English Neo- Palladian and Georgian

The Georgian name comes from the time period encompassed by the reigning George I, George II, and George III from 1714-1820.

Neo-Palladian comes from the Whig party appointing themselves the deciding factor of taste for the nation. They believed that rational, correct, and polite should define English architecture and therefore promoted Neo-Palladian as the only proper style.

The styles that resulted fall within several categories. In the mainstream of Georgian style were both Palladian architecture— and its whimsical alternatives, Gothic and Chinoiserie, which were the English-speaking world’s equivalent of European Rococo. From the mid-1760s a range of Neoclassical modes were fashionable, associated with the British architects Robert Adam, James Gibbs, Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt, George Dance the Younger, Henry Holland and Sir John Soane.


Classical architectural details, such as columns, pilasters, balusters, dentil moldings, and quoins, appear in architecture, interiors, and furniture throughtout the period. In Queen Anne furniture, motifs include shells and acanthus leave. Early Georgian furniture may feature swags, urns, eagles, cabochons, lion masks, satyr masks, and/or foliage. Chinoiserie becomes popular and includes faux bamboo, Oriental figures, and pagodas.

Cabochons- a gem shape or bead cut in convex form and highly polished


Satyr Masks



Types- Chief building types are country and town houses. Some public structures, such as banks, hospitals, and churches, adopt Neo-Palladianism.

Mereworth Castle

Christ Church

Marble Hill House

Chiswick House

Site Orientation- Garden of the 18th century continue the formality and geomerty of earlier years. William Kent introduces less formal designs that lead to pictureque compostions of winding paths, streams, and irregular planting.

Floor Plans- The typical rectangular block main house still dominates the site. Imiatating the tripartaite compositions of Palladio, some larger examples may have wings with smaller dependencies. Large and small houses have either double-pile plans with halls running lengthwise or adapted Palladian plans. The integration of rectangular, square, oval, elliptical, and hexagonal spaces or rooms with apsial ends appears.

Chiswick Plan

Houghton Hall

Materials- Structures are of brick, local stone, or stucco. Early in the century, brick usually is red, butas higher firing temperatures become possible, its color varies from brown to gray, white, or cream. Lighter-colored bricks resemble stone. Wood and metal portions, including sashes, shas frames, shutters, doors and door cases, are painted in bold colors whose variety and hue depend on the owner’s wealth.

Facades- They are distinctive, having a temple front or pedimented portico at the center, Venetian or Palladian windows, and plain walls. Designers generally group windows, elements within porticoes, and other details in threes. They borrow or adapt facades and features from Vitruvius, Palladio, Inigo Jones, and Colen Campbell.

Windows- Most windows have uncomplicated surrounds, but some exhibit pediments, quions, or arched tops. Designers use Venetian or Palladian windows singly on in sequences after 1760. Some are within relieving arches, arches that are roughly constructed to ease excess weight. Other windows are double-hung. There are no standard sizes or dimensions for panes, but six-over-six or eight-over-eight panes are most common.

Doors- Neo-Palladian compositionsof pilasters or columns and round or triangular pediments replace more massive and ornament Baroque treatments. Doors themselves have raised or recessed panels; six is a typical number for panels. Door fittings and knobs are of cast iron.

Roofs- Neo- Palladian roofs are low-pitched hipped or flat with balustrades. Centers or ends of compositions sometimes are domed.


Types- With more emphasis on culture and learning, collectors display their assemblages in galleries or the traditional closet, and libraries become more common. By mid-century, stair halls and staircases are important design elements, and dining rooms are becoming prevalent.

Colors- In the early 18th century, color unifies rooms. Moldings and other details match wall. By the 1720s, lighter hues, particularly white, replace earlier dark colors. Typical colors include pae green, olive green, gray green, gray, sky blue, straw yellow, and a variety of gray or brown stone colors. People consider stone colors most appropriate for halls and stonger colors appropriate for other rooms. Reds and greens commonly distinguish libraries and dining rooms. Doors and baseboards are painted brown orblack to hide wear.

