Furniture and decor should be made by hand by people who take personal pride in their workmanship.
Sounds very modern – much like our current handmade movement a’la Etsy etc. Don’t you think?
Guess what… This was the belief set forth by British architect Charles Eastlake (1836 – 1906).
Eastlake’s belief & book, Hint’s on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery & Other Details, turned into a movement in 1872!
Eastlake’s aesthetic really took hold in America. It was in response to the dislike of the over the top Rococo Revival & Renaissance Revival styles popular during the early Victorian period.
Although, Eastlake is technically a style within the Victorian era. ( 1837 – 1901 ) It came into vogue during the late Victorian era.
My house is a Queen Anne Folk Victorian with many Eastlake details. It was built in 1886, late in the Victorian period, so having Eastlake in the mix makes sense.
What is Eastlake Style
Eastlake style is simpler than the flamboyant earlier Victorian designs. This is true of the architecture, furniture, decor & details.
The lines are more geometric, with modest curves if any and light carving. “Simpler” than early Victorian is still rather detailed as you can see in the door hardware found in my house.
Following Eastlake came the Arts & Crafts movement which was decidedly simple in look & design. Eastlake is relatively simple in comparison to the early Victorians.
Hallmarks of Eastlake design in furniture & decor is oak or cherry wood, geometric designs, wooden knobs or pulls, carved leaves, acorns or other bits of nature.
This is one of a pair of small dressers I picked up years ago. I had no place for them until now, but $60 for the pair & those leafy, fruit, nut pulls ~ they had to be mine.
The gorgeous vanity I am about the share is a prized piece of my friend & blogger Sarah at She Holds Dearly.
I knew when I saw this vanity on Sarah’s Instagram, that I would ask to include it in my upcoming Eastlake post. It is so lovely & such a fine example of this style.
A Craigslist find, Sarah repurposed the dresser beautifully into a bathroom vanity. See the wooden leaves adorning the pulls & the wooden key hole? Decidedly Eastlake.
I have always been drawn to Eastlake style, even before I knew what it was. I am thrilled that I am finding so much of this style in my house. The overall geometric lines, the staircase, the door knobs, hinges and more.
The old gentleman who lived here before us wanted a froofy, fretwork early Victorian. He added this & layered that. The house put up with it.
I think the house is happier now as we are shedding the frilliness of the early Victorian era – “faux fretwork for sale”!! And lightening things up a lot!
We are nodding at the past, highlighting the Eastlake details & forging into a bright, clean & even simpler style all our own. Working hard and looking forward to sharing room reveal after room reveal with you.
Hope you enjoyed learning about the Eastlake style. Do you have any Eastlake pieces in your home?
** Kelly **
… if you enjoy learning about different styles of furniture/decor you will enjoy my post on Chesterfields. Have a look!