In the eighteenth century, a handful of wealthy Americans furnished the rooms of their new Georgian-style mansions to reflect their status and membership in a transatlantic elite. The restored interiors of Mount Vernon, George Washington's plantation, reflect the "good taste" of the time, a taste that produced elegant and rather impersonal public rooms. Women from well-to-do families sometimes made needlework chair covers or pictures, but the abundance of accessories, houseplants, framed pictures, and textiles that characterized the home-decorated room of 100 years later were not in evidence in the mansion houses of the time. Because self-conscious interior decoration was rare, it must have seemed particularly impressive to ordinary folk who lived in tiny houses of two, three, or four roomsnot much room for useless ornaments of any kind, even assuming that the hardworking women dwelling there had time to make them, or the money to purchase them.
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