Lighting- Artifical lighting, generally minimal, comes primarily from fireplaces, rushlights, or candles; oil lamps are rare before the 1780s. After 1730, chandeliers of glass, wood, or metal are available, but remain rare in most homes.

Floors- Typical floor materials are wood or masonry. Oak, pine, or fir board floors have random dimensions. Wood floors are not varnished, but scrubbing them with sand or limewash produces a silvery sheen. Parquet enhances the grandest rooms. Paint, in solids or patterns, disquises cheaper rooms. Stone and marble floors are limited to entrnces and ground-floor rooms because of their weight.

Wall paneling and Other Treatments- Paneling which is generally painted. remains a favorite wall treatment. Most panels are rectangular and recessed, but those in wealthy homes are often raised. Narrow panels flank wider ones, and paintings and pictures hang in the centers. Wall fabrics include damask, velvet, painted or patterned silk, tapestry, and needlework. Wallpaper begains to appear in public and reception rooms during the period. Types include flocked papers imitating cut-piled fabrics, architectural paper, papers incorporate paints or antique statues, and simple repetitve patterns.

Staircases- They are impressive architectural features. Those on important floors are wider with more elaborate ornamentation. Chinses fretwork and Rococo and Gothic details appear at mid-century. As stairs ascend to upper floors, balusters become plainer, and steps narrower.

Windows- Double-hung windows are typical. Venetian or Palladian windows, pediments, and other architectural details highlight windows in important rooms; others are plain. Sashes are painted white. Most windows have internal shutters in two or three sections that match the paneling.


Doors- Doorsways to important rooms often have aedicula, which is a frame composed of columns or pilasters carrying an entablature and pediment, and are symmetrically situated. Most doors have six or eight mahogany panels with carved and gilded moldings.

Ceiling- The cove and compartmentalized plasterwork ceilings of Inigo Jones return to fashion in grand homes. Alternative treatments are coffers and paintings, often called mosaic celing. Celings in lesser rooms and lesser houses typically  are flat and painted white or cream.

Furnishings and Decorative Arts

Types- Typical furniture pieces include chairs, sofas, tables, secretaries, high chest of drawers, dressing tables, tall case clocks, fire screens, beds, card tables, tea tables, extension dining tables, and commodes.

Quees Anne- Continuing the Dutch traditions of the William and Mary style, the Queen Anne style relies on silhouette and wood grain for beauty rather than applied decoration. This style is relatively plain, but comfortable and human in scale. Curves dominate forms, and proportions are slender and elongated.

Baroque and William Kent- Following the lead of flamboyant architect and designer William Kent, designers turn to English and Venetian Baroque prototypes; Neo-Palladian influences begin appearing in architectual details. Kent’s massive designs are limited to large, wealthy houses.


Seating- This includes side chairs and armchairs, easie chairs, Queen Anne chairs, Chippendale chairs, and many other kinds of armchairs.

Easie Chairs

Queen Anne Chair

Chippendale Chairs

Tables- Georgian drawing room have numerous small table, reflecting society’s intrest in inviting friends for tea, cards, and conversation. Dinings tables have three parts, a center with drop leaves and two semicircular ends. Other table type are breakfast tables, sideboard tables, pier tables, night tables, and toilet tables.


Storage- Every fashionable Georgian drawing room has a commode.

Beds- Four-poster beds are most fashionable. As before, beds feature elaborate hangings with trims and tassels.

Decorative Arts:

Most interiors feature oil paintings. Niches feature sculptures or collections. This period is known for its

Decorative Arts:

Most interiors feature oil paintings. Niches feature sculptures or collections. This period is known for its Anglo Irish glass. Queen Anne interiors feature lots of mirrors. 

Queen Anne Mirror

. Queen Anne interiors feature lots of mirrors. 



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