Edwardian interior decoration

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Craig89
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat 12th May, 2018 11:18 am
Location: Shropshire

Edwardian interior decoration

Post by Craig89 » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 7:28 am

Well after nearly 4 years im finally at the point where I can start making some decisions regarding interior decoration. The house is a 1910ish, relatively decorative, end of terraced/semi with 9' ceilings. It had picture rails originally, as indicated by the timber plugs in the walls a foot down from the ceilings, and I would like to reinstate these.

My question really is regarding colours, in particularly colours above the picture rails/ceiling.

Modern interiors now are almost always white ceilings, would this have been the case back in the day? Obviously not bright white like it is nowadays.

I really like the decoration in the "billiard room" of this property that Feltwell linked to in another thread:

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/ ... ?id=media1

The first room I am fully decorating is the lounge and we would like a dark colour, probably a dark blue, but what "should" I do above the picture rails/ceiling. The lounge is also likely to have coving and ceiling roses too.

Thanks, Craig

RBailey
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by RBailey » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 8:38 am

The above the picture rail question was one I faced recently.

The interior design director (SWMBO) said the same as the walls and celling, which is what we did and we are very happy with the results.

I'm not sure what they did in period times though. I know there is a thought that matching the ceiling and above the picture rail makes the room look taller but the jury is still out on that.
This women actually has some comparisons photos. https://www.swoonworthy.co.uk/2012/05/a ... rail.html/

When I put our picture rails in and I used screws in strategic locations and we hang some quite big pictures off it with proper picture hooks and wires. I think the brass hooks adds a nice albeit little period detail "higher" up in the room. The picture rail / wire system is also the easiest way of hanging multiple pictures I have ever found, easy to adjust and move pictures around.

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CliffordPope
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Joined: Tue 16th Nov, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by CliffordPope » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 12:27 pm

Matching the ceiling and the above-picturerail panel lowers the ceiling visually - I thought that was well-established? So it depends on what effect you want to achieve.
In my opinion wall-paper is much nicer than plain paint, unless it's dark paint. Panels of wall paper edged in thin border paper, set in a painted wall look nice. Also it's fun going round door frames and projecting mantlepieces etc.

I never use white, apart from picking out plasterwork. It's so boring.

Dado rails look nice, and also protect walls from rubbing when furniture is pushed back. Either embossed paper, painted a contrasting colour, or a different wallpaper.

LadyArowana
Posts: 3245
Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by LadyArowana » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 12:57 pm

Dulux have a “visualizer” app, which is quite good to give you a rough idea of how things might look. It doesn’t have all their colours available and you need to use a plain picture where it can clearly define an area [ I used it to play with the front door colour ] but it’s quicker than a full on Photoshop effort.

Looks like Crown have one too, but I haven’t tried it.
Some of the flooring companies do too, [ Karndean Amtico, possibly others ] if you want to make a very blank canvas a little closer to how an actual room would look.

Craig89
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat 12th May, 2018 11:18 am
Location: Shropshire

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by Craig89 » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 1:59 pm

I want to maintain the high ceiling visually (cant really see why anyone who has high ceilings would want them to appear lower?) I also think the same colour above and below the picture rail does look better, as highlighted in that link posted by RBailey.

However, unlike RBailey, I prefer a contrast in colour for the walls and the picture rails/coving and although a lighter colour may work on all walls and ceiling im not sure about darker colours. Fairplay to you RBailey, its certainly a statement going that dark everywhere, this may be a stupid question but does it make the room feel dark/dull? I have 2 large bay windows in my lounge that offer quite a bit of light but the sun is always around the back

Feltwell
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Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by Feltwell » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 2:01 pm

On decorating our lounge recently, I was surprised to find no evidence of picture rails having ever been fitted at the usual foot or so beneath the ceiling height. Then I realised that the bottom of coving moulding was actually a separate piece, and it was - a picture rail. I'd never twigged :oops:

Now debating if to use it or if to put screws in the walls to hang pictures with. Once pictures are in place here they never move, we're not ones to crave a change!

Feltwell
Posts: 5785
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by Feltwell » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 2:05 pm

Craig, Google "Sunnycroft Interior" if you want pictures of decoration from late Victorian / Edwardian times - its a National Trust house literally just around the corner from me, built about the same time as my house, definitely posher though! A proper time capsule of a house, nothing much changed from the Edwardian era.

Just the sort of place that your and my houses owners would have been aspiring to emulate in their more humble abodes.

plasticpigeon
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Location: Birmingham

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by plasticpigeon » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 3:16 pm

Another interesting National Trust property is "Mr Straw's house" in Nottingham. I think is is basically a time capsule from the 1920s, but I'm sure some of the decor is Edwardian or late victorian from when the house was built. I'm not sure that white ceilings were so uncommon, I have a few books with interior photos from around 1900 of some quite normal houses and he ceilings are often white. THere is a book by Christopher dresser called "Principles of decorative design" from 1873, and he criticises the trend for white ceilings at the time and if my memory serves me correctly he thinks a good ceiling colour is blue perhaps with stars, but he was quite avant guard, but it suggests white wasn't so uncommon even back then. i shall put some scans up of old books if you like. My front room is a similar colour to the billard room you like, but with a white celing and frieze.
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RBailey
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: Edwardian interior decoration

Post by RBailey » Mon 11th Jan, 2021 3:36 pm

Craig89 wrote:
Mon 11th Jan, 2021 1:59 pm
However, unlike RBailey, I prefer a contrast in colour for the walls and the picture rails/coving and although a lighter colour may work on all walls and ceiling im not sure about darker colours.
I did suggest varying tones but such input was above my pay grade and apparently such suggestions were not required :lol:
Craig89 wrote:
Mon 11th Jan, 2021 1:59 pm
Fairplay to you RBailey, its certainly a statement going that dark everywhere, this may be a stupid question but does it make the room feel dark/dull?
We are quite lucky the room is dual aspect with window on the front and back of the house, we also have large fireplace which I painted gold to brighten things up so it doesn't feel dark. However, it is also purely an entertaining room for occasional use, I am not sure I could tolerate such colors if it were an everyday room.

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