Edwardian House Styles—and how to get the look in your home!

San Francisco is notorious for its unique architectural styles that have been duplicated across the world. From Victorian-style homes to Queen Anne Victorian, people flock from around the globe to see the coveted architectural styles.

A style of home that is prevalent in San Francisco yet does not receive the same accolades is the Edwardian home style. However, Edwardian homes are quickly gaining popularity as the national majority have gained interest in homes, styles, and architecture as the real estate market continues to be ablaze.

Here is everything you need to know about Edwardian homes in San Francisco:

Edwardian Architectural Style—a brief history

Edwardian architecture became popular during the reign of King Edward VII, who ruled from 1901 to 1910. He was the successor of Queen Victoria.

Edwardian homes were built in San Francisco at the beginning of the 20th century. The wealthy and prominent enjoyed the magnificent Victorian homes with their huge halls and dazzling interior and exteriors. However, they began to grow tired of the ostentatious curb appeal. They were searching for an architectural style that was more comfortable and pared down.

Edwardian houses are elaborate, elegant homes that feature spacious, expansive layouts. The style adorned fewer accessories than the luxurious Victorian architectural houses in San Francisco. The color palettes were typically lighter in addition to more simple designs of window treatments. External features were minimalized compared to their predecessor, the Victorian style.

What Makes Edwardian Styles So Popular?

The Edwardian era offered a beautiful mix between ornate, classic, and relaxed. Edwardian-style homes are more convenient and manageable as they lack extravagant features and embellishments.

They typically were built between 1,500 and 3,000 square, a much smaller scale than their original counterparts. Their more modest approach is welcoming yet still provides delicious details to indulge in. The cheerful, fresh, light, and elegant Edwardian décor capture the eye of anyone who sees the style.

Edwardian homes are well-designed and constructed. These types of homes continue to be popular throughout the years due to their high-quality materials as buyers do not have to worry about maintenance costs typically associated with older properties.

Many home buyers and investors look to Edwardian to achieve the ultimate renovation projects. The majority add more windows and skylights to lighten the interior of the home.

What to Look for in an Edwardian-style Home

There are a few key elements to seek out when purchasing or renovating an Edwardian home. The features include but are not limited to:

  • Columns
  • Cornices
  • Block modillions
  • Dentils
  • And more

Edwardian-style homes are quite similar to Italianate buildings. They both share the inclusion of flat roofs and bay windows—sought-after key features for many buyers and architect enthusiasts.

Many Edwardian-style homes include fireplaces with coal-burning grates, large front parlors, ornate crown molding, stained-glass windows, and compartmentalized rooms. Typically, these styles of homes are quite spacious.

How to Create an Edwardian Look

You have the opportunity to embrace and showcase the Edwardian look in your very own home. Here are a few tips from the pros:

Incorporate Stained Glass

Stained glass became popular in the Victorian-style homes that came just before the Edwardian style took over. This element carried over and continued to be featured in this style of home.

To integrate a more modern aesthetic, try a monochromatic color scheme—or various shades of one color—in the stained glass elements. You can install windows, shower stalls, and doors that feature the illustrious stained glass—an absolute conversation starter.

Indoor Plants

The Edwardian era featured a heavy infusion of indoor plants. You can spot a plethora of indoor plants in period photography from the Edwardian era. Indoor plants first became popular in the Victorian era—specifically the aspidistra—or the cast iron plant.

Not only will they complement the lighter-scale color palettes featured in this architectural style but they will provide cleaner air. Try pairing indoor plants with pale pastel wall paint.

The Right Paint

The Edwardian era featured lighter, paler paint than the Victorian era. They could choose lighter colors as they welcome modernity yet honored classic styles. The most popular colors include:

  • Lilac
  • Green
  • Dusky blues
  • Yellows
  • Greys
  • And primrose

Try light pastel green or blue paint. You can even opt for bright white as the Edwardian era did not need to heavily consider soot staining the walls any longer as electricity became more widely available.

Art Nouveau Designs

This time period heavily featured Art Nouveau designs throughout the home. Art Nouveau showcases natural lines, forms, and structures within their unique designs.

Add floral touches throughout the home. Try a statement wallpaper! Let the light in as the style guide requires an airy and spacious atmosphere to truly capture the Edwardian style in your home.

Edwardian Furniture

Furniture in the Edwardian era heavily showcased patterns of ferns and plants and polished wood. Framed photos were typically placed on the walls to provide a more comfortable, inclusive feel to the compartmentalized rooms.

Throw in a wing chair or two matched with popular bamboo and wicker elements to create an alluring sitting area. Keep any rugs, throw pillows, and blankets feminine, creamy, and lightly patterned.

Proper Lighting

As electricity became more available to some of the wealthier people in this time period, the majority of gas lamps were replaced with ceiling lights and table lamps. The light and airy feel can easily be captured with the right style of light fixtures.

Try experimenting with ornate table lamps that feature art on their base. Brass chandeliers provide the vintage yet upscale extravagance that can truly light up the room.

Bottom Line

The Victorian-style homes in San Fran have always reigned supreme. However, Edwardian is closely catching up as appeal increases as the real estate market continues to boom.

Implement and create a light and airy feel by creating a spacious, flowing feel throughout your home. Use light and pastel color choices for walls and remove anything dark and dreary. The Edwardian homes are the lighter, brighter, and more appealing versions of the grand Victorians.


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