Family Dining Room "Freshening"

September 20, 2014

We recently moved forward with a small project to freshen the look and staging of our family Dining Room. Since we are still in the midst of a major restoration in the neighboring Library, it is not feasible commit to a large restoraiton of the room. Rather we chose to freshen the paint colors, restage the table and add interesting period details to the room

 

The room received a fresh coat of sage green paint, which reseach has shown was the most popular color recommended for dining rooms in the 1850s and 1860s. All of the wood work would have been faux grained, since that requires major investment and time, we chose to apply a fresh coat of ochre yellow to the doors, window sash and architraves because this would have been the base color of the faux graining in the room. 

 

The dining room table is now partially set and piles of dishes are placed across the table as if the servants are in the middle of setting thet able for the upcoming meal. Two recently aquired portraits - one of Oliver Bliss Hayes and Sarah Hightower Hayes (Adelicia's parents) - now hang one wall of the room. 

 

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this minor freshening is the garden window. Through the French doors, the Acklens would have had a breathtaking view of the lavish estate and this window anticipates that view. The inspiration for the garden window came from an 1869 book entitled The American Woman's Home by Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.