Chateau-sur-Mer. A residence with an Italian exterior, Gothic-Victorian interior, a French name, and Chinese inspired gates guarding this pastiche. A crash pad with many fashions, this one is popular with me.

Walking through the front door is like stepping into a fantasy. The gardens, so light and bright, contrast greatly. Inside is dark; dark wood, dark furnishing, dark fittings.

But if you look you can find hints of light; in the stained glass panels over the fireplaces, in the Lady of the house’s room and the ballroom.

    On the underside of the stairs there is a pretty painting of  a tree, growing through the whole house, decorated with butterflies, birds, and bugs. It lightens up the rooms.

Our tour started in the study. This, you could tell, was a place for seriousness. Bookshelves line the dark oak panel walls. A huge desk sits in the middle of the room covered in photographs and stuffed birds.

We next moved on to the former entrance hall. I say former because in the 1870’s, the Wetmore’s (they owned the place at this time), left for an extensive tour of Europe and left architect Richard Moris Hunt in charge of remodeling and redecorating the house. Hunt moved the entrance to the side of the mansion and turned the hall into a place to display art work.
We walked along the hall until we reached the ballroom and receiving room. They were both done in French style, and were much lighter. There was only one original piece, an over stuffed couch, with a flowered covering. All the other chairs were reproductions. The receiving room was green, the most expensive color at the time.

Next was the dining room. It was done in the dark greens and browns. Here the guide told us something very interesting. This was the oldest running house, with servants and an old family living there. The World War I was the downfall of the rest of the houses, but this one managed to keep going until 1913, when the last Wetmore died.

We climbed up the intricately designed stair case into the upper floors. We could only view the next level, and not he two above, because someone actually lives in the upper floors to take care of the house. This next floor was just bedrooms, one for the Master, one for his Mistress, a couple for the Master’s daughters’, a couple for the Master’s sons’.

     This Newport “cottage” was really something to see. If you ever have the chance, go admire this massive piece of artwork.

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