Since I started this series of posts on The Mount, I’ve been so excited to share the photos of the Drawing Room and Dining Room, which were decorated in 2002 by Charlotte Moss and Bunny Williams, respectively. These are the only fully decorated rooms in the house currently and while it’s wonderful to be able to focus on the walls, floors and ceilings of the empty rooms (and this house does NOT disappoint in that regard!) it’s also fun to see fully decorated rooms. And making it even more of a treat is to be able to see Charlotte and Bunny’s work in person. Being from the hinterlands of Massachusetts, this is a rare treat!
Here is the Drawing Room as decorated by Charlotte Moss. Well, first let me say that I nearly swooned. And I rarely say things like that! Second, let me say how sad I am that my photographs of this room are not better. It’s a relatively dark room, with windows only the back, which look out on the veranda, under a large awning. So, natural light being limited, my photos are a little grainy and do not do the room justice! First off, what can one say about that ceiling? Like God’s own wedding cake. Consistent with EW’s views that decorative detail match the room – the drawing room is the most formal, largest and the only room that boasts an elaborate treatment on the ceiling. The floor is terrazzo, under a rug, which was likely an Aubusson from France.
Here is an image showing the condition of the plasterwork before the restoration began, plus how the roses look now.
This room is so warm and inviting – I just wanted to have a seat and take it all in. That sofa looked so comfy! But, I figured all manner of bells and whistles would go off, so I just looked longingly…
The original tapestries (Brussels, 1710) were auctioned off in 1935. They have been recreated for the home. Charlotte Moss has donated the furnishings to the Edith Wharton Organization.
Moving along, we are now in the dining room – as decorated by Bunny Williams. This room, being on the corner, benefited from a much brighter light and was much easier to photograph! What I love about Bunny’s design were the contemporary touches of modern art and a hand painted sisal carpet. She is quoted in the program book saying “Edith was a modern lady who never lost her traditional roots”.
Here is a photo of EW’s own decor circa 1905. Bunny certainly took her cues from Edith’s work here. Look closely under the table and you will see the cushion on the floor for EW’s beloved dog. Bunny includes a cushion by the table (top pic) in homage.
A closeup of the table. Note the name on the place tag.
I just adored this mirror!
The plaster work, designed by Ogden Codman, was in the style of Grinling Gibbons, an 17th century English wood carver. The ornamentation in the room includes fish, birds and nuts – fitting for a dining room.
Simple, elegant and unfussy – these window treatments are extraordinary!
I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that Bunny also donated the room decor to The Mount as well, as it’s been there since 2002.
The Edith Wharton Organization, which manages The Mount, was facing foreclosure just a year ago. A bank restructuring and much needed donations has kept the doors open, but money is still needed to continue operations and much needed improvements. Please consider making a donation to this treasure of American Arts and Architecture.
Click here to read all my Edith Wharton posts.