Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dining Room Redesign :: Brightening History with Big Color

I've been waiting for the perfect moment to put up this post and with the turn of season, it's finally here.  Call me a school girl (and a history buff) at heart, but every fall, I get a bit nostalgic about my alma mater, University of Virginia, the historic town where it's located, Charlottesville, and it's notable founder and architect, Thomas Jefferson.  So when I spotted these images in a recent issue of Elle Decor showcasing the newly refinished dining room of TJ's primary residence, Monticello...well, I was excited to say the least.  The vivid color shift from a cool, Wedgewood-blue dating back to 1936 to an enlivened marigold yellow gives this colonial dining room warmth, energy and a rich Southern spirit.  Makes you want to sit right down at the table and enjoy a long, lovely meal, doesn't it?  After a bit of paint studying, historians concluded that the dining room was painted a chrome yellow shade around 1815, just a few years after the bright color had been created in France.  It seems only fitting, Jefferson being as passionate and worldly as he was, to return to a stunning shade of yellow.

the dining room pre-redesign

tableware from Monticello's collection mixed with contemporary pieces, 
tablecloth from Ralph Lauren Home

view from the dining into the tearoom 

a table setting by interior designer, Charlotte Moss 
(if you're a Virginia grad, you'll notice the Jefferson cups on the table)

the tearoom

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