The Edwardian Conservatory: A Break from the Wild Victorian
When you go shopping for a conservatory, one of the decisions you will have to make would concern the conservatory's style and design. If you ask your builder or supplier for a conservatory with a traditional look, one of the choices that will be offered to you will be the Edwardian conservatory.
The Edwardian conservatory is one of the four main types of conservatories done in the traditional style. The name of the style refers to the Edwardian architectural period, named after King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. He succeeded Queen Victoria to the throne and his reign lasted from 1901 to 1911. Despite the shortness of his reign, compared to that of his predecessor, King Edward VII ushered in a time of change when it comes to architectural style. One of this period's lasting legacies is its take on the conservatory.
The Characteristics of the Edwardian Conservatory
As mentioned above, the Edwardian conservatory takes its name from the Edwardian architectural style. The focus of this style is lightness and airiness, with more subdued lines and ornamentation. This is a huge break from the Victorian architectural style, where architects and designers can run amok with the decoration of homes and conservatories.
In this light, the Edwardian conservatory is basically a conservatory with a square or rectangular shape. It aims to maximise the view of the exteriors of the house by putting in as little detail on the windows or the glass walls themselves. If there is detailing to the glass walls, it is usually limited to the dwarf wall, if the homeowner chooses to have it. A conservatory of this style also has a flat front.
These two characteristics of the Edwardian conservatory are the ones that mostly distinguish it from the Victorian conservatory. Where the Edwardian makes use of plain glass walls without panels as much as possible, Victorian conservatories typically have ornamental panels on the glass. Victorian conservatories also have three to five facets on its front, compared to the flat front of the Edwardian style.
However, just like the Victorian style, the Edwardian conservatory also has a pitched roof with an apex. On the apex of the roof is typically a set of ridges that look like a crown.
The Benefits of the Edwardian Conservatory
Now that you know what an Edwardian conservatory is and that you have an idea of the architecture of the Edwardian era, your next question may be: Why should I choose a conservatory in the Edwardian style.
The main benefit of the Edwardian conservatory is that it maximises the utilisation of available space. Because symmetry is highly valued with this style and because this type of conservatory has a square or rectangular shape, you can use all the space within the conservatory. There is no wasted space to speak of.
Not only does the Edwardian conservatory maximise available space, it also creates the illusion of more space. The pitched glass roof and the resulting vaulted ceiling let in more light. They also make the conservatory feel more airy. In addition, the lack of detailing on the glass walls and windows of the conservatory allow the occupant to see the exterior of the house more clearly, making the occupant feel like he or she is outdoors even though he or she is inside the conservatory.
Furnishing an Edwardian Conservatory for an Authentic Look
If you want to enhance the feel of having an Edwardian conservatory added to your home, you might as well go for the authentic Edwardian look through the furnishings. It is quite easy to recreate an Edwardian interior through the clever use of furniture and decor.
When decorating an Edwardian conservatory, you should always bear in mind that the emphasis of the Edwardian style is lightness, airiness and simple sophistication. Wicker furniture pieces are perfect for the conservatory done in the Edwardian style because of all these desired characteristics. It is interesting to note that the use of wicker furniture became extremely popular during the Edwardian period.
Colour is another design element that you should consider in decorating an Edwardian conservatory. Edwardian homeowners preferred pastel colours, especially the floral ones, because of their lightness. You can incorporate this element by putting in pastel conservatory blinds and light-coloured upholstery with floral patterns.
As for accessories, you can decorate your Edwardian conservatory with fancy glass figurines with floral carvings. You can also use silver knick-knacks that were so popular during that era.