Greek Revival


So far with the house renovations I’ve gone for simplicity, focusing on undoing the bad 1980’s “updates” on the house rather than decorating extensively. I want to be more mindful as we actually start thinking about “forever” pieces & decorating – not to be completely historical, but to be true to the bones of the house. I don’t actually know that much about Greek Revival interiors, so I’ve been poking around online. While our tiny 1836 house has a lot of basic New England farmhouse characteristics,  you can see the Greek Revival influence on the interior trim here and the old 1830s wallpaper here.

Curiously, Greek Revival interiors are not as easy to track down than the Victorian madness that followed them.  I’ll take cool, classical rooms with bold and stark furnishings over the visual cacophony of  Victorian interiors any day. My goal moving forward is to keep it simple, but throw in some luxe touches.


Walls: The preference for white rooms started during the Greek Revival, as a nod to antiquity. Walls tended to creams, greys, and near-whites, with colors like “ashes of rose” and “pearl grey” suggested. Trim is either slightly lighter or matched. As I research, it’s bizarre how much of what I want to do (like the plaster treatment in the hallway, and soft grey walls in the dining room) are actually historically accurate. The house wants to be restored and is whispering secrets to me. These images have me tempted to paint the wood trim in the dining room grey too, but I think I will leave it stained.


Windows: Right now I just have old IKEA curtains from our last house, and they really block the trim and look messy. Historically, homeowners of the 1830’s and 40’s did not use elaborate curtains, but preferred shutters with louvers that could be opened and closed or wooden slats held together with tapes – what we think of today as blinds. I’m not super into that, but think Roman shades would look equally clean. I’ve decided to make my own but haven’t quite felt like tackling that daunting task. It’ll happen, though.

Floors: soft wide planks in natural wood, with painted detail. Yes to the wood, no to the detail. It was exciting to uncover the flooring in the hallway upstairs.

carolinaromareKey details: Marble, Greek key fret (see the back of the couch above), gilded accents, carved swags, classical or Chinese landscapes, klismos legs, & balance – two lamps, two tables, two chairs, etc.

Alternatively, Tess, Katie, and Emilia can come decorate my house. I love EVERYTHING they pin. (P.S. Have you seen Katie’s new blog, Lost Artisan? I think it’s my favorite thing on the entire internet.)

Images: The Paradise Pub /  Susan Talbot /  Florence Baudoux’s apartment / Carolina Romare



  1. I really like that pale grey blue paint in the first photo, so much that I might steal it. I’ve been trying to come up with a new color for our living room because the blue green we have just annoys me. It’s not the right shade. I want something subtler.

    Love all the simplicity in these photos. And pink couches!

    1. We painted our bedroom in our old condo a pale blue grey (similar to the shade in the photo). We used a full spectrum paint that would pick up colors and change ever so slightly through-out the day. I really loved it. It was Gustavian Grey by Ellen Kennon (and it’s no-VOC!)

  2. I love all of this. I want to buy an old, old house and bring it back to life. Sadly, most of the old houses here aren’t worth saving and the ones that are are far out of my price range. I’m very excited to see what you do.

  3. Oh, beautiful. I love the Greek revival period and there are definitely some historical touches in my house as well (Greek key patterned woodwork in the vestibule, some of the mouldings too) but not nearly like yours. It’s funny how you say that the house is calling for its historical correctness — I feel like all old houses are like that and it just feels RIGHT.

    Now I want to go paint something.

  4. What a gorgeous colour palette. Ah, what I wouldn’t give to have some walls of my own to paint!

    Thanks for the pinterest recommendations – Emilia and I seem to repin each other’s pins endlessly so I’ll be sure to follow Katie and Tess too.

  5. Hi, just wanted to mention I made roman shades for my house, as the woodwork it too pretty to hide and it was so worth it. Intimidating to start, but moved right along once I made that first cut. Use Terrell designs website, for real. I wouldn’t have attempted it without that resource. Can’t wait to see your progress . Moving forward while keeping that nod to the past.

    1. Ha, NO. I know, I rarely use other photos so it’s probably confusing! But in the winter there’s nothing to take photos of and it’s dark when I get home. Hopefully the end results of our labors will also make people never want to leave!

  6. This is super interesting. I really love your plan to honor the original intention of the bones of the house. Each of your posts about it all makes me anxious to have a place to make my own.

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