Hope Lodge
DEGN-ERA BEDROOM
CHANGING EXHIBIT SPACE

MORRIS MASTER BEDCHAMBER

floor2_morrisbedchamber
The door to the third floor servants' quarters has been painted black. This door did not exist in the 18th century; it was probably added in the mid-19th century. We have painted the door black in order to make it look like open space. We did not want to remove a later bit of the architectural history of Hope Lodge. This room is virtually intact from the 18th century. A doorway was added by the Degns from this bedchamber to the dressing room next to it. We painted this 20th century door white to blend in with the whitewashed walls. The floor has been slightly patched in some spots. Some of the Delft tile was replaced in the 1920's by the Degns. The restored original paint finish is Prussian blue woodwork, black baseboards, brown chairrail cap, white window sash, and whitewashed plaster walls. A number of factors contribute to its being named as the master bedchamber — the Prussian blue finish was the second best of five available in the 18th century; this room has an associated closet/dressing room next to it; it is adjacent to the servants' stairs; and it has a front and southern location. As we interpret Morris' inventory, the furnishings in the master bedchamber were some of the most valuable in the house. The presence of high style furniture (Damasked [sic] Bottom chairs) reflects the fact that in the 18th century such rooms were used for dining, entertaining, and professional business in addition to sleeping. This is the same flexible room use as described in the north parlor. We have reproduced typical 18th century bedhangings in Morris' bedchamber. Although Morris' original hangings were probably made of wool damask, we have used a cotton damask to eliminate moth problems. Bedhangings were used for temperature control, privacy, fashion, and even tradition. Often rooms in the 18th century were furnished en suite, using the same fabric for the bedhangings and the seat covers.

Closet Associated with Master Bedchamber

The awkward window placement in this room was to preserve the symmetry of the front of the house. To the left of the window on the exterior is the blind niche. The north and south walls of this room originally had no doors. The only entrance was from the hall. This closet was originally painted the same high quality Prussian blue as the master bedchamber. A small room such as this one would have been called a closet in the 18th century. The word closet, as it originated, referred not to what we today would call a closet, but rather to a small chamber. Closets such as this one could have served a variety of functions including storage rooms ("box-rooms"), work rooms, sitting rooms, or as a dressing chamber. This closet or dressing room was used by the occupant of the master bedchamber, as evidenced by its same color scheme.




DEGN-ERA BEDROOM
CHANGING EXHIBIT SPACE