This is what Roseland Cottage looked like before the 1880s redecoration—much more like what most people think of as a country retreat. Rather than the heavy, dark, and formal Lincrusta wall covering, it’s bright and informal—not surprising, as we are in the family’s private spaces. Notice the Gothic arches on the door, much simpler than the ones on the doors on the first floor. A close look at the fireplace reveals more Gothic ornamentation: pointed arches and trefoils.
Cottage FurnitureClick on the image to take a closer look
Cottage bedroom suite, Brooklyn, C. N. Smith, painter, c. 1845
The bed, chest of drawers, and washstand in Lucy’s room were purchased as a set. The faux painting compliments the Gothic style of the house, in a fashion advocated by Alexander Jackson Downing in many of his books and articles. For instance, in an article in the “Horticulturalist” (Sept. 1849) Downing described a small well-designed cottage: “[Y]ou felt at a glance that there was a prevailing taste and fitness, that gave meaning to all, and brought all into harmony; the furniture in the house, the house with the grounds, and all with the life of its inmates.”