Thursday, September 7, 2017

Salmon Sublime

I'm a sucker for a good, lively color. This cheeky shade, Custis Salmon, a Benjamin Moore Williamsburg color (CW-215), is the cat's pajamas. It's just the right balance of warmth and charm. In fact, I basically love every color in the Williamsburg collection. I think it's easy to forget how vibrant homes were two hundred years ago. Life wasn't lived in a muted solemnity of drab and sepia. It was crazy go nuts colorful. Any of you who have had the pleasure to visit Mount Vernon, where each room is painted to match the original colors from Washington's tenancy in its handsome halls, have seen this first person. For the rest of us, let me smash your face off with antique color awesomeness:

All photos above via
And it wasn't just the walls that got the technicolor treatment. Floors were either boldly painted in patterns or faux grain figuring, or topped with fabulously garish ingrain carpets (or sometimes both! at once! ahhhhhh so fun!!!) - like these captured by early 19th century folk artist Joshua H. Davis-
Also- check out the color and insane graining on that table! Man would I love to find a jewel like that in the wild!

And speaking of painted furniture- there was plenty in every color you could conjure, including and especially salmon! Here's a few fabulous examples-

The wonderful Jeff and Holly Noordsy of Noordsy Antiques currently have this tremendous petite 19th century store counter in a zippy deep shade of salmon. I can think of about a zillion places this would work in any home!

 My friend Don Olson, owner of Don Olson American Antiques and Folk Art recently handled this unbelievable grain painted salmon hanging cupboard c.1840. Be still my heart!
A carriage maker's apothecary chest c.1837 from New Hampshire, originally owned by a carriage painter named George Avery, maybe a distant cousin of mine?? 

My lovely friend Bev Norwood, owner of Spirit of America Antiques, has had this 19th century pantry box, with incredible original dry salmon paint surface, in her personal collection for over two decades!

And how about this spectacular antique hanging cupboard in the original salmon paint, currently in the inventory of my dear friend John of John Chaski Antiques!

Our forefathers knew where it was at decor-wise: gold bold or go home. Who are we to argue! Painted furniture in bright colors is timeless, and enlivens any space! Just look how wonderful salmon looks on these early 20th century chairs I photographed tonight!


  1. Anonymous9/08/2017

    I love me some colors too! Beautiful!

  2. Love that color! Thanks for the pictures of Mount Vernon....very vibrant colors!