To the simple vernacular country buildings and building materials that gave the style its initial inspiration, other elements of design were soon added, which gave a unique vitality and established the style as an instantly recognizable building type of the late Victorian period.
Queen Anne houses in Britain – surprisingly – soon encompassed many design influences: Dutch gables and Delft tiles; Moorish archways and light fittings; and beautiful decorative terra-cotta panels set into rosy brickwork. Tall chimneys became design features, some harking back to Tudor examples in their decorative treatment.
Red brick facades were articulated – broken up with porches, balconies and bay windows – a change from earlier flat-fronted homes.
Houses in the Queen Anne style were overlaid with colour, texture, and where possible, hand-made products such as fancy brickwork, brightly glazed tiles, hand-blocked wallpapers and fabrics, and intricate stained glass. Japanese furniture and decorative accessories became popular for interiors.
Inspection of local traditions for furniture created new designs. Simple furniture of the countryside was examined, adapted, copied and upgraded for use in fashionable homes. William Morris’ “Sussex” chairs were a popular example of country furniture being updated in a sophisticated fashion.
The result – in the hands of a competent designer – was a pleasing and picturesque assembly of architectural elements that made beautiful individual houses, attractive streetscapes, and even handsome and comfortable larger buildings like hospitals, schools and even churches.
Even entire Queen Anne communities and streetscapes were constructed in the Queen Anne style – a stunning change to the ubiquitous white-stucco-and-pillar frontages that London was used to seeing lining its residential streets. The new red brick houses were designed with tall bay windows, porches that varied, and gables that were different. Even in a row house setting, where the height and sizes were similar, homeowners could attain some individuality.