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.
Key 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