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Heritage home design series part two: Edwardian homes

Less ornate than Victorian homes, but none-the-less influenced by the period, Edwardian homes are an architectural style that was popular during the reign of King Edward VII from 1901 to 1910. Homes built up until 1914 can also be included in this style.

While Victorian homes were notable for their use of colour, Edwardian homes are distinctly less colourful with lighter tones being used on both exteriors and interior designs. Also more plain were the decorative patterns used and noticeably less ornamentation.

Suburban Edwardian homes are characterized by a gable front, three or four second-level bedrooms, as well as a substantial front porch, complete with wood columns painted white. The buildings are generally clad in a smooth brick surface with many windows with stone sills.

As with other historical architectural styles, Edwardian architecture can be split into a few categories, including:

  • Edwardian Classicism – Evolving from the Beaux Arts, this architecture is extravagant and powerful, a great combination for public buildings such as train stations and libraries.
  • Neo-Mannerism – The use of steel and reinforced concrete frames freed the walls of this style for non-structural uses of classical forms.

Here in Ontario, many Edwardian homes have yet to be discovered. As there are so many of them and the styles can vary so widely, many Edwardian home owners don’t even realize that is the style of their home. With unassuming and almost humble exteriors, Edwardian homes are most easily identifiable by the interiors, which house fine tilework, stained glass, as well as gas, and later, electric lights.

Look for lighting by Louis Comfort Tiffany, glassware by Rene Lalique and furniture by Thomas Sheraton to identify the Edwardian period and use pastel colours, floral patterns and bamboo and wicker furniture to get the look in your home.

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