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Get the Look: Edwardian

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Do you have an Edwardian home (dated between 1901 - 1910) and would like to use the age of the property as inspiration for the decor? Then read on for some great tips on how to get the look.

After the heaviness, clutter and dark colours of Victorian interiors, people wanted something new and cheerful. Edwardian style was a breath of fresh air.

Get the look


  • Furniture - to get the Edwardian look you can choose from a range of styles including baroque, rococo and empire. However items such as the wing chair was a popular and  typical shape. Choose upholstery in chintz and damasks in pale colours.
  • Wicker - bamboo and wicker furniture were also introduced in these period. You can still buy good quality wicker furniture today in a range of colours.
  • Floors - highly polished wood block floors, with oriental rugs, look fantastic in a living room. If you already have wooden floorboards, make sure they're not pine as this will jar. Stain them with an oak-coloured varnish instead. For areas with more wear and tear, go for bricks in a herringbone pattern or red quarry tiles.
  • Wallpaper - choose wallpapers with a fresh, cheerful feel such as florals of roses, lilac, wisteria, and sweet peas, with trellises, ribbons and bows. Stripes are also typical - go for something simple but rich for dining rooms such as a gold damask and white, and candy stripes for bedrooms. It was considered too much to have both a dado rail and a frieze: most people papered up to the dado rail and then papered or painted the wall above that with plain paper or distemper.
  • Fireplaces - fireplaces are smaller than Victorian ones. They had splayed sides with projecting iron or copper hoods and decorative tiles. Smaller versions are usually found in the bedrooms.
  • Colour schemes - choose pastel colour schemes in the colours of flowers - primrose yellows, leaf greens, the lilac of wisteria, and grey. Living rooms can take darker colours such as dark green for fabrics and cream walls.
  • Lighting - electric lighting was just beginning to be introduced to the grander homes. Buy fabric lampshades in soft colours with frills and tassels. Use them on wall lights, table lights and even standard lamps. For a central light, look for a pendant fitting in smoked glass. Ceiling roses disguised the wiring for light fittings. Tiffany lamps or reclining female bronze figures are also in keeping.
  • Cushions - take up embroidery and needlepoint and make some cushions with floral motifs in an art nouveau style.
  • Pictures - hang pictures on hooks but place them halfway down the wall.
  • Accessories - add Edwardian-style accessories such as early gramophones (the ones with the conical shells), tiered silver cake stands, and pretty silver photograph frames.
  • Flowers - echo the wallpaper with your choice of flowers. Try loosely arranged bunches of sweet peas, roses, and lilac. House palms are also typically Edwardian.

For inspiration on the Edwardian style why not arrange a visit to some locations that offer great examples of the elegance of the period? Here are some lovely examples:


  • The Argory, Moy, Dungannon, Northern Ireland. Tel: 028 8778 4753
  • Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, Surrey - National Trust stately home
  • Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, Herts - Edwardian home to playwright George Bernard Shaw with virtually unchanged interiors
  • Le Meridien Waldorf Hotel, London - tea dances in the Palm Court
  • Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex
  • Geffrye Museum, London

Further Reading


  • The Edwardian House by Helen Long (Manchester University Press)
  • Edwardian House Style by Hilary Hockman (David & Charles)
  • Care & Repair of Period Houses by Albert Jackson & David Day (Collins)

Article taken in part from

Important Information

All property sales and the financial advice that surrounds them are as unique as the people engaging in the transaction. It is important to not make a decision without seeking professional advice. If you want to sell your home and are considering redecorating before marketing, speak to one of our Property Professionals to get the best advice for presenting your home for sale before making any investment.



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