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You can see our range of Edwardian style lighting here, restored and hand crafted by our expert team, or jump to our History of Edwardian lighting here.

The Edwardian Style Period

Interior and Architectural Design Influences

Edwardian Lighting History

The Edwardian Interior Style Features

Edwardian Designers of Influence


The Edwardian Style Period

While the Edwardian Period lasted a mere nine years and is generally considered to span from 1901 to 1910 (during the reign of King Edward VII) one could also potentially include style trends that started in the late 1890’s to the 1920’s. It ushered in the invention of electrical lighting for (mainly wealthy) households and while being influenced by continental Europe (due to the burgeoning European travels of the the wealthy) along with the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, Edwardian lighting designs also became more eclectic and focused on using the unique properties of electrical lighting as inspiration for the lighting designs.

Edwardian Lighting History

The majority of homes relied on a combination of gas lighting, candles and oil lamps as electric lighting did not become widespread until after The Great War (1918). Where gas lighting was limited in its shade and arm placement (due to the nature of the flame position) electrical lighting could use arms, necks and shades that could be positioned downwards or even at an angle it also featured delicate metalwork and intricate designs, scrolling arms and pretty shades. It proved to be a refreshing break from the darker lighting trends from years gone by.

The era also introduced table and floor lamps with beautiful fabric and paneled glass lamp shades. Some of the more distinct Edwardian chandeliers were made up of multi-tiered layers and featured smoked and coloured glass. These Edwardian chandeliers looked stunning in large hallways and commercial establishments such as hotel foyers and function rooms. Edwardian lighting was the perfect marriage of styles and designs which included fine glass, metalwork and castings.

Edwardian Designers of Influence

Lighting: Louis Comfort Tiffany (February 18, 1848 - January 17, 1933)

It is difficult to discuss Edwardian lighting without focussing predominantly on Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany was an innovative American interior designer and artist specialising in stained glass. He is famous today for his Tiffany Studios lights and lamps, as well as other stained glass pieces such as Favrile glass, a type of iridescent art glass which (uniquely for the time) had its colour embedded in the glass along with windows, mosaics, ceramics and jewellery.

He traveled to Europe in 1865 and visited the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The museum's extensive collection of Roman and Syrian glass made a deep impression on him. He admired the colouration of medieval glass and was inspired to try and improve the quality of contemporary glass. In his own words, the "Rich tones are due in part to the use of pot metal full of impurities, and in part to the uneven thickness of the glass, but still more because the glass maker of that day abstained from the use of paint".

Tiffany received a number of awards, honours and medals in his time, and is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau period, from which Edwardian design took a lot of inspiration.

Glassware: René Lalique (6 April 1860 - 1 May 1945)

Lalique was a French glass designer and the founder of a classic glassware company that remains successful even today. He is known for his glass art, perfume bottle, vase, jewellery, chandelier, clock and automobile hood ornament designs.

Furniture: Thomas Sheraton

Sheraton was one of the "big three" English furniture makers of the 18th century and gave his name to a style of furniture characterized by a feminine refinement of late Georgian styles and became the most powerful source of inspiration behind the furniture of the late 18th century.

Edwardian Interior and Architectural Design Influences

  • Art nouveau
  • Arts and crafts
  • Queen Anne

The Edwardian period was influenced by both Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement with significant amounts of reproduction furniture being produced to meet demand.

The Edwardian Interior Style

Our Edwardian lighting collection is a breath of fresh air, feminine and graceful it’s easy to see why the Edwardian era was known as the “beautiful era”. After the heaviness, clutter and dark colours of Victorian interiors, people wanted something new and cheerful.

  • Fresh and light
  • Informal, feminine
  • Bamboo and wicker furniture
  • Flowers and floral patterns
  • Pastel colours

Key Features

  • Lighting - electric lighting was just beginning to be introduced to the grander homes. Buy fabric lampshades in soft colours with frills and tassels. Use them on wall lights, table lights and even standard lamps. For a central light, look for a pendant fitting in smoked glass. Ceiling roses disguised the wiring for light fittings. Tiffany lamps or reclining female bronze figures are also in keeping. For a grander statement look at crystal chandeliers with multiple layers and smoked or coloured glass as well as clear crystal glass.
  • Colour schemes - choose pastel colour schemes in the colours of flowers - primrose yellows, leaf greens, the lilac of wisteria, and grey. Living rooms can take darker colours such as dark green for fabrics and cream walls.
  • Furniture - Edwardian furniture would have been reproduction furniture to them so you can choose from a range of styles including baroque, rococo and empire. The wing chair is a typical shape. Choose upholstery in chintz, and damasks in pale colours.
  • Wicker - bamboo and wicker furniture were also introduced in these period. You can still buy good quality wicker furniture today in a range of colours. If you find some in a junk shop and it's worse for wear, give it a new lease of life by spraying the paint on with a spray gun or aerosol. Don't brush it on as you'll clog up the weave. Discover our wicker pendant lighting here.
  • Floors - highly polished wood block floors, with oriental rugs, look fantastic in a living room. If you already have wooden floorboards, make sure they're not yellowy pine as this will jar. Stain them with an oak-coloured varnish instead. For areas with more wear and tear, go for bricks in a herringbone pattern or red quarry tiles.
  • Wallpaper - choose wallpapers with a fresh, cheerful feel such as florals of roses, lilac, wisteria, and sweet peas, with trellises, ribbons and bows. Stripes are also typical - go for something simple but rich for dining rooms such as a gold damask and white, and candy stripes for bedrooms. It was considered too much to have both a dado rail and a frieze: most people papered up to the dado rail and then papered or painted the wall above that with plain paper or distemper.
  • Lincrusta - put up some lincrusta - embossed wallpaper - introduced in 1877. It has an almost rubber-like texture and comes in beautiful art nouveau designs. It is still being made today. It can be painted any colour although cream is probably best.
  • Fireplaces - fireplaces are smaller than Victorian ones. They had splayed sides with projecting iron or copper hoods and decorative tiles. Smaller versions are usually found in the bedrooms.
  • Windows - hang pieces of lace at the windows and then add plain or floral curtains to co-ordinate with the walls. Alternatively put up a simple striped roller blind.
  • Cushions - take up embroidery and needlepoint and make some cushions with floral motifs in an art nouveau style.
  • Pictures - hang pictures on hooks but place them halfway down the wall.
  • Accessories - add Edwardian-style accessories such as early gramophones (the ones with the conical shells), tiered silver cake stands, and pretty silver photograph frames.
  • Flowers - echo the wallpaper with your choice of flowers. Try loosely arranged bunches of sweet peas, roses, and lilac. House palms are also typically Edwardian.


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