British homes over the years: styles that influence today’s new-builds

 

The way British homes have been designed and constructed has changed drastically over the years. From grand to minimalist and from cosy to spacious, it’s interesting to see how today’s properties have been shaped by history.

When you think of a modern, state-of-the-art house built in recent years, a number of distinctive features might spring to mind. Today’s new-builds represent not only some of the best features from historic houses, but also aim to cater for the unique needs of today’s households.

According to a recent analysis of British homes by house builder St Modwen Homes, sustainability is one of the most crucial elements of today’s housing. Buyers of new-builds today might be looking for features such as electric vehicle charging ports, UV panels and maximum insulation. This will not only affect the property’s carbon footprint, but also keep costs down.

Style-wise, modern houses sometimes come with taller ceilings than has been the style of some of the country’s pre-existing homes. More natural light is also a focus in many cases, with large windows creating a brighter ambiance.

The house builder’s blog adds that homes are arguably now more than ever a big part of our lives. From raising families to creating a space to work, our homes have changed to make our lives easier, more enjoyable, and more sustainable.

British homes from Georgian to Victorian

There are thousands of houses across the country that were built during the Georgian and Victorian times. What’s more, many modern homes contain features that emanate these styles.

In Georgian properties (1714-1830), grandness was the priority. According to St Modwen Homes, “symmetrical and tall facades matched Greek-style motifs and spacious interiors”. However, the window tax of the time meant that natural brightness would have come with a premium, unlike today.

During the Victorian era (1837-1901), bay windows became popular as well as red brickwork in British homes. Again, these can often be seen in many of today’s new-builds. Certain types of tiling, including geometric and ornate patterns, became popular and are still seen in many modern properties.

Edwardian to post-war

There were some big changes in typical British homes built across these eras. “Edwardian and early twentieth-century homes build on the architectural stylings of the Victorian period,” says the blog. “A return to symmetry, bay windows were boxed, and doorways became ornate and trimmed with white wooden frames.”

Homes also became simpler during Edwardian times (1901-1910), with lower ceilings creating cosier rooms.

By contrast, the post-war period (1945-1979) was characterised by a housing crisis. There was a national shortage, which then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill tackled by building masses of temporary accommodation.

“Alongside 1.2 million new homes, over 150,000 prefabricated homes (or ‘prefabs’) were built between 1945 and 1951. Prefabs were intended to be used by occupants for up to ten years.”

Amazingly, some of these so-called temporary homes are still being used today. And the idea of a prefab property has gone full-circle, with modular housing now coming back into fashion as a sustainable, eco-friendly and modern construction option.

Turn of the century – to now

“By the 1990s, the style of the modern new-build house had been refined,” says the blog. “The brickwork was neat, featuring classic red or newer beige colours that helped create vibrant estates, echoing the stone facades of the Georgian period. Meanwhile, streets of semi-detached or townhouses maintained a consistent style that helped create culture and inclusivity within communities.”

Between the 1990s and 2010, double glazing and better insulation became more common. These added features helped to keep homes warm and lower energy bills. Today, these factors are now high up the priority list, with a particular focus on protecting the environment now at play.

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British homes old and new

British homes over the years: styles that influence today’s new-builds

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