Newer members may think we have a new room at Blithewold – the small room across from Augustine’s on the second floor. Older members may reminisce and recognize that it is now exactly as it was when Blithewold opened to the public in 1978.
Although we believe that the Stickley furniture was once in the Gardner House, (the family’s guest house south of Blithewold,) Marjorie Lyon probably had it brought to Blithewold after the Gardner House was sold in the 1930s. It looked particularly fine with the green- and cream- colored pine-cone wallpaper.
By 2008, the original wallpaper was so badly damaged by leaks from the failing slate roof that it had to be removed. It was at that time that we returned the room, temporarily, to an earlier incarnation – that of Nursery for Augustine’s children.
While visitors were charmed by the nursery furniture and Marjorie’s collection of dolls, it was felt that the Stickley furniture — hand made by Leopold and John George Stickley around 1910 in Fayetteville, New York — deserved to be seen again. It is quintessential ‘Mission’ furniture, popular around the turn of the twentieth century as part of the Arts and Crafts movement. Bessie McKee embraced the movement, as evidenced by her choices of architecture, garden design, and decorative arts. Recently the pine-cone wallpaper was reproduced in Europe using the new technology of laser-printing which produces an exact copy, with perfect coloration and accurate depiction of pattern.