Colonial Revival

Colonial Revival started in the late 19th century, when interest revived in our colonial American history, and continued to the mid-20th century. What started as a return to simpler, purer days, soon turned into an architectural and decorating style. Consumerism was just beginning in the 18th century; but, only the upper one or two percent could afford large brick mansions and fine furnishings. Almost everything had to be bought in England and shipped to the colonies in English ships. Fabrics, especially, were very expensive. Most houses then contained few furniture pieces: a bed in each chamber with a clothes press and easy chair (modern term: wing chair); and a gate-leg dining room table with a set of chairs that probably were not all matched. Matching sets of dishes and eating utensils were just beginning to be used and would have been cream ware, not china. Dining room chairs would be moved to the parlor when that room was used. Windows rarely had drapes other than simple swags. Large mirrors were used to reflect light back into the room.

Colonial Revival was a pulling back from the ostentatious Victorian decorating style and added to an accurate colonial style heavy, long drapes; sofas; oriental carpets; and knick knacks everywhere. Interior paint was white walls with muted trim colors, usually in earth tones. Brass and crystal chandeliers were added to the dining room, parlor, and front passage (modern term: hall or foyer).

Here at Gracefield Hall we are closer to colonial style with additional furnishings added to meet the comfort needs people are used to today. You might believe our furnishings are sparse and few but it is our attempt to decorate more accurately in the true colonial style of a farmer who is very close to but just below the two percent gentry class. Of course, people today do not want to sit on a dining room chair in the parlor when they are used to relaxing in a comfortable sofa or easy chair. That is why these furniture items are in our parlor. We do have a set of 12 matching dining room chairs but we have other chairs that do not match this set. There are no chandeliers at Gracefield Hall; just brass wall sconces with added candle sticks used in the dining room for additional light. A very large gold-framed mirror hangs on the dining room wall to help light the room with a smaller gold-framed mirror on a parlor wall.

The interior paint scheme at Gracefield Hall uses bright trim colors in all the rooms. These colors help brighten the rooms. The passage has a more muted earth-tone color since this area was not as socially important.

So come to Gracefield Hall, look around, and notice how we have decorated and furnished the rooms. We will be most pleased to give you a tour of the house.

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