The Ever Changing Design of The British Home

Houses have changed and developed a great deal over the decades. Some being born out of need, others out of pure design influence. We will take a look at just a few for you.

Georgian Houses 

Typical Georgian Houses

For this article we will start with the Georgian era. This era ran from 1714 – 1830 with what is known as the ‘late Georgian period’ being from 1831 -1837.

Georgian properties were largely grandiose affairs, after all, even Buckingham Palace was built in this era.  Interestingly enough, Georgian houses were only built for the upper classes. 

They boasted high ceilings and lots of light, a stark contrast to the darker and smaller properties that preceded them. The first and second floors were inhabited by the owner and their family. While the lower ground floors were reserved for the kitchen area that the staff worked in and the top floors being where the servants lived. This is why, when you look at a Georgian house, you will notice the windows get smaller and the ceilings lower on the top floors.

Georgian houses most significant feature was the symmetrical facade. They appear quite plain, always built out of brick, with small paned sash windows and later on had stucco facades (A plaster rendering that was painted white). 

The spacious interiors contain a few decorative features such as moulded ceiling roses. Iron railings were added later on in the period as decorative features.

Victorian Houses

Victorian Terraced Houses

The Victorian era spans from the end of the Georgian period 1837 to 1901 and as the name would suggest, was during the rule of Queen Victoria. This period in time saw a big increase in the production of houses and no longer exclusively belonged to the upper classes.

While you still had the production of the more grand Victorian properties, a lot more terraced houses were also built. These included the back-to-back terraced houses that were built to house the work force of the factories during the Industrial Revolution. 

A lot of the back-to-back houses were built quickly, cheaply and had no garden and often no proper sanitation.

Externally Victorian houses are characterised by the bay and sash windows, decorative brickwork and slate or tile roofs. Internally, they still had the high ceilings and large windows but were a little more cramped than the previous Georgian designs. Often a Victorian property would only be one room wide, with each of the two entertaining rooms downstairs being joined together via a narrow hallway. They were usually known as two up two down homes. 

Of course this was a long period and as with any extended amount of time, tastes and designs changed. As time went on more elaborate features would be added to the Victorian houses such as stained glass windows, coloured brickwork and an ornate gable trim. 

The to the side of the facade you would find the front door, every room had a fireplace and the narrow hallways usually had geometric tiles throughout. Houses were decorated with dark furniture, dark wood floors and elaborate patterned wallpaper. The more elaborate the furnishings, the more ‘wealth’ was displayed. 

Edwardian Houses

Classic Edwardian fireplace

1901 to 1910 we saw the Edwardian period which was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. This was in direct revolt to the mass production of the Victorian era, the Edwardians wanted something a little more ‘bespoke’.

The Edwardians wanted homes in the suburbs with gardens and more space. They were wider, more roomy and had a lot more windows than previous designs. The Edwardian Era’s beautiful designs were cut short by the outbreak of the first world war. 

Edwardian interiors and exteriors are more ornate than previous decades. They would often have decorative floor tiles, stained glass, mock Tudor cladding and wooden porch frames. Generally speaking these houses were wider, brighter and would have both front and rear gardens. Every room still had a fireplace. 

20th Century Housing

Paul McCartney’s childhood home built in the late 1950s

The 20th century saw us go from the Edwardian ‘Arts and Crafts’ to the quick cheap post war builds of the Addison homes in 1919. 

The 1920s to 1940s was the Art Deco period. Designs began to reflect an Egyptian influence. Flat roof tops and curved windows created beautiful sun traps. 

The first of the semi-detached houses were built in the 1930s. These houses share some of the Edwardian Arts and Crafts styles. Curved bay windows, mock timber framed gables, pebble dashed walls and recessed porches were all prominent features. 

Terraced houses such as the one in the above photo were produced en masse to cope with the ever growing demand. These type of houses were built into the late 20th and early 21st century. 

Today’s modern homes have a light, airy and open plan feel to them. Modern homes are more environmentally conscious.

How We Can Help

We can assist you with restoring all types of homes to their former glory. We can create a modern and fresh feel while being empathetic to the original characteristics of the house. Whether you want to update the economy of the bathroom while maintaining the character, or reveal your original fireplace, our experts can help you. 

If you do have a smaller build, we can extend that property for you while keeping the integrity of the original design. There is no need to leave the home you love when our team of specialists can improve on and extend what you already have. 

If you require any renovation work or extensions, please contact us for a no obligation quote.

Email: andrew@precisionbuildersltd.co.uk

Phone: 01452 504525

Mobile: 07738156244

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email