An Insider’s View of a Grand Living Room

I’ve posted in the past about the large private home where my office is located.

The front entrance to the 100+-year-old house where I work. The second floor terrace gave me the idea for a usable terrace outside our master suite.
The front entrance to the 100+-year-old house where I work. The second floor terrace gave me the idea for a usable terrace outside our master suite.

The largest room on the main floor (easily 3 times as large as my living room) is the living room.

The living room is divided into three sections, this being the center one.
The living room is divided into three sections, this being the center one.

Honestly, if I lived here, I’d call it the grand salon.

Looking to the left from the entrance (toward the front of the house).
Looking to the left from the entrance (toward the front of the house).

The house itself is over 100 years old and the furniture in the living room hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years.

Looking to the right from the central entrance is a grand piano and seating area with slip-covered 18th century furniture.
Looking to the right from the central entrance is a grand piano and seating area with slip-covered 18th century furniture.

I’ve been here for 25 years and about the only thing we have upgraded (if you could call it that) is to have the 1906 Steinway piano tuned.

The chairs and setee are slipcovered to protect the 18th century Aubuson tapestry in which they were originally upholstered.
The chairs and setee are slipcovered to protect the 18th century Aubuson tapestry in which they were originally upholstered.

All the windows (4 sets) and French doors (4 sets) are identically curtained with blue heavy cotton brocade and carved wood valances. And three matching rugs delineate the three seating areas.

The piano side of the room.
The piano side of the room.

I have a detailed post on the unusual chair peach striped silk chair.

Looking from the front of the house toward the back the living room is set up in 3 separate seating sections.
Looking from the front of the house toward the back the living room is set up in 3 separate seating sections.

Some things never go completely out of style.

What’s your take on a room filled with antiques that are actually used?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

10 thoughts on “An Insider’s View of a Grand Living Room”

  1. I really, really like the principle of having stuff that lasts forever. I’ve been tempted to write a manifesto against planned obsolescence, including both shoddy craftsmanship and constantly changing interior design trends. Also, my mom is into very traditional, formal furniture and very high end stuff that never made it into the budget before is now available on Craigslist at sarificially low prices. So even though I don’t plan on having a room like this, the high road of buying good stuff and keeping it for generations appeals to me in a big way. (And if I did want a room like this, I’d have to buy the house next door and maybe the next house after that)

    1. I’m not a trend follower either, Chad. I guess the very fact that we both bought old houses is a testament to our investment in the future with a nod to the quality of the past. Jo

  2. Is this your employer’s private residence, and does the family use this room? Or is the house a public space? Either way, I’ll say it again–you are SO lucky to work there and not in some cube farm! 🙂

    1. Private residence. Mostly they use the library as their sitting room. The last time we used this room we cleared out some of the furniture and set up opera chairs for a musicale (for about 50 people) featuring a cellist, pianist, and harpist. Jo

  3. I am curious to know…if you go to play the piano do you have to remove all those photos off of it or can you play with them on? Second question….in the last photo looks like a super size framed photo on the right wall. What in the world could be in such a large frame? and btw…you are good at naming rooms. LOL

    1. Photos stay on the piano unless a pro comes and wants to raise the lid.
      On the wall you mention on either side of the entrance are life-size oil portraits of the owner’s mother and father probably painted in the 1920s or 30s. Jo.

      1. If i had a piano i would have to put photos on it just so my family wont cone over to lay on it to take ohitos lol!!! Intereating in the photos. I wonder why people dont commission people to do portraits in oil anymore? I saw one on the road show the other day and it was an oil paased down in the family and they can be quite valuable.

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