Living in a beautiful period property has a lot of perks. From perfect proportions to robust build quality, all the way to that quirky character that caught your eye in the first place, there are plenty of reasons to love a period home.
But when the time comes for repairs, renovations and replacements, that joy can turn into pressure as you try to keep your improvements authentic. Especially when it comes to an all-important feature like a front door.
It can be hard to know where to start – especially with an Edwardian home. The period lasted less than twenty years and is often shuffled together with the Victorian era yet they both have their own unique styles.
In this article, we’ll lay the foundations you need to find a front door that is sympathetic to your Edwardian home. We’ll cover the styles you should look out for, the colours that work best and even what door hardware you should furnish your door with for a period-authentic look.
What does an Edwardian house look like?
Before diving into the specifics of doors, it’s helpful to have a general understanding of the style of Edwardian homes. Edwardian homes are often mistaken for Victorian homes due to the similarities they share, such as panelled doors, high skirting, and sash windows.
However, the Edwardian style embraced a sense of space. Homes were larger with more generous room proportions, brighter with more windows per room, wider hallways, and fewer elaborate design features. Front gardens were also more common, with houses set back from the road to increase privacy. Porches ranging from small recessed porches to sprawling extensions were also popular.
All these factors significantly influenced front door design. These exterior focal points were used to create a grandiose look, enhance the sense of space, and showcase the homeowners’ status.
What did Edwardian front doors look like?
Edwardian front door design often featured colored glass, raised moldings, multiple glazed panels, and decorative stained glass. While Edwardian interiors were generally simpler in design compared to the Victorian era, exteriors provided a rare opportunity for intricate and decorative front door designs that showcased status and wealth. Porch design often influenced front door choices, with consistent color, style, and shape choices across both.
Did Edwardian front doors have glazed panels?
The desire for brighter and more spacious homes led to the popularity of glazed front doors. Sidelights with full or half glass panels were also common to maximize light flow into the home.
Paired with spacious hallways and bigger rooms, this was a deliberate move away from their occasionally cramped Victorian counterparts. If you’re looking for a modern Edwardian door, this is an important aspect to keep in mind.
Half-glazed and panelled doors were most common. These days many people plump for a small, semi-circular ‘fanlight’ but there is a lot of debate about whetherthat shape is actually authentic.
Going for larger glazed panels let more light into your hallway, making them a much more authentic choice for a modern Edwardian door. Even with a more intricate glass design, you’ll increase light and create a sense of space.
The privacy created by setting houses back from roads was also continued with front door design. The use of coloured or stained glass stopped passers-by from seeing in, while still letting natural light flood through.
These glass panels were often very decorative too. Coloured glass panes were used to create floral, art nouveau and even medieval-themed designs, with ornate ironwork holding them together. Moulded and shaped glass panels were also featured heavily to add texture.
What colours were Edwardian front doors?
Bright primary and secondary colours were common during the Edwardian period. Blues, reds and greens were particularly popular, in rich vibrant tones.
Colours were eye-catching, an opportunity grab attention and add a splash of style to exteriors.
According toThe Victorian Society, oil-based gloss paint was used to give doors a sleek, shiny finish. For Edwardians, this was the only option available and it is still a fantastic choice today – robust enough to stand up to temperamental British weather while being easy to work with.
As well as using a gloss paint when looking to recreate Edwardian doors, you should make sure to stay away from exposed wood and the colour white.
Common as these looks are now, they were thoroughly out of favour in the period. Instead, take the time to add a splash of vivid colour to an unfinished timber door and create a sympathetic period look that will steal attention and add that all important kerb appeal.
What did Edwardian door furniture look like?
Edwardiandoor furniture such as door knobs, hinges and locks tended to be made of brass or black iron.
Door knockers were also popular, though they had much sleeker, understated designs than the elaborate ironwork that was seen in the Victorian or Georgian eras.
What were Edwardian front doors made of?
Edwardian internal doors and external doors were always made of solid wood. During this period, it was the only material that had the strength, security and style needed for a front door.
The type of wood used did vary. Most people preferred hardwoods, like oak or mahogany, especially for front doors, though softwoods like pine were more common.
An oak door has a lot of practical benefits. It’s strong, durable and offers great insulation. Edwardians mainly preferred hardwood for these reasons, and funnily enough, because it cost more.
Costing more meant it showed the wealth of the homeowners – something the Edwardians were keen on. However, hardwoods tended to be so expensive that the majority of people were forced to have pine or alternative softwood.
These days, easier manufacturing processes mean thatoak front doors can be an affordable option for everyone. So if you’re looking for an authentic Edwardian door that performs as beautifully as it looks, plump for a hardwood one.
What are the dimensions of an Edwardian door?
In an additional attempt to create an imposing impression of wealth, Edwardian era front doors were usually big. In particular, they were wide. This could mean wider panels or thicker stiles or a combination of both. Double doors were often used to create for a grande entrance way.
This is important to bear in mind if shopping for an original or reclaimed Edwardian door. Modern doorways are a lot thinner, and even period properties have often had their door frames adjusted to fit smaller doors.
Even if you are looking for a modern recreation of an original style, we always recommend taking careful measurements of your doorway before you order.
What front door is best for my Edwardian home?
As there were various trends and fashions across the Edwardian period, picking the right door for your Edwardian property is a personal choice.
If you want to create an authentic look, decorative glass (as seen in ourWestminster Glazed Door) is an absolute must to make the most of your home’s generous proportions.
An unfinished door will also allow you the freedom to pick a bright, beautiful colour to match with any woodwork or glazing designs too.
Please be aware that if you live in a conservation area or a listed building, you may not be able to replace your front door without planning permission. Speak to your local council if you think this might apply to you.
Whatever style ofexternal front door you want for your home, browse our range of high-quality designs to make sure you get one that makes the right impression.