The Victorian Era ended in 1901, ushering in the Edwardian Era in architecture. It was the dawn of the 20th century and people wanted to move out of highly-industrialised cities. This gave birth to the rise of homes outside the city, which people now know now as suburbs. Thanks to the rise of the new social class, the Middle Class, the demand for spacious and airy homes were high. The expansion of the railways also contributed to the boom of communities at the edge of London. “Opening Up”, was the main theme during this era and everyone wanted a well-lit home.
Since the Edwardian Era borrowed design ideas from both the Georgian and Victorian eras, sash windows were incorporated into Edwardian architecture from these times. However, after studying the different sash windows in London, architects needed to return to the drawing board. Simplicity was one of the major characteristics of the Edwardian Era and a simple sash window design will complement the era’s theme of opening up to a new century.
Edwardian architecture departed from the fussy and dark Victorian designs. The Middle Class reigned supreme and they wanted to show off their wealth. These homes were built on bigger lots, which featured bigger gardens. They were also shorter compared to Victorian and Georgian homes. Edwardian homes also featured spacious living rooms and large halls. Servants’ rooms and wine cellars were removed. Timber frames were used on both internal and exterior walls. This design was borrowed from the Tudor Era to give homes a more rustic appearance. Pebble dash was a common exterior feature for homes during this period. Lime, stone and sand were mixed to create these roughcast walls.
Art nouveau was also was an inspiration for Edwardian architects and designers. Fireplaces featured curved sides and whiplash designs carved into wooden panels. Floorboards made from high-quality dark wood gave Edwardian homes their distinct character. It was a delicate balance between luxury and lighting up spaces.
Edwardian Era sash windows
To achieve the goal of opening and lighting up home interiors, architects borrowed elements from Georgian architecture. Calling it Neo-Georgian, multi-paned sash windows were incorporated into Edwardian homes. They needed bigger sash windows and doors to allow natural light to come in. Most of these houses had higher ceilings and larger rooms and these type of windows could help light up a home.
Standard sash window heights during this period were floor to ceiling and their width was typically around five foot. Smaller paned sash windows were also installed in pairs to help maximise light. Upper sashes also featured stained glass images which gave Edwardian homes their unique design characteristics.
The Edwardian Era was the shortest in the history of British architecture and it saw the steady decline of sash window use. Due to the complicated process of building sash windows, timber and steel windows replaced them after the First World War. However, sash windows were still in vogue up to the 1930’s and are even seeing a resurgence today!
if you are looking for sash windows for your new build or as replacement windows, check out Heritage Sash Windows who are supply sash windows in Preston.