Colour in Edwardian Houses

Edwardian colour schemes were lighter still than those of the 1880s and 1890s. Doors, skirtings, ceilings, panelling and picture rails were often painted using the new bright white enamel paint. Colours were quieter, carrying on the trends established by the Arts and Crafts movement, and helping achieve the Edwardian ideals of freshness and light. Houses in the Georgian revival style were decorated in appropriate colours, typically pale blues, greens and greys.

Although the main areas of walls and woodwork were generally painted or papered in pastel shades, ornaments and details were highlighted in strong colours, for example black woodwork might have had gold or silver gilding to emphasise details.

In the hall, typical colours were greens, blues, terracottas and dark gold.

The dining room continued to be in the most rich hues of all the rooms. For example, red and gold with yellow and white ceilings, and a cream cornice.

The drawing room might have had pale blues, with stencilled or painted rush and grass designs. It was often repainted every year. Other typical colours were lavender, rose-pink, pale lime green, buttery yellow, soft cream and off-white.

Outside, the windows were in a dark colour but marked out in white. Roughcast on the upper floors was left plain or whitewashed. Magpie-work was in black on white or un-painted render.

The period saw a revival of Georgian styles, supported by Lutyens. This was manifested in pale creams, pastels, quiet greens and blues, although Lutyens himself preferred stronger colours including black, strong greens and reds.