The story behind the ceiling rose

Ceiling roses are not just an attractive feature but were born out of necessity. Originally, a ceiling rose was installed to protect the immediate are of the ceiling from soot or marks caused by gas or candle lighting. Any dirt or grime would be collected by the rose and any repainting would only need to be done on that small part of the ceiling. What clever thinking!

Here is a brief history of the ceiling rose:

Baroque 1625 – 1714

This is the period when ceiling roses were just starting to be used. They were only found in well-off properties that had plastered ceilings which were often highly ornate affairs. The most common design for a central rose would likely have been oval in shape with ornate, floral designs in a central pendant.

Georgian 1714 – 1765

This is when ceiling decorations took on the form that we are more familiar with today and still see in period properties. Usually there will be an edge cornice and a central circular design. Designs included shallower and less bold features with classical and Rococo style patterns. These included details such as shells, leaves, birds and flowers.

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Late Georgian 1765 – 1830

Roses from this period were also commonly detailed with classical elements. A prominent designer of this era was Robert Adams, whose style brought back grand elements inspired by Roman art. Other popular designs of this time include wreaths, ribbons, swags and crossed swords. The idea of a decorative plaster rose became a more common sight in the homes of the mid to lower upper classes as well.

Regency 1811 – 1820

The Regency period can be classed as a short time of the Georgian era. During this time, ceiling decoration was not in fashion much at all, but the popularity of the ceiling rose gathered pace, often being the only visible decoration on the ceiling. As the rose took centre stage, the embellishments became grander and floral in nature. The previous swags and leaves were replaced with large petals and Greek influences. Choose your contemporary ceiling roses today from Creative Cables

Victorian 1837 – 1901

The ceiling rose had now established itself as an essential element in ceiling decoration. They also became a common sight in more modest homes, combined with simple cornicing in most rooms and more elaborate designs in guest areas and hallways, for example. The Victorians threw themselves enthusiastically into interior design, with the emerging middle classes wanting to flaunt their wealth.   Another factor that helped the popularity of the ceiling rose was the invention of fibrous plaster. This gave rise to the method of producing ‘off the shelf’ roses which could be pre-made in a workshop before being sold.

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Edwardian 1901 – 1914

A common assumption is that roses of the Edwardian period were plain and simple. However, this was not always true. The cornices indeed were seen as not so important, so were often left plain but the roses remained as ornate as ever with large, radiating florals, large swags and embellished edging.