West Twenty-Third Street, New York Wharton spent her childhood in an Italianate
brownstone containing rooms with stuffed furniture and heavy drapes.
In her article, "A Little Girl's New York," Wharton recalled that
heavy drapes were a necessity in every fashionable house then:
They were in fact almost purely
a symbol, for in many windows even the inner "sash-curtains"
were looped back far enough to give the secluded
dwellers a narrow glimpse of the street; but no
self-respecting mistress of a house (a brownstone
house) could dispense with this triple display
of window-lingerie, and among the many things
I did which pained and scandalized my Bostonian
mother-in-law, she was not least shocked by the
banishment from our house in the country of all
the thicknesses of muslin which should have intervened
between ourselves and the robins on the lawn.
Pencraig Cottage, Newport Shortly after her marriage to
Teddy Wharton, she moved out of Pencraig, her mother's
Newport, Rhode Island, home, across the street to
Pencraig Cottage. There she began to design interiors
that suited her own tastes.
Pencraig Cottage, Newport
Pencraig Cottage Drawing Room
882-884 Park Avenue, New York Wharton hired Ogden
Codman Jr. to design the rooms of her New York
City townhouse at 882-884 Park Avenue.
Land's End, Newport In 1892 Wharton purchased Land's
End, an oceanfront summer home in Newport. She hired
Ogden Codman Jr. to redesign the interior and create
a formal garden between the house and the ocean.
Land's End, Newport
the walls a bright color and furnished the rooms
with Italian furniture. The circular garden contained
a statue in a trellis niche.
Glass Verandah at Land's End
The interiors of these early homes
displayed Wharton's evolving design philosophies.
Damask wall coverings, bookcases, and draperies would
soon give way to a more streamlined, classical decoration
at The Mount.