Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


18th Century Wow

[Above, photographer Sean Terretta has posted on flickr the most striking interior shots of the Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg. Different than stiff photos often seen in tourist brochures, Terretta's dynamic images capture that 18th century flair.]

To some visitors, the clear bold colors inside the Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg look a little more "now" than 18th century. But actually the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has gone to great pains over the last few decades to accurately reflect the Georgian era -- its society and aesthetics. So gray-blues, somber greens and murky golds were banished in favor of apple-greens, turquoises and sunny yellows. (The colors scholars now believe are true to the period.) I was struck by the green Chinese-Chippendale chairs in the bedroom above. This is such a "decorator-ish" comment to make, but can't you see them at Viceroy Santa Monica sans gingham cushions?

[Contemporary chest at Viceroy Santa Monica.]

[Colonial Williamsburg Foundation image of Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Governor's Palace, 2007.]


The Peak of Chic said...

That blue is incredible. You're so right about the colors- I used to think of Williamsburg colors as being more somber, but was surprised to find out how truly vivid they were. I also love the carpet in the bottom photo- that's rather "now" too!

style court said...


Great point about carpet! I think it may be painted oil-cloth.

robyn said...

I just wrote a post on Monticello (gardens).
Your post inspired me when I looked earlier today. It's lovely, the colors really stand out and yet it's refined.

style court said...

Oh great, I'll take a look!

style court said...

Robyn, I can't find your URL. I want to visit your blog. Hope you see this! said...

Great post and comments on the colors. I do love the bright colors and I am glad that we are seeing a resurgence of brighter bolder colors being used. Great shot of the behind of the queen and that carpet is total eye candy.

robyn said...

oh, it's
thanks for asking. still in the early stages but I hope you like it.

Laura said...

Last year I toured Mount Vernon and was shocked by how "now" the rooms looked--in terms of the use of bold color on the walls contrasted with white plasterwork molding. According to the tour guide, heavily pigmented walls were a sign of wealth and prosperity because the pigments themselves were costly to produce!

Southern Heart said...

Williamsburg has always been a favorite travel destination in our family, and my mother's home is decorated in much the same style. I've always found her home, and Williamsburg, to be classic---they never really seem dated or tired. How fun to see such "current" yet historically-correct colors used, making them instant classics.

I really enjoy visiting your blog.



style court said...


Thanks for taking time to share. I appreciate your kind words too :)