Sunday, March 25, 2012
Bold Colors for a Courageous People
Small Dining Room at Mount Vernon, home of President George and Mrs. Martha Washington
When I visited Mount Vernon about more than a decade ago, I was thunderstruck by the color that the small dining room was painted--a deep, very vibrant green. In previous years the dining room had been painted a calmer, more neutral color, but research on the walls showed that the Washingtons had the walls painted the far more attention-getting green that is there now.
Dining room at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
The dining room in Thomas Jefferson's elegant Monticello has also recently been returned to the very warm golden yellow that Jefferson himself had favored. The strong teal in the Mount Vernon large dining room is another sign that at least in Virginia, those with the money to do so favored strong colors for their everyday home surroundings. Such colors, especially in the Monticello dining room, make a beautiful backdrop for handsome polished wood furniture. Homes of the federal era were devoid of chintz and other printed fabric, devoid of heavily stuffed furniture, and window treatments were minimal.
Large dining room at the Washingtons'painted a deep teal
The exuberance of color that our American forefathers favored matched the spirit: bold and courageous in its embrace of liberty and opportunity.
Fine Paints of Europe has created a Mount Vernon Estate of Colours that incorporates the brilliant colors young America--in case you want to give the Washington-Jefferson style a try.