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The Simple Sophistication of Edwardian Interiors

Architectural Digest

During the reign of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom in the 1900s, also known as the Edwardian era, the Edwardian design style emerged.

The style is defined as generally less ornate than the Victorian style and the popularization of the Edwardian style was a breath of fresh air after the gothic heaviness, clutter, and dark colors of Victorian interiors.

Edwardian interior design was an absolute contrast to the strict and puritanical Victorian style. The style has an eclectic feel to it, and is influenced by the elements of Georgian, Medieval, and Tudor styles.

Today, the Edwardian style dominates the middle class homes in the UK suburbs. Edwardian architecture often includes small terraces to semis and large detached villas.

Edwardian Interiors in the Present Day Setting

Traditional Home

Edwardian homes have fewer but larger rooms with clean, light, simple spaces compared to the Victorian homes. Edwardian interiors have a more straight forward arrangement.

Veering away from the gothic Victorian colors, Edwardian colors are fresh and light, with an informal feel. Predominant colors include pastels like blues, lilacs, greens, yellows, and grays; while patterns are feminine, with flowers and floral designs.

Fabrics with darker colors like dark green are often complemented with cream walls. For doors, ceilings, and paneling, color schemes are lighter and softer. Dining rooms have the richest hues (red, gold, and yellow); while hallways are painted green, blue, and dark gold.

For a complete Edwardian feel, fabric lampshades in soft colors with frills and tassels are used on wall lights, table lights, as well as in standard lamps. For central lighting, a pendant fitting in smoked glass defines this particular interior design style. Edwardian style accessories include tiered silver cake stands and silver photograph frames.

Edwardian flooring is usually on mortar or concrete, or over wooden joists, and the flooring itself is usually made of wooden floorboards, tiles, or parquet. Rugs, carpets, and linoleum are the common floor coverings in Edwardian homes. The tiles usually have stone and mosaic patterns. Highly polished wood block floors with oriental rugs look great in an Edwardian living room.

Colors of Edwardian Interiors

Traditional Home

Adding to the delicate and breezy nature of the Edwardian design style, bamboo and wicker are the predominant materials used in Edwardian furniture. Furniture pieces made of oak, with minimal carvings with less ornamentation also represent the Edwardian style.

Edwardian furniture pieces are heavily influenced by baroque, rococo, and empire styles. The wing chair is a key piece, as well as upholstery made of chintz and damask in pale colors.

Finally, Edwardian homes have larger windows compared to the preceding eras. Stained glass is common, especially for the upper lights in casement windows. Small porch and inglenook windows are also common, as well as casement windows with leaded lights.