The restoration of The Mount continues!
Edith Wharton’s bedroom suite is arguably the most significant interior space of The Mount. More than any other area, it reflects the author’s character as an individual, interior designer, and writer. The suite was the birthplace of some of her finest novels, short stories, nonfiction, and other work, including The House of Mirth (1905), Madame de Treymes (1907), and Ethan Frome (1911). Instead of writing at a desk in her main floor library, Wharton wrote for several hours each morning while lying in bed.
In 2003, The Mount embarked on a multi-year project to restore and re-furnish the bedroom suite to accurately reflect Wharton’s residence circa 1905. This project has been generously supported by the Richard C. von Hess Foundation, Benjamin Moore Company, and The Decorators Club, which have granted a total of $320,000 to the project. Work completed to date includes the restoration of interior architectural features, such as the parquet and marble floors and plaster walls and ceilings, complete analyses of the painted and papered wall finishes, and carefully researched, detailed furnishings plans. Seamstress Christine Kalafus has artfully reproduced the curtains (click here to see Christine’s blog post with photos and details) and period antiques on loan from Chepstow House in Newport and the Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park grace the space, evoking Wharton’s personal surroundings. The project is being overseen by EWR’s Interior Restoration Committee, chaired by historian and interior designer Pauline Metcalf.