Edith Wharton The Mount Drawing Room and Dining Room


(This post The Mount Drawing Room and Dining Room has been edited and updated in 2022)

Edith Wharton The Mount Floor plan Main Floor Living Room Dining Room
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 (in 200) 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.

Here is the Living room (aka 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.

Edith Wharton The Mount Living room 2

Here is an image showing the condition of the plasterwork before the restoration began, plus how the roses look now.

Edith Wharton The Mount Living room 3
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.

Edith Wharton The Mount Living room 1
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”.

Edith Wharton The Mount dining room 1

Edith Wharton The Mount dining room 2

Edith Wharton The Mount dining room 3 table
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.

Edith Wharton The Mount dining room table scape
I just adored this mirror!
Edith Wharton The Mount dining room console with 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.

Edith Wharton The Mount dining room wall plaster decorations
Simple, elegant and unfussy – these window treatments are extraordinary!

Edith Wharton The Mount Dining Room window treatment
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.



Edith Wharton The Mount Floor plan Main Floor Butlers Pantry

The Main Floor includes a Buter’s Pantry, brush room for cleaning shoes and outerwear and offices for household management. Appropriately, the Butler’s Pantry is adjacent to the Dining Room and would have contained the china, silver and linens and been the staging area for serving meals. I assume there must have been a dumbwaiter to bring up the food from the kitchen, but I didn’t see it. The two photo’s below are how the Pantry looks at this time.

Edith Wharton The Mount Butlers Pantry 1

Edith Wharton The Mount Butlers Pantry 2

The marble counters and center island are, in fact, quite contemporary looking. I didn’t know much about this room, until…

Edith Wharton The Mount styled butler's pantry image
Post Card Photo credit: Pieter Estersohn, Edith Wharton Restoration at the Mount

I saw this postcard in the bookstore and realized that the Butler’s Pantry had been fully stocked and staged at some point. This decorating was done by Susanna Stratton-Norris and Sheila Chefetz.

If you enjoyed The Mount Drawing Room, Dining Room and Butler’s Pantry, please also enjoy:

The Mount Entrance and Gallery

The Mount Library and Den

The Mount Bedroom, Boudoir and Bath

The Mount Grounds and Gardens


11 thoughts on “Edith Wharton The Mount Drawing Room and Dining Room”

  1. Hard to pick a favorite – it might have to be Charlotte's room. But I like Bunny's curtains! Charlotte's room looks so different than the few pictures I have seen of it before. it looks so much prettier here. love those tapestries.

  2. Linda,
    I have so enjoyed this story! What a wonderful job you have done & the time you have taken is so appreciated & to be admired by all of the blogging community.
    The plaster work is some of the prettiest I have ever seen. Your photos are wonderful, thanks for the close-ups of the details & the floor plan is very helpful!
    XO lisa

  3. Linda,
    Charlotte's room is pretty but Bunny's room is spectacular! I adore it! Plasterwork is a dying art. The restoration of ceilings and walls is what I admire so much. They are beautiful and the artisans who recreated them should be commended on their workmanship.

  4. So pretty! The Charlotte Moss room is beautiful but that dining room?… how much do we love Bunny Williams?! She put a cushion down for a long-gone doggie and invited Mr Hadley to dinner! Even empty, that's a beautiful room but Bunny's decor really brings it to life. Thanks, Linda!

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