological advances in lighting, came fashionable accessories – the most famous being the Tiffany lamps from America with their coloured stained glass, inspired by the likes of the Art Nouveau movement.”