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The Chintz Room was one of the finest of the six primary bedchambers at Mount Vernon.

Located on the second floor in the southwest corner, it overlooked the front entrance to the Mansion, the bowling green, and the vista to the west. Architecturally, a closet and a boldly carved mantel with dramatic curves and spirals set this room apart from the others. The room’s furnishings were inspired by the decorative arts of Asia, communicating the western fascination with the perceived luxury and splendor of eastern cultures.

Virtual Tour

The Chintz Room: What’s in a Name?

Understanding how the Washingtons and their household knew and used this room began with identifying the name they gave it. 

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The 1800 inventory conveniently names the five prints that were hung in the Chintz Room. While none of the originals survive, the curators were able to identify and reproduce these for display here.

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Few of the original furnishings that were used in the Chintz Room survive. Curatorial staff chose period furniture and some reproductions to represent what was in the room in 1799 based on the probate inventory and other documentary evidence.

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Nelly Custis Lewis at Mount Vernon

In the course of the Washingtons’ forty years of residency at Mount Vernon, the Chintz Room housed a wide variety of occupants. Nelly Custis Lewis’s possible occupation of the room would have been a brief, but important, episode in the long history of its use.

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Restoration Work

It took several years of research, work, and collaboration with colleagues and craftsmen throughout the country to restore the Chintz Room.

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Before 1799

The space that would become the Chintz Room began in 1734 with the construction of a one-story frame house for Augustine Washington. That house survives today as the core of the Mansion.

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When is a Closet Actually a Closet?

There is a popular myth that says closets were rare in the 18th century because they were taxed as rooms. This is just that: a myth (and a persistent one at that).

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The Mansion, Room by Room

The Washingtons' home was almost 11,000 square feet.

Explore Each Room