First Things First

Kids home from school? Loved one stretched out on the sofa asking, "What's for lunch?" We owe it all to Washington and Lincoln. Seems appopriate. The first of anything gets a lot of press and freeing people from slavery, well, yes, definitely vacation-worthy.

But, that's not really what we're about here. In order to really impress our discerning crowd, we need a little peek at your digs.

Welcome to Mount Vernon.  George Washington called his home "a well resorted tavern" because of its many visitors and guests.   The image, above, is the Little Parlor and housed the harpsichord that Washington imported from London for his granddaughter.  Is that rug looking a little Hicksian to you?

In the image of the Little Parlor, you can glimpse the Large Dining Room, shown above.  The room is grand and formal and clearly reflects the influence of Robert Adams.  This is half of the view of this side of the room; a mirror image completes the picture.  As an aside, every room in the first house that Mr. Blanding's owned was painted this color.  Except for the one with the knotty-pine paneling.

The West Parlor is the same Prussian Blue of Washington's day.

The room reflects the 18th century fashion of arranging furniture around the perimeter of the room.

The pine-paneled study was finished with faux bois painting to make it appear richer.

The Small Dining Room with Chippendale ladder-back chairs.
The Lafayette Bedroom, so named for its frequent guest, is cloaked in a fabric by Brunschwig & Fil.

Quarters like this, on the third floor of the house, were used by family members when guests occupied their rooms.  If I were staying at Mount Vernon, I would have let the grandchildren snuggle up in their own beds.  I'd gladly take the upstairs room with the jazzy turquoise trim, black door and rush flooring.

Speaking of "grand" children, I need to get mine out the door.  They've been fluctuating between presidential pronouncements and complaints of their confinement all morning.  I need to get a look at that Emancipation Proclamation.

All images House & Garden, August, 1985.