Nineteenth-century History

Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain: Conclusion

Terraced House with Floor Plan

Terraced House with Floor Plan
Source: The Great Wen

Fin-de-Siècle Britain saw many new styles and innovations in the architecture of houses. Some of these new designs were visual whilst others were more practical. A mishmash of styles were created by a number of different architects in an attempt to redefine British architecture, but they would effectively only give the period a sense of chaos. Throughout it all, however, there were common trends which emerged such as the use of new technologies to make homes more affordable and to raise living standards.

Technologies such as electricity and better plumbing were new to the period and gave houses a new set of features which their predecessors never had. Electrical lighting became a standard for upper-middle class houses as early as the Late Victorian period, but had become common for the rest of the middle class by the Edwardian era. Indoor plumbing gave rise to the use of bathrooms and stationary bathtubs as well as indoor water closets. Other technologies directly affected the home, but were not a part of it.

The ability to mass produce wallpaper, glass, rounded wooden balustrades and other decorative items meant that homes became more decorative than they had in the past. The average person could now afford to wallpaper every room in the house to their liking whilst windows became more ornate with the ability to cheaply produce geometric patterns in the glass as well as stained-glass windows. Staircases in the average middle class home could now be much fancier with carved balustrades and decorative railings. All of these were used to the owner’s advantage to show off the family’s social and financial standing in the community. Of course all of these Fin-de-Siècle trends had their exceptions. Not all buildings were built following them, but enough were to be able to define the era’s architecture by them.

Architecture in the Fin-de-Siécle found itself in a similar situation to just about everything in the period. It was at a crossroads between the old and the new as technology continued to develop at an ever-increasing, exponential rate which would see the twentieth century advance like never before. Houses reflected this mixture between the old and the new in that many elements and values of the home remained from the High Victorian era, but obvious signs of change had already begun to take place in every aspect. The Fin-de-Siècle house, therefore, is a very important milestone in the evolution of British housing.

This post is part of a multi-part series about the houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain. See the rest of the series either on the Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain project page or in the category of the same name.

The full bibliography is located on the Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain project page.

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Explore History Rhymes
Random Featured Articles
Kit Carson

Kit Carson

No one person in the history of the American west played so many important roles in the shaping of this vast American landscape than Kit Carson. Despite his modest upbringing and the modest attitude he would carry with him throughout his life, the epic adventures he would lead in his lifetime would ...
Noah Webster

Noah Webster

Although I am currently studying abroad in Germany this year, one of the courses I’m taking this semester at my German university is called “American English: History and Variation”. I have never really thought about the history of American English before or about how the differenc...
Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain: House Architecture in Fin-de-Siècle Britain

Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain: House Architecture in Fin-de-Siècle Britain

It can be said that a nation’s architecture and national identity can be defined by the way it builds its own houses. Whilst this may be true to some degree, it is very difficult to judge in the case of Fin-die Siècle Britain.
Britain and the American Civil War

Britain and the American Civil War

When most people think of the American Civil War, they do not tend to think of the reaction that the United Kingdom had to it. Despite being across the Atlantic, a large number of people in Britain followed the war with great interest. For the most part, their reaction was quite mixed. Some people h...