is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species.
Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, furniture making etc and is the core structure of just about every 19th century vanity box, dressing case or jewellery box. It became more of a Victorian trend to dress Mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as Rosewood, Kingwood, Burr Walnut and Coromandel, so that the actual Mahogany was almost hidden from view.
Mahogany itself is a rich reddish brown wood that can range from being plain in appearance to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect.
Although Mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘Flame’ Mahogany and ‘Fiddleback’ Mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of fine musical instruments).
Cuban Mahogany was so sought after, that by the late 1850′s, this particular variety became all but extinct.
Edwardian Period (1900 - 1910)
The Edwardian era saw the beginning of a new century with a new king and a new style of interior design. The heavy, dark, cluttered look of the Victorian era was gone, and in its place, something much lighter and more cheerful.
Some of the most famous designer for this era include:
Thomas Sheraton -furniture
Louis Comfort Tiffany- lighting
René Lalique- glassware
This early 20th century style had an eclectic feel to it, and drew from elements of Georgian, Medieval and Tudor style. Light, airy, and simplicity of detail were key principles of this era.
Bamboo and wicker was the material of preference in Edwardian times. This added to the already delicate and breezy nature of the style. Other furniture was reproductions, drawing influence from baroque, rococo and empire style. The wing chair is a classic shape, and upholstery favoured chintz and damask in pale colours.
Shifting away from the darkness of the Victorian interior, colours were fresh and light, with an informal feel. Patterns were feminine, with flowers and floral designs being highly favoured. Colours were predominantly pastels: blue, lilacs, greens, yellows and grays. The floral theme was complemented by the liberal use of fresh flower arrangements. Living rooms often took darker colours such as dark green for fabrics, complemented with cream walls.