How To Tell if Your Property Is Georgian, Victorian or EdwardianWritten By PropertyLoop September 07, 2021
The nation’s capital of London is home to an eclectic mix of “period styles”, and whilst we can all appreciate the wonderful aesthetic embellishments each of these eras introduced, they are also more telling of each of our home’s history.
Aside from gaining a greater appreciation for a property’s character, knowing how old your home is will help when establishing your mortgage, determine a value for the property and navigate restoration or alteration works.
How Do You Know if Your House Is Georgian?
This style of property was built between 1714 to 1837, with the charm and characteristics introduced throughout the Georgian era being ushered in by pioneering London architects such as John Nash, famous for being the mind behind the original Buckingham Palace.
As was common for the time, the properties are designed to favour ample amounts of space and light, accommodated by tall windows and high ceilings. Offering decadent, comfortable surroundings, characterised by external columns supporting a porch, pitched roofs, with the windows of the property getting smaller on the higher floors.
These smaller windows offer an insight into life in the period as these top floors will have commonly housed the staff that served the families living below. Similarly, it is not uncommon to see Georgian properties with bricked-up windows, this is due to the implementation of a “window tax” from 1696 to1851 as an alternative to income tax, as the more windows a home had, the wealthier the owner typically was. To tackle this increased tax, many homeowners chose to seal their windows with brick to reduce the amount of tax they would be liable to pay. More recently, however, such period homes have been transformed, typically seeing the addition of a cottage extension to “create a distinctive contrast”, reveals Elaine Penhaul, director of Lemon and Lime interiors.
Features of a Georgian Style House’s Interior
Typically the interior of a Georgian-era home would have been arranged over multiple floors, with a balanced layout, with the rooms being evenly proportioned throughout the property. This would have often meant that there would have been two rooms on each floor of the building, one at the front and one following at the back, with a staircase running up one side of the property.
The kitchen will have been found alongside the basement, with both of these spaces having a far lower ceiling than rooms found on the other floors, with the attic areas being the exception. These middle floors will have also enjoyed the largest windows of the property, with the higher floors often receiving smaller windows.
Pioneered by architects Inio Jones, James Gibbs and Christopher Wren, the symmetry seen across Georgian style period homes is owed to a love for the Renaissance period; often seeing the door take centre stage, surrounded by ornate columns and a row of tall windows to bring in plenty of natural light; with even chimney stacks being perfectly mirrored when viewing a Georgian property from the front.
These columns were a prominent feature of Georgian properties and came through the incorporation of Roman architecture, seeing niches, alcoves and the three “classical columns, Corinthian, Ionic and Doric; or simply put columns comprised of stone, iron or marble. The front of Georgian properties was also originally only rendered in plaster u[p to the ground floor, with the brickwork being left exposed across other floors, however this soon changed as the period progressed, seeing the entire home be rendered and often painted white.
How Do You Know if Your Property Is Victorian?
Erected during the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901, Victorian Properties can typically be characterised by coloured brickwork across the exterior of the property and the porch, with hallways that lead into smaller rooms. Similar to what is often seen across properties hailing from the Georgian period, Victorian-era properties often have high ceilings, however, the windows became smaller and more ornate with stained class becoming commonplace. The interior of Victorian-era property was frequently adorned with floral patterns and geometric tiles in keeping with contemporary stylings.
With this being said the aesthetic features of a Victorian-era property can vary somewhat as designs became increasingly intricate as the years went by, with the decorative embellishments drawing inspirations from the contemporary arts and crafts movement. Whilst properties dating back to the Victorian period somewhat resemble those of the Georgian era, they are generally smaller in size, with towers, tall chimneys, turrets and bay windows becoming prominent embellishments across many Victorian homes.
Features of a Victorian Homes Interior
The Victorian age brought with it the industrial revelation and the process of mass production, making many aspects of a homes interior more affordable and accessible to owners. Commonly there would be a parlour room toward the front of the house, with textiles and furniture that was previously reserved for the upper class now being more diverse in their use.
When assessing a Victorian period property it is easy to spot the elements of gothic revival architecture, including spires, ornate ironwork, buttresses, and increasingly pointed doorways. As mentioned many of those looking to bring colour and character to the interior of their Victorian home did so with wallpaper commonly depicting floral patterns or heraldic imagery. This vibrancy carried through to an increased implementation of stained glass windows, patterned floor tiles, and marble, slate, or iron fireplaces.
How Do You Know if Your Property Is Edwardian?
Arguably the shortest period to lend its influence on property characteristics was the Edwardian period. Spanning om 1901 to 1910 Edwardian homes saw simplicity and a desire or the handmade take centre stage after the mass production of the industrial revolution experienced throughout Victoria’s reign.
Commonly, Edwardian Homes are seen in more suburban areas, with the tall ceilings being replaced by wider rooms and a desire for outdoor space, seeing many properties reside far back from the street to accommodate a sizable front garden. Further lending her insight, Elaine Penhaul, director of Lemon and Lime interiors, summarises the period homes saying, “Edwardian houses are known for ornate decorative details, including floor tiles, stained glass, and timber, as well as large rooms with high ceilings.”
What Is a Typical Edwardian House Layout?
Edwardian properties can typically be characterised through the prominent use of red brick in their construction, a departure from the coloured brick and rendering seen across the preceding periods. As mentioned the aesthetic adornments intended to enrich each property’s character was took heavy influence from the contemporary arts and crafts movement, resulting in many homes from the era enjoying wooden framed porches and other ornate decorations. In the closing years of the Edwardian period, extended chimney stack became a common sight, alongside the already prominent mock Tudor style cladding and dormer windows.
Edwardian homes pioneered the concept of owning a suburban garden, introducing outdoor space, greenery and privacy to each property. Next to go were the high ceilings see throughout the Georgian and Victorian periods; these were soon replaced by wider rooms and a larger hallway.
This ear of innovation in property design was also quick to do away with the outhouse, instead introducing indoor bathrooms, with homeowners also being receptive of new appliances suck as primitive vacuum and washing machines, alongside gaslighting.
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