A chance charity shop find has led us to ‘Edwardian House Style’ – those calmer, post-Victorian days when rooms were less cluttered, brighter and more airy.
The trend was for ‘simpler, lighter’ decoration and furnishings. We saw the influence of Art Nouveau and the rise of Art Deco, mixed up with verancular, neo-classical and very early Modern.
Home owners (and their plants) were adapting to electric lighting rather than gas; fireplaces and their mantelpieces were still a common focal point. The drawing room, rather than being saved for special occasions, was being used regularly as a living room in more modest houses.
As for the plants and their stands, they remained a regular feature in homes, albeit on a less ostentatious scale (no more Wardian cases or indoor aquariums), and were partly to blame for the failure to de-clutter completely.
‘Palm stands vied with jardinières; Sutherland tables with folding legs and flaps fought for space with two-tier Sheraton tables. Cakes were served from a portable cake stand and would then be eaten from one of a nest of tables dotted around the room, while the teapot was poised on top of a Sheraton-style urn stand.’ Hilary Hockman, 2007
Here are some examples of what we will be looking for at future antique markets to add to our collection:
See: Hilary Hockman’s ‘Edwardian House Style Handbook’ for more (David & Charles Ltd, 2007).