When the wonderful team at Benjamin Moore invited us to spend a weekend in Colonial Williamsburg for a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration for their Williamsburg Color Collection my RSVP was an immediate YES. All the better that the trip happened to fall exactly one week from our wedding because at that point I really needed a distraction!
Neither of us had been to Williamsburg before, and I can honestly say that it surpassed our expectations. I’ve been told it’s even more beautiful when it’s all decked out for the holidays, so if you’re in the area, definitely consider making the trip–the drive was surprisingly painless from DC!
We kicked off our visit with a tour of the grounds led by Matt Webster, Director of Architectural Resources, at Colonial Williamsburg. The Wythe House was our first stop. Its manicured lawn, perfect symmetry, and classic red brick made this one of my favorites.
The appreciation for color and pattern in historical houses never ceases to inspire me. Of course, there was an element of keeping up with the Jones’ behind these seemingly bold choices, and a home owner’s ability to paint and paper their home indicated a degree of wealth and status.
The Governor’s Palace, with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect for the home of the King’s representative in America, really is breath taking.
Sans the massive gilt framed oils, the Prussian blue walls and patterned carpet could be contemporary, right?
With its intricate molding and chinoiserie inspired pediment and door frame, the vivid green Supper Room was my favorite from the visit.
Can you even imagine the level of craftsmanship that went into carving that dentil molding?!
The arms room cleared up any questions about who was boss…
I loved this grouping of black and white engravings on mustard walls.
I left the trip desperately wanting a canopied bed…
Definitely one with scallops…
After our tour we headed over to the lab where we learned more about how the colors for the Williamsburg Color Collection were created. The level of historical and scientific research that goes into the process is actually really fascinating. The Colonial Williamsburg team has some pretty high powered tools at their disposal that enable them to analyze the tiniest specimens–looking back through centuries of paint layers to get to the true color.
Once they establish the make-up of the paint they grind the pigment by hand with mortar and pestle to recreate the color. Verdigris (formed by giving copper an acid bath) is one of the key pigments for some of my favorite colors.
After our science lesson we headed over to the museum to take in their beautiful collections. The import porcelain was one of my favorite exhibits.
But there was also inspiration to be found in the textiles–I thought this quilt would be beautiful framed.
We had free time on Sunday to explore on our own and given that it was a week before our wedding and our vows weren’t exactly written we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to find a quiet spot and spend some time working on those. The gardens at the Governor’s Palace proved to be the perfect spot.
I mean, look at this…
The sentimental sap in me thinks it will be pretty cute to re-visit the same spots when we’re old and gray.
We stopped by Williamsburg at Home on our way out of town where I picked up a bolt of leopard print fabric for a steal. In typical fashion I have absolutely no projects in mind for it at the moment but I know the perfect thing will come up eventually–maybe a pair of x-benches?
A big thank you to the Benjamin Moore and Colonial Williamsburg teams for hosting us for the weekend. If you’re not already familiar, be sure to check out the Williamsburg Color Collection it really is an exceptionally well curated collection and learning more about the research process gives me even more respect for a brand I (and I’m sure you) already know and love!