Farmer Washington’s home…. Mt. Vernon
Yes, we know he was a general, and the first President of the United States. However, when asked his occupation, he usually answered farmer. He considered using his lands in a sustainable fashion his biggest accomplishment. His home, Mt. Vernon, was a working farm filled with lovely gardens and a down to earth house.
Mt. Vernon sits high on a knoll overlooking the Potomac River. When Washington purchased the property the home was already sited with its long views of the river and the countryside. However, it was a single story home, so the first order of business was to raise the roof, then add a floor and an attic.
Washington, like may land owners of his time, designed the plantation himself. The out buildings, gardens, and interiors were all of his design with a little advice from his friends. The facade is wooden, not limestone as it seems. The boards are cut to look like blocks and the exterior painted with pigments mixed with fine river sand. Very early faux finishing!
The interior of the home is amazing. The first floor rooms are all finished in the neoclassic style and show the opulent side of Washington, maybe Washington the President. We can just imagine the French General Lafayette coaching George on the embellishments in the dining room.
The colors are all original, and such vibrant colors historically signified wealth and position as the pigments were expensive. The embellishments are all hand carved, but this show of wealth only applies to the public rooms.
Upstairs the rooms are much more modest and maybe in a way reflect George the farmer. Like the photo below of his bedroom. If you’re in Virgina, we recommend a visit to Mr. Vernon a lovely walk through history.
If you’re inspired to decorate your own home in true Washington style, visit any of our retailers to get started!