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'The House Painter'

Historical Periods
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Stephen B. Cox
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Regency Period
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Historical Periods
Alfred Waterhouse

The university area has a huge range of houses with fine archtitectural details and features. These range across several periods in the art/design/crafts and architecture spheres. Here we outline some of them.

We appreciate the need for conservation and restoration, yet also understand the householders desire for practucality and personal imput of atmosphere and concept. Having stdudiedd fine and art and the history of art and architecture,  we have an appreciation of this- supported by many years of helping local residents to restore, improve and  develop their home in the context of its architectural period

Queen Anne 

English decorative style during the reign of Queen Anne (early seventeen hundreds) typified by furniture with curved backs and legs, and Chinese-inspired claw-and ball feet and lacquer work. Architecturally the style immediately preceded the Georgian and contians many early elements of it, which had been growing from the the time of William and Mary and the Carolingian period (Charles 11)


The period in eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century  (1714-1830) England related to the reigns of the first four Georges; popular styles include Adam, Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton. Town houses very much characterised by sash windows, pillars, pedestal and porticos at front door; scaled reduction in size of windows from ground to top floor.  

Georgian architecture is characterised by its sense of proportion and balance; simple mathematical ratios were used to determine for example, the height of a window in relation to its width or the shape of a room as a double cube. "Regular" was a term of approval, implying symmetry and adherence to classical rules: the lack of symmetry, where Georgian additions were added to earlier structures, was deeply felt as a flaw. Regularity of housefronts along a street was a desirable feature of Georgian town planning. Georgian designs usually include one or more of the pordesrof architecture and other elements derived from ancient Rome or Greece.


An eighteenth-century stylistic movement based on Greek and Roman art and architecture; the English Adam style and French Louis XVI are examples of the neoclassic style

Victorian Art and Architecture

In reaction to the classical style of the previous century, the Victorian age saw a return to traditional British styles in building, Tudor and mock-Gothic being the most popular. The Gothic Revival, as it was termed, was part spiritual movement, part recoil from the mass produced monotony of the Industrial Revolution. It was a romantic yearning for the traditional, comforting past. The Gothic Revival was led by John Ruskin, who, though not himself an architect, had huge influence as a successful writer and philosopher.

Most popular architectural styles were throwbacks; Tudor, medieval, Italianate. Houses were often large, and terribly inconvenient to live in. The early Victorians had a predilection for overly elaborate details and decoration. Some examples of large Victorian houses are Highclere Castle (Hampshire) and Kelham Hall (Nottinghamshire).

In late Victorian times the pendulum, predictably, swung to the other extreme and the style was simpler, using traditional vernacular (folk) models such as the English farmhouse. This period is typified by the work of Norman Shaw at 'Wispers' Midhurst, (Sussex). Not just styles changed. The Industrial Revolution made possible the use of new materials such as iron and glass. The best example of the use of these new materials was the Crystal Palace built by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Arts and Crafts Movement

An English aesthetic and social movement of the later 19th century, led by John Ruskin, William Morris, C. R. Ashbee and others, which sought to revive the importance of craftsmanship in a time of increasing mechanization and mass production. The ideal of the movement was to make well designed and crafted objects available to all people, but because the objects were made by hand in workshops only wealthy patrons could afford to buy them. However, the movement did stimulate a drive for better standards in mass production at the time, while its belief that good art and design could reform society, and its practice of rejecting showy decoration to concentrate on the simplicity of an object was to have a significant influence on exponents of the Modern Movement, such as the designers associated with the German Bauhaus. The movement also influenced some 20th Century designers in Sweden, Finland and Germany to revive their own national styles.

Art Deco

The term widely used to describe the architectural and decorative arts style that emerged in France in the 1920s. It took its name from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Geometric forms and patterns, bright colours, sharp edges, and the use of expensive materials, such as enamel, ivory, bronze and polished stone are well known characteristics of this style, but the use of other materials such as chrome, coloured glass and Bakelite also enabled Art Deco designs to be made at low cost.

 Art Nouveau

A style of decorative art and architecture popular in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which is characterized by stylised curvilinear designs and organic forms. In Germany the style was called Jugendstil. Art Nouveau developed along two distinct lines: the rectilinear style pioneered by C. R. Mackintosh and seen in the work of the members of the Vienna Secession, and the intricate curvilinear style of French and Belgian designers, such as Hector Guimard. Mackintosh's style of Art Nouveau was to influence the Wiener Werkstatte.


The  Victorian battle of the styles had ended in an eclectic aesthetic. the Edwardian Aproximately corresponding to the reign of Edward VII (1901-1910) but continued until at least the outbreak of World War 1 (1914).. Regularly seen in the university area. The exteriors of the detached and semi-detached houses of this period tend to be a little simpler than those of the Victorian period, yet with a weakth of coloured and decorative brickwork. It is also characterised  by the growth of innovative modern architectural design, mock-tudor, towers, etc. 19th-century experiments with reinforced concrete began to bear widespread fruit in the Edwardian era.


Although "mock tudor" began in the 19th. century as a revolt from the overly ornate revival styles, it had its main  flowering in the 1920's and 30's. It spread to the suburbs via the larger country houses.  The emergence of commuting and the dormitory town saw the rapid growth of the modern semi-detached house heralding the development of this style .

Tudorbethan styles are defined by a kind of external pattern of pastiche timber-framing that is no longer load-bearing, but consists of structures of brick, breeze-blocks or blocks or other materials with a look-alike timber frame of stucco panels with stained wood or even painted brick patterns added on the outside.Such buildings are characterized also by the use of steeply pitched roofs, and in higher quality developments these may be covered with slate roofing. Colours are typically ivory or sand colors for the stucco and dark brown for the wood trim.

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