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Creating an Edwardian Style

By: Kelly-Rose Bradford - Updated: 30 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Edwardian Arts And Crafts Art Nouveau

On first appearances, early Edwardian interior design does not appear too different to Victorian styles, but as the era moved on - and it was fairly short, between 1901 and 1910 - huge differences in furniture, decoration and style can be noted.

Where to Shop

Fortunately, there are still lots of good examples of Edwardian furniture, soft furnishing and ornaments to be had at auctions, antique shops and house sales. As with all second-hand and antique purchases, satisfy yourself of the condition and authenticity before committing to buy!

Private 'small ads', garage sales and car boot fairs are your best bet for turning up a bargain, and you might find large antique fairs offer better value than shops. But do your research beforehand, and go armed with a list - do not make impulse purchases unless you can afford to make a mistake with size or suitability for your home!

What to Buy

If you are starting your Edwardian project from scratch, then the world is your oyster! Look out for period style wallpapers with pretty floral designs, or even exotic birds or Grecian urn pattern repeats. There are many wallpaper manufacturers who now reproduce faithfully from their back catalogues, so you are sure to be able to track down an authentic period print. To minimise costs, or to bring a more contemporary air to a period style home, consider papering just one feature wall in your chosen Edwardian design - useful also if you elect for a big print in a small room.

Paintwork can reflect your other colour schemes - for example, dado or picture rails could be painted soft shades of blue or green, or creamy, pale yellow to accentuate the colours in your wallpaper, curtains or rugs - think soft, muted shades throughout and you won't go far wrong!

Cover your floors with rugs in similar muted shades to your walls and paint work - aim for a soft, feminine, almost Georgian style, but with slightly more pattern and design. Oriental style rugs in pale colours, or traditional floral designs will work well.

Art Nouveau

The art nouveau period is synonymous with late Victorian and Edwardian styles of art, craft and design. The period spanned 1880-1914 and produced what was at the time some of the most beautiful and innovative styles. Art Nouveau originated in Paris and was heavily influenced by the natural world and things of beauty - think Tiffany lamps with their female form bases and intricate stained-glass, flowery shades.

To incorporate art nouveau into your home, look to the work of Charles Rennie Macintosh, Alphonse Mucha and Louis Tiffany - many companies now make furniture and soft furnishing in the design and style of these famous designers, and their names and design concepts are as well known now as they were a century ago.


If you'd prefer not to have a full on replica of an Edwardian house, or just want to take certain elements of the era to compliment your existing interior, why not just simply accessorise with a few key period pieces? Splash out on pretty vintage china to display in a cabinet, or hang ornate bird cages in your garden room or conservatory (perhaps as a plant holder). Create a mini orangery with ferns and potted palms, reminiscent of the Edwardians love for brining the outside in, and use feminine lacy table clothes and dollies on your tables and sideboards.

Overall, think faded, vintage chintz, with a muted, pretty edge and you'll be bang on trend!

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