Gilded Age Design
In Richmond, Maymont was the most elaborate of several elite homes that reflected the high style of the day, characterized by the juxtaposition and often asymmetrical arrangements of patterns, tones and textures, and historical and exotic styles. When completed, the mansion boasted the latest modern conveniences of the era: electric lighting, an elevator, three full bathrooms, and central heat.
The principal rooms each have distinct characters. The adjoining drawing rooms mirror French 18th-century styles. The walls of both rooms are covered in silk damask, the hearthstones are white onyx, and the friezes and ceilings are embellished with fine, ornamental plasterwork and decorative painting. The small den is Near Eastern, and the living hall with its imposing English Renaissance-inspired mantelpiece brings to mind the “baronial hall” of romanticized history. The library is a superb expression of eclecticism and “artistic” taste of the late 1880s and 90s. The ceiling and frieze are embellished with stencilling and strapwork carried out in mahogany, the wood used throughout the room, including the original Venetian blinds. The principal rooms are enriched by stained glass transoms, carved woodwork, and decorative ceiling and wall treatments.
The second floor includes a central living hall, lit by an immense Tiffany Studios stained glass window that rises above the grand stairway; the morning room, furnished with a painted satinwood set; the famous swan bedroom; two additional bedrooms; and two tiled bathrooms. Guests can tour twelve restored rooms on the first and second floors.