The Book of the Edwardian and Inter-war House
Over a million houses were built in Britain during the Edwardian period and another four million in the years between the two World Wars; most of these are still in use as homes today. This book explains to current owners of such houses why and by whom their properties were built, how the original occupants would have decorated, furnished and used them, and the development of the distinctive architectural styles of the time. The leading architects of the Edwardian period were enthusiasts for a return to English vernacular styles, in contrast to what they considered the dry rigidities of classicism and the extravaganzas of the Gothic revival and they were also obliged for the first time to address the changes necessary to incorporate innovations such as modern sanitation, bathing facilities and the use of electricity into their designs. The first half of the book looks at the styles which these men created for showpiece developments such as Hampstead Garden Suburb and Letchworth Garden City and the way in which their designs were copied by speculative builders and adapted for the first council houses as the suburbs started to spread ever-outwards along the railway lines and the new arterial roads from the centre of London and other great cities. There are also chapters on the gardens of the period. In the second half of the book individual chapters are devoted to the various elements of the house - fireplaces and chimneys, doors and windows, kitchens, bathrooms and WCs, staircases, etc - to the methods and materials used in their construction and to the decorative styles and materials fashionable at the time. For anyone who now owns or lives in a house built between 1900 and 1939 and who is interested in its history or in maintaining or restoring its period character this book will be an invaluable resource. Richard Russell Lawrence is the co-author, illustrator and designer of The Period Home: Style, Detail and Decoration 1774-1914 and the co-author or editor of six other books.