For last week’s Tablescape Thursday, I posted some photos Mandy took recently after she toured The Mount, the beautiful home of American novelist, Edith Wharton. If you missed that post, you’ll want to check it out. The tablescape we viewed was created by Bunny Williams, one of my favorite designers and author of An Affair with a House.
If you aren’t familiar with Edith Wharton, here’s a bit of info about her from the website for The Mount:
“Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into “Old New York,” a tightly controlled society that positively discouraged women from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage. Author of The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth, she wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including authoritative works on architecture and gardens. Essentially self-educated, she was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1921); an honorary Doctorate from Yale University (1923); and full membership in the Academy of Arts and Letters (1930). In addition to being a prodigious author, she was a master house builder and gardener.”
Mrs. Wharton built her home based on the designs and ideas she outlined in The Decoration of Houses, a book she co-authored with Ogden Codman, Jr. in 1897.
Mandy also shared photos of some of the other rooms she toured while visiting The Mount. Mandy said, “We also came across the drawing room that was decorated by Charlotte Moss.”
The Drawing Room is painted with soft powder-blue walls and beautiful molding.
The website states:
“The largest room in the house, it is also the only room with an elaborate ceiling treatment, which was completely recreated in 2002. Highlights of the original decoration included two c. 1710 Brussels tapestries set into the walls: “Narcissus at the Fountain” and “Bacchus and Ariadne.” Both are reproduced here from photographs.”
“The room features a beautiful French marble mantle with a cast-iron fire-back depicting Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac. The terrazzo floor was covered by a carpet, probably an Aubusson from France.”
Mrs. Wharton’s library is really stunning. It is designed with beautiful built-in shelving and gorgeous detailed woodwork.
About the library, The Mount’s website states:
“The design of Wharton’s library follows recommendations in The Design of Houses that the primary decoration of a library should be its books, and that the shelves be organic decoration built into the walls rather than freestanding furniture.” Mrs. Wharton definitely took her own advice when she designed this beautiful library.
More information about the library: “The paneling is oak, and the design and detailing are by Codman. A tapestry was inset into the library wall; the original was sold in the 1930s, and is approximated here. Although Wharton was photographed several times sitting at her desk, she actually did most of her creative writing in her bedroom. The library was a place for solitary study, or for entertaining close friends with readings before the fire. The books on the shelves are Edith’s own, having returned to The Mount in 2006 after almost a century in Europe.”
A photo of Mrs. Wharton in her library.
Regarding the beautiful gardens, The Mount’s website states: “Edith Wharton was an authority on European landscape design as well as a passionate gardener. She envisioned her gardens as an elegant series of outdoor rooms and created unique architectural compositions planned in concert with the house and the surrounding natural landscape.”
The formal gardens extend over three acres and completely surround The Mount.
The gardens required a tremendous amount of restoration after having been neglected for many years. More than $3 million has been spent thus far to restore the gardens to their former glory.
Is there a particular home and/or garden that you’ve toured and loved? One you would recommend?
I have visited Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC a couple of times and it’s a tour I definitely recommend. You can read about that my last visit to Biltmore Estates in THIS post and see the gorgeous pink, Victorian inn where we stayed during our visit, HERE.