[From the top left: Mount Vernon dining room; Grant K. Gibson dining room for The San Francisco Decorator Showcase.]
I'm revisiting Victoria Finlay's Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Finlay observes that our art history books tell us about revolutionary artists and designers, and the color they used in their work, but share little of the people who originally created the color. Right now, I'm in her chapter on green. Mixed in with tales of arsenic wallpaper and ground malachite are mentions of Chatsworth and Mount Vernon, specifically George Washington's choice of brilliant verdigris-green for his small dining room.
Restored in recent years to its original splendor, this gleaming, vivid green juxtaposed with blue-and-white porcelain is always somewhere in the back of my brain in a mental design file. When I saw the Chinese pots and arresting green-leather chairs Grant K. Gibson selected for his contemporary dining room at this year's San Francisco Decorator Showcase (a benefit for the Financial Aid Program of San Francisco University High School), I made an obscure connection.