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The history of home design began around 10,000 BC when people emerged from caves and began to create and designed their own houses.
While it would take writing a whole book to explain every step in architectural home design history. This post touches on a few significant western home design influences from the past few centuries.
Tudor (1485 to 1560)
Architectural home design during the Tudor era was influenced heavily by Henry VIII.
After creating the Church of England, he was rejected access to architectural trends across Europe. As a result, Tudor homes were built for practical purposes.
Tudor homes often had thatched roofs and a distinct black and white exterior. Which was due to the exposed timber frame peeking through the whitewashed clay.
Inside, Tudor houses had large, clunky wooden furniture and no toilets! Which is a far cry from the comfy homes we have today with at least one toilet.
Georgian (1714 – 1800)
Following the great fire of London in 1666, several building guidelines were introduced to increase the safety of new homes.
Georgian terraced homes were the by-product of those guidelines alongside the transition of a rural economy to an industrial one.
These homes were inspired by ancient Rome and built using plain brick. Inside smaller Georgian dwellings, the scullery sat at the back of the home and the parlour at the front.
Like Tudor homes, there were no toilets inside the house. Instead, the privy was located in the garden.
Victorian (1837 – 1901)
During Victoria’s reign, a growing population and the industrial revolution causing workers to migrate from the countryside to the cities. Launched a successive housing boom.
Progressive building regulations called for improved home design, such as sanitation, including a privy, good drainage, and a dust bin. Hot water and lighting also become available in most towns.
The interior design was in most Victorian homes, busy and elaborate. This was due to a surge in affordable home decor, such as art and furnishings created by factories.
A distinct feature in most Victorian homes was the fireplace and chimney breast.
Edwardian (1901 – 1914)
After the Victorian period saw housing standards and access to cheaper goods significantly improve. The Edwardian period of housing meant people were better off.
The room sizes and layouts reflected those found in Victorian properties, with higher ceilings and larger rooms. The hallways were also wider in design and tiled.
Except interior design featured more upholstered and comfortable decor, such as carpets and curtains.
Inter-war (1918 – 1939)
Following WWI, the interwar era witnessed more government funding devoted to creating better housing for all. From garden city suburbs to local council projects.
Three-bed semi-detached properties were most common, which featured a bathroom, toilet, and small kitchen.
The neo-Georgian design of homes was prominent during this period.
Post-War (1950 – 1960)
The devastation to millions of homes caused by bombs during world war II led the government to create new towns and housing once again.
The new houses during this era were often plain, boxy, and smaller. However, the introduction of open plan living allowed more space for families to congregate.
Equally, the fitted kitchen with large chrome appliances was all the rage during this period to facilitate the demands of the 1950s housewife’s domestic duties.
Picture by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels – CC0 Licence
Ongoing changes in society and the emergence of advanced technology and materials have continued to enhance the precision and speed of designing and erecting new homes.
A few elements that define modern homes include the lack of decoration, minimalism, and openness to alternative housing and new structural designs.
Multi-family dwellings, such as apartment buildings, high-rise flats, and coach houses, have become more popular.
Moreover, the influence of climate change has also led to an increase in energy-efficient homes. With better insulation, ventilation, and in some cases, solar panels.
Today, families often prefer open plan living in their homes and apartments. Much like the design of homes in the 1950s, to aid busy lifestyles while also adding a sense of space.
It’s interesting to see how historical moments and societal changes have defined housing over the past few centuries. Each era has arguably improved homes for us all today.
But the Victorian era seems like the most progressive home design movement. By ensuring all had access to heating, hot water, and toilets.
Changes in society have made way for an amalgamation of historical buildings, some of which still exist today, and tell a story about how people lived at the time.
Some home designers still draw inspiration from periodic homes to incorporate on new builds and existing homes, such as the black and white exterior from Tudor homes and the sash windows from Georgian homes.